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Topic: Beginner Electronics (Read 6240 times) previous topic - next topic

earthlinginspace

Where would you start to learn electronics? I'm kind of a beginner with some general knowledge about resistors and other components (Working in an electronics store helps).

I've already created some basic projects on the Arduino (Which I love) and would love to create more advanced projects, which will hopefully take me on the way to building robots.
I have a raspberry pi and I am in the process of turning my raspberry pi into a handheld computer so I have somewhere I can program my Arduino wherever I am!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)

Grumpy_Mike

Hi arthlinginspace, welcome to the forum.

There are a vast number of books and internet resources that can help you learn. You tend to get more reliable help in books because they have been vetted and checked by more than one pair of eyes. There are often mistakes in internet resources either by oversites or ignorance.

I would recommend one of the many books by Simon Monk to get you going, do a search for him.
It is also good if you get a kit, one with a good accompanying text and projects, that will give you the feel of electronic parts.

On the Raspberry Pi I can recommend the free to download MagPi magazine, there is a print version you can buy in the shops also. The June issue ( out on Thursday ) will contain a few basic beginners electronics projects, ( I know because I wrote one )
The MagPi

A word of warning though, electronics can become addictive, you might be hooked for life, I was/am.

polymorph

Do you know Ohm's Law? And when it does and does not apply?

Kirchoff's current and voltage laws?

Do you know first, second, and third approximations of diodes and transistors?

"Electronic Principles" by Malvino is a very good book for learning electronics. It is a textbook and so the latest versions are very expensive, but you don't need the latest one.

The 6th Edition is under $10 on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Principles-Albert-Malvino/dp/0028028333?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

"Basic Electronics" by Grob is also a good textbook with much cheaper older editions. Edition 8 is under $25 on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Grob-Basic-Electronics-Books/dp/002802253X/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=5129TM9HAFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL320_SR240%2C320_&refRID=03K2D7HZSEY0G5SZ3BVQ
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

polymorph

Oh, and please, learn how to draw schematics. I'm kind of mad at Make Magazine for their terrible schematic diagrams. Look in my signature for several TinyURL links to pages about how to draw clear, easier to understand schematics.
Steve Greenfield AE7HD
Drawing Schematics: tinyurl.com/23mo9pf - tinyurl.com/o97ysyx - https://tinyurl.com/Technote8
Multitasking: forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=223286.0
gammon.com.au/blink - gammon.com.au/serial - gammon.com.au/interrupts

DVDdoug

#4
May 23, 2016, 08:37 pm Last Edit: May 23, 2016, 09:03 pm by DVDdoug
A course of study at a college or community college would look something like this - 

- Basic DC circuits (Resistors, Ohm's Law, Kirchhoff's Laws)
- Basic AC circuits (Capacitors & Inductors)
- Basic active & semiconductor components & circuits (Diodes, Transistors, MOSFETs)
- Basic digital logic & circuits (and-gates, or-gates, flip-flows, Boolean logic/binary math, etc.)
- Analog circuits (op-amps, etc.)
- Microprocessors/Microcontrollers & programming

---   You'd also learn about radio frequency transmission and if you study Electronic Engineering you'd learn some applied math (Fourier analysis and Laplace transforms, after learning your "basic" calculus and differential equations.)

Of course, most hobbyists skip-ahead and just start playing around with the Arduino.   But, it is helpful to understand the relationship between voltage, resistance, and current (Ohm's Law).  And, how current & voltage are summed & divided in series & parallel circuits (Kirchhoff's Laws).  

Ohm's Law is fairly simple to learn, and it's not too hard to memorize the "Ohm's Law Triangle".    This is a generalization, but in most normally-operating real world circuits, voltage is fixed and known, so we're usually calculating the resistance or the current.

Kirchhoff's can seem mathematically complicated, so it's easier to learn the concepts by learning about currents & voltages in series and parallel circuits.

Then it's good to learn about how LEDs behave (concerning current & voltage) and how to use a transistor or MOSFET to control higher current & voltage than the microcontroller can directly supply. 

Then, you only have to learn whatever you need to know for whatever project you're working on.


------------------------------
Programming is actually a "different subject",  but the Arduino is a good-easy way to learn the basics of programming.*         The 2 most important concepts (in any programming language) are conditional execution (if-statements, etc.) and loops (doing things over-and-over, usually until some condition is reached).       Of course there's a LOT more to programming than that, and C++ is a complex language, but once you understand those concepts you can understand how programs work and why programming is useful.



*  If you were to take a college/university microcontroller class, computer programming would be a prerequisite.




earthlinginspace

Thank you all so much for your replies! I have an idea of Ohms law but definitely need to look into that more. I'm studying physics and with that we delve into electronics slightly, but I'd love to learn more in depth stuff, so I'll definitely look into everything you have all suggested.

I already have the bug for electronics! I absolutely love playing round with the arduino. (only using a breadboard at the moment but its still fun!)

There is a lot of electronics I definitely need to cover, i'd love to get to a point where I am 100% on everything I'm doing without having to do a load of research first.

Thanks again guys, I'm sure this won't be my only question on this forum!


gpsmikey

I would also recommend the book "Practical Electronics for Inventors" (Amazon and others carry it very reasonably priced).  Here is the link to Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Electronics-Inventors-Fourth-Scherz/dp/1259587541/
mikey
-- you can't have too many gadgets or too much disk space !
old engineering saying: 1+1 = 3 for sufficiently large values of 1 or small values of 3

ChrisTenone

Thank you all so much for your replies! I have an idea of Ohms law but definitely need to look into that more. I'm studying physics and with that we delve into electronics slightly, but I'd love to learn more in depth stuff, so I'll definitely look into everything you have all suggested.

I already have the bug for electronics! I absolutely love playing round with the arduino. (only using a breadboard at the moment but its still fun!)

There is a lot of electronics I definitely need to cover, i'd love to get to a point where I am 100% on everything I'm doing without having to do a load of research first.

Thanks again guys, I'm sure this won't be my only question on this forum!


Most physics courses cover Ohm's law and Kirchoff's law in the second semester. It's a good basis, but the instruction doesn't go much further than that. I second DVDoug's suggestion of looking into community college electronics courses. At my school, the intro engineering course includes an Arduino project, and we have a couple science clubs (the space club and the robot club) that build interesting electronic projects, with knowledgable advisors.

As a bonus, they usually do not cost an arm or a leg (unless said limbs are robotic ...)
What, I need to say something else too?

raschemmel

Stay away from Raschemmel.... ;D


pwillard

Quote
Stay away from Raschemmel....
That's some pretty awesome advice right there.

larryd

#11
May 24, 2016, 08:16 pm Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 08:34 pm by LarryD
Quote
Stay away from Raschemmel.... ;D
Looks harmless.
No technical PMs.
If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.

larryd

#12
May 24, 2016, 08:32 pm Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 08:33 pm by LarryD
Quote
Looks harmless.
Or maybe not  :smiley-eek:

No technical PMs.
If you are asked a question, please respond with an answer.
If you are asked for more information, please supply it.
If you need clarification, ask for help.

raschemmel

#13
May 24, 2016, 08:57 pm Last Edit: May 25, 2016, 03:24 pm by raschemmel
Equipment, parts , reference materials , a Weller WP35, a roll of Kester 44 60/40 rosen core solder, an assortment of small rolls of 22 guage SOLID , insulated hookup wire in a variety of colors, solder paste, , liquid flux, and a good DMM  and some general purpose proto boards and you'll be good to go....

Buy some coin envelopes at the stationary store for catalogging resistors and capacitor and other components:


electronics-tutorials


Quote
That's some pretty awesome advice right there.
Quote
@OP..  this is for your OWN good!
And my sanity. Besides, I'm busy looking for bottles....


As you can see, my competition is trying to scare you away because it's the only way they can get any karma points...LOL  ;D

LarryD is solid. He can help you with anything while I'm looking for bottles...


Paul__B

Then you need some appropriate (can't specify exact links at this moment but DX isn't bad) assortment packs of resistors and capacitors and non-assorted packs of transistors and LEDs.

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