I understand programming, but I know very little about electronics; where do I get started!!! I've been through the very simple tutorials with LED's and so on, but they don't teach me anything about applying them in a project. Lets say I want to use a touch sensor that I interface with my itunes library to change songs, how do i make a circuitry diagram? how do I know what resistor to use? what voltage for a battery do I use? what capacitor do I use? etc. Are there any good books out there that explain how to use electronics with micro-controller, the ones I find do all the electronics for you and only explain the coding.
Try reading Make: Electronics by Charles Platt or Electrical engineering 101 : everything you should have learned in school . . .but probably didn’t by Darren Ashby these books will give a very good knowledge about electronics and electricity.
http://pcbheaven.com try this site for tutorials etc..
Electronics is a very broad subject and really the best method is to learn step by step in some kind of logical order:
DC fundmentals AC fundmentals active devices logic fundementals circuits etc.
It's hard to find cookbook type solutions that can both help you build stuff right away while at the same time explain the fundementals behind the circuits. It's a case do you want just enough info to be able to use other peoples designs or do you want the knowlege such that you can design your own circuits? If the latter, then go the slow detailed step by step learning of electronics fundementals first.
I want to be able to decide on my own, not copy an example from a book. A math book not only gives examples, it gives you problems to solve on your own.
12atmatz: I want to be able to decide on my own, not copy an example from a book. A math book not only gives examples, it gives you problems to solve on your own.
If you're looking for a textbook approach, pick up a copy of Grob's Basic Electronics. Note: This is an EE101 level electronics textbook, meant for college/university courses. A new edition will cost $100.00+ USD. However, a used edition or an older edition will cost considerably less.
You might also want to look into Forrest M. Mims III's "Engineer's Mini-Notebooks" series - which is a wonderful collection about electronics and various projects (however, all of the books have a "theory and practice" portion, and there are couple of books that detail things like how basic components work, and reading schematics and such).
Lastly - check out this site (especially if you are in the UK or Europe):
My father learned electronics by reading electrical books on radio. I think they learned it from a little different perspective.
I think you could learn something from the magazine "Nuts and Volts". Some of the libraries have it.
I've been reading everything online for over two years. I'm still having issues because everyone assumes that everyone else knows everything and few people really know how to teach good.
The other thing you need is a lifestyle that has time for learning. I started soldering a soldering iron kit together and my son said that it takes too long so he starts to lose interest.
I was paid to sit at work because I had to open the doors and stay there so I actually got to read and have comprehension because I'm interrupted many times a day and the television is on. You really need to go somewhere like a library and just read when you aren't tired and when you feel motivated.
Other people have learned through trial and error. Other people learn through watching.
12atmatz: I understand programming, but I know very little about electronics; where do I get started!!!
There is also a difference between reading about something and how it works and actually playing with different components. I think some people are experiential learners.
You might want to see if your local community college has any courses on electronics or microcontrollers. Some colleges even have introductory classes that don't last very long.