Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

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flawlssdistortn
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Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by flawlssdistortn » Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:56 pm

Hey guys, I was wondering if you could provide me with a bit of advice, or point me in the direction of some good reading material to help me get started. I've always been fascinated with computers and electronics, and wanted to know how and why they work. I'm an undergrad in Electrical Engineering at UIC, and so far, I've completed all the math and science prereqs, and the first circuits theory class. I would like to do some "hands on" projects as a hobby in addition to all the "boring" bookwork that I have ahead of me.<p>Sorry, I don't know that much, I can't even say what kind of electronics projects I would like to do in order to ask "What do I have to learn to get to that point?" <p>So I would really appreciate it if you guys could tell me what kind of stuff you are doing, your age, what kind of reading/experience it took to get to that point... Also, if there are any book recommendations for me. I checked out a number of books on analog circuits, digital circuit theory, IC theory, a book on programming the PIC microcontroller... I don't even know where to start!<p>Thanks for your time guys.

ddeetz
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by ddeetz » Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:09 pm

I have been at this since 1959. Best motivator that I know of is picking a project that does something that you need or want it to do. My first realy big one was a radio transceiver. It has been up hill ever since and worth every sec. Set a gold and go after it. I learned early on that one could make money at this, and that is a heck of an insentive. Not much help am I.

Mike
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by Mike » Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:46 pm

well, I'm a freshmen in high school.<p>I enjoy working on PCs and building amplifiers.<p>You can (if the server is cooporating with me) see my projects at http://www.elctronetonline.tk<p>amps are always fun and easy to build!<p>[ November 27, 2004: Message edited by: Mike ]</p>

Mike6158
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by Mike6158 » Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:29 pm

Christmas is coming. Do something simple. Make some LED's blink. Get real creative and make an LED moving sign (do a Google search and you'll get quite a few hits.)<p>I've been learning quite a bit by building circuits in Cadsoft Eagle. It's free and so are the circuits until I build one. Mostly I've learned about the Eagle software but some about circuitry and layout.<p>If you want to build a cheap robot (I'm waiting for parts as we speak) checkout this site: Insectronics I can tell you that this bot is pretty simple to build. The boards are etched, the programs are compiled, and the bot is built. I'm just waiting on electronic parts.<p>The web is full of places that will give you ideas for circuits and projects. Be warned... It's addictive.
"If the nucleus of a sodium atom were the size of a golf ball, the outermost electrons would lie 2 miles away. Atoms, like galaxies, are cathedrals of cavernous space. Matter is energy."

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jwax
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by jwax » Sun Nov 28, 2004 6:11 am

flawlssdistortn- Sounds like some amps I've built!
Get a practical degree in reverse engineering first! That is, take apart and figure out how everything you get your hands on is supposed to work, why it doesn't, and how you could fix it/and or make it better. In todays disposable society, every trashday has streets full of TV's, VCR's, games, etc. Same with dollar stores. Take everything apart! The putting it together part comes with time and knowledge.
AND of course, hang out on this forum! Welcome!
:D
John

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Chris Smith
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by Chris Smith » Sun Nov 28, 2004 10:55 am

Forrest Mimms, keeps it simple, build the pieces one at a time, add them together to make something worth while later, if you can get the pieces to work. Take baby steps, one at a time.

flawlssdistortn
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by flawlssdistortn » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:11 am

Thanks for the response everyone!! So I take it the general opinion is to start with something simple and practical? What do you guys think about a temperature sensor for my computer with an LCD readout? I am aware that there are certain methods of temperature sensing involving the use of thermistors. I read however that they are only suited for certain temp ranges. I would like to make it as precise as possible.

Mike
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Re: Advice for a Beginner in Electronics

Post by Mike » Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:11 pm

That would be a tough first project, probably involving microcontrollers.<p>If you really want something simple but very good for a first project, check out the amps on my website at http://www.electronetonline.tk<p>The LM1875 20W amp would be a great project to build!

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