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Basic Electronics » Good material on learning electronics.

August 04, 2010
by TexanBackpacker
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I feel that I have hit some what of a brick wall when it comes to electronics (well sort of). The problem is that I have no real experience or basic knowledge of how electronics. I do have some idea of the math portion (I took physics this last year), but I am not very strong when it comes to understanding how to build certain things. I was wondering if there are any good tutorials on the internet or books that start from the very beginning and work your way up by doing projects. They don't have to be all digital, I would like to try out analog.

Thanks!

August 04, 2010
by mongo
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Digital is not really what I consider to be electronics. It is more or less a collection of electronic circuits already made and assembled to perform certain tasks.

Although it requires some understanding of electronics, it is a higher level similar to the difference between assembly and Windows, where programming.

To get the basics, you need to understand electricity and Ohm's laws. You will need to understand mathematical formulations for determining certain values to achieve the desired results.

I have a good starter book that goes right into it. Published back in the early 1970's, it gets right into the basics before the digital age really blossomed. The book is called "Electronics for everyone" and explains with examples and projects to get a grasp on the concepts.

I am sure there are still books like that available. Mine was a used library book that I bought from my old high school in 1975.

Analog is the place to start, as that is where it all began. Resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors make up 90% or more of everything out there from power supplies to amplifiers. All are analog circuits.

I will look up some of the old sites and reference material that I can remember and share them here.

Have fun and good luck in the quest for knowledge.

August 05, 2010
by Rick_S
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I agree with Mongo, getting a good or at the very least basic grasp of the analog side of things will help immensly. Knowing what various components do and where to use them. Understanding current flow.

My only formal electronic training came through one semester at DeVry university. Then, I ran out of money... so the rest is all learned through books.

I liked the Forest Mims series of "engineers mini notebooks". They were very down to earth with a bunch of easy but helpful examples. These books have been around for 25+ years (thats when I got mine) and are still available today. He also wrote a getting started in electronics book. The author has a website showing the books - though the covers have changed from what mine were back when... Here's a Link to his site. If you purchase from him or not, click the TO PURCHASE ONLINE CLICK HERE Button on his site. It will take you to an amatuer radio site selling an array of beginner electronic books. You could write them down and check them out at your local library if they have them.

Also check ebay, these books do pop up on there from time to time.

Rick

August 05, 2010
by Ralphxyz
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Gee, Rick if you read Forest Mims (some of his books are still at Radio Shack) then you also probable read Steve Ciarcia in Byte magazine.

Ralph

August 05, 2010
by Rick_S
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Might have, Don't recall the name. I used to work at Radio Shack and Tandy Computer Centers from 1984 to 1994 so I had a lot of exposure to the Mims books. They were a lot cheaper back then as well :D.

I did read the occasional Byte, QST, Rainbow (for Radio Shack Color Computers), as well as several others in the day. Too bad there isn't really a good electronics magazine like there was years ago. Maybe make.. Although I haven't really seen it around I see it mentioned a lot. The projects in a lot of those magazines were great little tutorials in themselves.

August 05, 2010
by Ralphxyz
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I am getting Circuit Cellar (Steve Ciarcia) which is to technical and I just subscribed to Servo magazine, Make is not a monthly so it comes around every once in a while.

One of my early computers was a Tandy it had a Radio shack OS this was before Windows 2 which was my next OS.

Ralph

August 05, 2010
by Rick_S
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I've thought of subscribing to circuit cellar I just wasn't sure if I'd get what I want out of it. I've never heard of servo magazine. I'll have to check it out.

Rick

August 11, 2010
by TexanBackpacker
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I want to thank all of you for the great suggestions!

I went ahead and bought some of the material that all of you suggested on Amazon. (Most of them you can get, used, at a very cheap price. I got one book for $4)

Thanks again for all of your expertise on good learning material.

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