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Topic: Learning the language of electronics (Read 2 times) previous topic - next topic


One of the issues faced by us beginners is learning the language. All spheres of speciality have their own expressions which, to the initiated, serve very well to communicate complex ideas very efficiently.

So also names of parts. Glossaries work very well. You have the name of a part and need to know what it is or does, look it up in a glossary and you have all the detail you need.

Reverse the process and you are in a bit of a fix. I need a thingy to go between the whatsit and the hoojamaflicky. One way to get around this issue is to have a nice big pictorial dictionary, start at page 1 and go through all 10,000 pages looking for what looks like it will do the job.

Any advice to a beginner as to how to streamline this process? One is to just keep reading and get experience, and build on that.

Specific issue: I have followed the example connected to the TMP36 sensor, this works well. I also read up on how to measure the output from the TMP36 at a distance using a shielded cable. So, what if I want to experiment with unshielded cable, placing the TMP36 more remote from the UNO, one foot, two feet, etc. There has to be a thingy that I can plug the TMP36 into with connecting wires that can be joined to other wires.

Where's my reverse glossary?


We are your reverse glossary!  Well, everyone else is.  I know exactly what you need but don't have a clue what it's called.


Where's my reverse glossary?

Part of your problem may be working with parts well beyond your level of understanding.

I originally, after high-school, went through schooling on electronics; this was a year long tech-school course.

We started out with "what is an electron" and moved from there (Grob's Basic Electronics).

Our first parts to "play with" were resistors; we spent a week or so on them. Over time we built up our knowledge; gradually with how resistors worked, how you could measure current, voltage, etc - we built our own multimeters (analog), understanding how each component (and sub-units - like the wheatstone bridge) in them worked, then calibrated them against an analog Simpson meter.

We learned about capacitors, and diodes, then transistors, and coils, and transformers - eventually getting to a point where we built and troubleshooted an AM radio (in true breadboard fashion - brass nails stuck in a foam and cardboard base, with the parts soldered between!), learning how to use o-scopes, frequency counters, etc. We learned what an amplifier was, how it worked, etc.

This led us into digital circuitry, but first we still had a bit more analog to go: we learned about op-amps, and comparators (and how one was similar to the other). Eventually we moved to digital circuits.

Resistor-transistor logic, then diode logic, etc - eventually we got to learn basic digital ICs (74xx series). Over time, we also learned about LEDs, etc. Most of us read our books, some of us subscribed to magazines (I've kept up a Nuts and Volts subscription for 20 years; I've subscribed to Servo Magazine since getting the pre-Servo robotics insert mag with my N&V), we also read books, etc.

Its a learning process, ultimately. You can't just jump in and expect to get this all figured out instantly. Nothing complex in this world works like that. Heck, I'm still learning this stuff and more every day!

So take your time; pick up a copy of the Grob book I mentioned above if you're really serious about electronics. Get some subscriptions to N&V and Servo Magazines (Make is "ok", but they don't go into as deep on theory and such like N&V and Servo does). Look into back issues (online if you can find them with Google Books) of old Popular Electronics and Radio-Electronics magazines. Continue to ask questions as well.

Finally, regarding your question: I honestly don't know if such a device exists - its probably called a line-buffer or something similar, though. It may be that the device is meant to -only- be used with a shielded cable...

I will not respond to Arduino help PM's from random forum users; if you have such a question, start a new topic thread.


Terminal blocks.  

Get some small terminal blocks, that way you can join lengths of wires together to shift your temp. probe further away.


TMP36 - just outputs an analog voltage, correct?  You supply it with VCC, Gnd, you get Vout back. Reading the datasheet, they suggest several ways to transfer that Vout remotely - convert it to a frequency, some buffering schemes. You could even put an A/D chip with it and read the A/D output serially. Heck, you could even get fancy and try to send it wirelessly - install it in place with a Promini or an ardweeny to sample it with the onboard ADC, and send it out with 434MHz Tx module. On the other end put a 434Rx Module. Could even write in some smarts around it, control some stuff locally if danger conditions start arising.  You haven't said what you're monitoring, so I can only wildly speculate and make incredulous suggesitions as to what might be done :-)

Often, reading the datasheet for the part you want to will provide insights into others uses of a part. Or search for application notes.
Designing & building electrical circuits for over 25 years. Check out the ATMega1284P based Bobuino and other '328P & '1284P creations & offerings at  www.crossroadsfencing.com/BobuinoRev17.
Arduino for Teens available at Amazon.com.

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