Go ahead and laugh... you're supposed to, it's kind of silly. Most hobbies are.
Like most hobbies there is an initial cost to buy the basic equipment and a huge investment in time. Eventually you get to a point where it becomes cheaper and the process becomes really fun and mostly pain free.
Per hour of fun, this electronics hobby has turned out to be one of the cheapest and most rewarding hobbies I've ever tried - and probably not for the reasons that you think.
All this tinkering and making and studying electronics - it's really just a way to gain access to other creative people. All these projects are eventually supposed to be put into other projects. That makes a great excuse to meet new people and get them to share their creativity.
Jewelry, clothing, furniture, cars, sculpture... doesn't matter to me. Can I help another creative bring their projects to life? Being able to add movement and lights and sounds to other people's projects is a great way to connect with other hobbyists.
So far, this simple hobby has allowed me to meet and befriend quilters and welders, fashion designers, models and photographers, jewelry makers, graphic designers and gear heads and... well, you get the picture.
I've helped a few of them with their projects, and they have all taught me something about their chosen medium. We can share our successes and our failures, our passion and pain. We don't use the same materials, but we all understand the creative drive. Every creator needs friends who not only tolerate your $250 lightbulb dimmer, but help you along the way.
This particular lightbulb dimming is part of an attempt to create a Steampunk style lamp with multiple light sources. I wanted that old time glow that only incandescent and fluorescents can provide.
I know I will need help from other makers to get this working. And it will probably turn out much better and more attractive thanks to their help.
All in all, I think this newest hobby has been a total bargain and a complete blessing.
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