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Some of my notes from during the process of doing the lab:
I almost caused a real scene by having my regulator plugged into my breadboard in the wrong direction. I was pretty amazed by how quickly the hardware heated up and started smelling.
I think I want some specific guidance on how to use the multimeter and what settings to use. I found myself constantly asking how to actually get the measurements I want.
I feel a lot of pride whenever I manage to get the LEDs to light up.
I am uncertain about why I do not need resistors in the series circuit. My stab at the answer: you don’t need resistors because the LEDs are linking directly together as a chain, and leading straight to the ground. Because the electricity is trying to get to ground as fast as possible, they just need to go through the series of LEDs to get to their destination.
In the parallel set up, I measured each LED using 1.85V, and the resistor (I think) getting 1.3V. This adds up to 6.85V, which doesn’t make sense, since this is supposed to be a 5V set up.
I’m unclear about whether I actually measured 1 amp when I interrupted the circuit in parallel mode. Another measurement I did showed 4.91 milliamps… which… might be more right? Again, I’m really unsure.
The varying voltage thing was pretty fun. When the know was turned to full on, the reading was .02V, when it was full off, the reading was 4.94, and when it was partially on/partially off, it read 3.07. So, it was really cool to see how much energy was hitting the resistor at a given point.
I’m good at soldering.
That last point is actually an important one: I feel really capable at putting these things together, and matching the diagrams, etc., but I also feel like I am struggling to understand the readings I am getting vs. what I think should be happening. Hopefully this will start to clear itself up soon.