United States - Flag United States

Please confirm your currency selection:

Bench Talk for Design Engineers

Bench Talk


Bench Talk for Design Engineers | The Official Blog of Mouser Electronics

Is Your DIY Brain Icing Over? Colin Carter



As I’ve progressed from a writer interested in technology to a hobbyist working with technology, I’ve found that my eyes are frequently larger than my workbench. That is, I keep buying and collecting microcontroller boards, inexpensive parts collections, tools, and one-off gadgets, even though I haven’t turned on a soldering iron or looked at the Arduino IDE in months.

I think I’m suffering from DIY overload.

Okay, maybe “suffering” is a little much; though my garage shelves are starting to buckle from the boxes of my hoarded gizmos and gadgets. This winter, I’ve started feeling overwhelmed by the number of projects I want to attempt as well as the number of products I’ve accumulated in anticipation of completing projects I haven’t even thought of yet. From Arduino-based controls for my home-brewing operation to an app-controlled garage door sensor and remote, I have a backlog of ideas that may never come to light.

Perhaps I’m a victim of this blizzard-like information age. I follow dozens of tech and maker blogs and project sites, and I’ve pinned, bookmarked, and flagged numerous ideas from each. I have a stack of instructional books at home covering everything from introductory robotics to AVR programming, not to mention the wealth of educational material I see just about every day on Mouser.com. So how do I put all of this stored knowledge to use? I wonder how many others share this same predicament.

Can you think of a time when you bit off a little more than you could chew, project-wise? Did you power through and create a working design, or simply end up with a trophy to your perseverance? Inevitably, there will be some catalyst that strikes, inspiring me with DIY gusto to complete my stalled project. Luckily, the brain freeze is usually temporary for most of us.

I’d love to hear how you manage your project ideas. Send over a comment or tip. I could use the help.

« Back

Colin is Technical Content Manager at Mouser Electronics. In his off time, he enjoys bicycles, travel, and music. He received a Master of Arts in Technical Communication from the University of North Texas and a Certificate of Completion of Pre-Kindergarten from Morgan Day Care.

All Authors

Show More Show More
View Blogs by Date