Placeable powered items

I have a number of items - components if you like. These are very simple, very cheap, and about the size of a matchbox. I need to be able to place them on a board (about A4 size) in a fairly random position and provide them with power (+/-, 3.6-5v dc)

I’ve considered having aluminium strips running along the board with the items placed on the strips to receive power. Holding the items in place firmly is a bit of an issue though. I thought about a grid of header pins sticking up, but am a bit worried that repeated use and removal might cause problems…

So basically I’m looking for ideas. I hope I’ve made this clear enough but can go into more detail if needed…

What about magnets?

I wondered about that. Two concerns, one that the magnet might interfere with the ATTiny chip the component runs on, and two the amount of extra cost of the board. On the flip side I suppose the board/magnet could be the ground connection and then I’d only need a single, possibly more flexible connection for the for +'ve…

The Google suggests magnets ok with solid state storage - I’ll give it a go. #excited

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Magnets will not create problems with an ATTiny.
I just found this tape for another project. This tape is very sticky but does not dry. When it get dirty you can wash it off and reuse. Maybe that would work? https://amzn.to/2Ndv5iP
Connections are a tough one…

I’m going to try the magnets. These are kits for a school so cost and robustness are important.

Mk1 I’m going to be connecting the units with headers and jumper cables and see how the go. The idea is the components are all logic gates so students can model logic circuits - something that was always a pickle when I was a teacher!

Just in case you were not aware of these products:


Perhaps you should do it in software :)!
http://www.cburch.com/logisim/

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I wasn’t. But that has a bit more complexity than I want. And it’s in US (not sure if you can get it in UK) and about two-three times what most schools could afford.

Software alternatives are available of course but that kind of defeats both the idea of physical learning and more importantly then I wouldn’t be able to play with electronics would I?

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@donkjr Stop being so logical! :wink:

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You mean LOGIC-al lol!

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groan

Plus more letters because that’s not long enough.

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