Calling All Electronics Newbies...

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Spackler, Apr 12, 2016.

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  1. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Hi everybody! I'm new here and am curios: how many people here are relatively new (2 years or less) to electronics?
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    You are not going to get an accurate answer from the newbies.
    Considering that AAC membership is over 300,000 and there are much fewer than 3000 regular members
    then I would guesstimate that the percentage of newbies run at about 99%.
     
  3. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Newbies ask questions, they don't read other people's posts with hopes of answering anything. See, what post did you read before asking this question? Oops, answer was already there...
    upload_2016-4-12_15-9-17.png
     
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  4. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Thanks so much for your not-so-subtle sarcasm @GopherT, very helpful. Let me explain why I'm asking...

    I'm thinking of creating a resource to help people get started in electronics and I'm looking for a few brave volunteers to answer 4 questions so I can provide the most value. I'm looking for those who are relatively new to electronics (say 2 years or less) to answer the following below. Even if you're not a newbie, thinking of the time when you were and answering these questions in that context would be helpful.

    1) When it comes to learning about electronics, if you could wave a magic wand and have any result today, what would that be?
    2) Why is reaching that result so important to you? What will it change?
    3) What are your top three questions about reaching that result?
    4) What roadblocks do you need to overcome to reach that result?

    Thanks ahead to any takers!
     
  5. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Seems like creating a course on electronics for beginners would qualify as answering at least a few questions people might have...
     
  6. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    You need to explain what you mean by "any result". I doubt you can help them win the powerball or score with supermodels.
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    During my long career I have worn many hats in the different realms of electricity and electronics, and enjoyed learning often in the Experiential learning process, which is the process of learning through experience, If I wished a different course, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to just switch, so no, I don't have the desire to conjure up any other outcome really.
    So it wasn't so much about the destination as the journey!;)

    Elements of Experiential Learning
    → Concrete Experience ↓
    ↑ Active Experimentation Reflective Observation
    ↑ Abstract Conceptualization ←

    Max.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  8. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Well, this forum and the thread are about electronics, so the "result" should hopefully have something to do with learning about electronics (reading schematics, circuit design, using microcontrollers, setting up a work bench etc could all be valid results). If someone knows of a way to use electronics to win the lottery or pick up a super model, please let me know. ;)
     
  9. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    The first thing I would do, is to learn to express a concept clearly with a sentence.

    I still don't know what your talking about.

    There is an un defined term in each question.

    A "result" needs some kind of context. Is English your first language?
     
  10. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    If that's true then love to have even 1% of the newbies answer:) Maybe I should change my question a bit and ask the non-noobs to think back to when they were new and answer in that context.
     
  11. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Yeah English is my first language. I replied to @wayneh earlier in an effort to clarify what I meant but the post seems to have gone AWOL.

    A definition of "result" I found online reads: a consequence, effect, or outcome of something. I'm not sure why some folks aren't understanding this, but I'll pretend I'm a newbie and answer the questions as an example.

    1) When it comes to learning about electronics, if you could wave a magic wand and have any result today, what would that be?
    I'd like to know basic/intermediate electronics theory so I can design and build my own projects (this would be the "result")
    2) Why is reaching that result so important to you? What will it change?
    I've always had an innate interest in electronics. It would be more fulfilling for me, plus I'd like to be able to build my own alarm system and make a digital clock out of discrete transistors because it would be cool
    3) What are your top three questions about reaching that result?
    What do I need to get started in electronics? What are the basics I'll need to know to design and build stuff? How do I read schematics?
    4) What roadblocks do you need to overcome to reach that result?
    I'm new, so don't have a lot of background in the subject nor have I taken any formal classes on it. There's so much information ranging from color code to Arduino to PICs to impedance that I simply don't know where to start and because I'm overwhelmed I'm afraid to start.

    I hope that clarifies it for everyone, sorry for the confusion ;)
     
  12. Spackler

    Thread Starter New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    Oh, there's no need to be condescending BTW ;)
     
  13. AverageJoe

    New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
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    These questions are a bit vague, but I can give you some responses based on my interpretation of what you're asking. I have very basic experience with electronics from many years ago, and have been developing computer software since.

    Recently, I bought a Raspberry Pi (then some electronic components, then some tools and supplies, etc, etc), and now I'm building simple circuits to connect to the RPi via the GPIO. I've been using books and the internet to fill in the gaps and learn more about how to build circuits that I can safely connect to the RPi without frying it.

    I've been playing with PWM for RGB LED strip control, and working on a missing pulse detector using a 555 to interface with the RPi and a garage door sensor. The more research I do on these projects, the more I realize that I knew far less than I'd hoped.

    So, with that background in mind, here are some responses.

    1) A complete understanding of circuit design, analysis, and construction, including the underlying math and theory.

    2) With such an understanding, I could read and understand circuit schematics at a glance and be able to build circuits reliably and safely. By understanding the fundamentals of electronics, I could easily construct or modify circuits to perform the functions that I desired. It would certainly change the way I currently approach new circuit research and design, given that there seem to be at least a dozen different ways to build any given circuit, with varying levels of effectiveness and each with its own set of pros and cons.

    3) What, how, and Why.

    4) Two main roadblocks for me, personally. The first is the terminology - much of the information I've found online assumes some level of understanding that I sometimes do and sometimes don't have. Sometimes it's simply a handful of abbreviations that I need to look up, while other times its a bunch of electronics slang that may or may not make sense in the context in which I find it. The second is that often these sources of information are incomplete, and assume that the reader knows what circuitry belongs around the circuit being discussed. I've seen many discussion threads that start with a simple schematic, then complaints that it either didn't work when it was constructed, or blew up somehow. This is usually followed by the revelation that it wasn't a *complete* circuit, just the bits that mattered. Fine if you're experienced, not so great if you're still in the learning phase.

    Hopefully that will help you somehow, although as I said, the questions are a bit vague.
     
  14. Willen

    Member

    Nov 13, 2015
    138
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    Hi, I am not a 2 years newbie as you said and also not well experienced too. It has been almost upto 6 years I am being with electronics but I am not an academic learner. I am a hobbyist and learning almost everything from internet.

    Answer of your all questions is 'I had bought a beginner electronics book and from that I learned all basic things needed to start electronics.'
     
  15. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    I thought you were being condescending, @BR-549...
    ...until I read this...

    Then I laughed.

    ... Then I read,
    Then I wasn't sure I should continue laughing or ask the school district to return his parent's tax dollars.

    "I've always had an innate interest in electronics"? Does he have some other recently acquired innate interests?
     
  16. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Bureaucratic, or educational, or recruitment mush. Which is it?

    I have never asked myself those questions when I wanted to learn something.

    How would a newbie to any subject, know what to ask or what is pertinent?

    Is that how they do it now? Let the student determine the course?

    Fundamental principles in the proper sequence. No way around it.

    Electronics is not a liberal art.

    I'm not trying to be condescending, but I'm not impressed with the present education system performance.
     
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  17. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    "Sir, since you are just starting out, could you please tell me how much you don't know?"

    Also, I was told I could find the meaning of this conversation by turning left about a mile before I get to the last stop sign.
     
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  18. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
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    It seems that a lot of the newbies think they can acquire a "satisfying" level of electronic understanding by surfing the internet, and hanging out at forums like this one. That doesn't work. It is no fun stumbling through electronics and banging into things because you have gaping holes in your fundamentals. If you want to start to learn about electronics, take some kind of organized class in basic electronics; on-line or brick and mortar, something with goals. Right now you don't have a clue, and that's cool, because we all started where you are at.
     
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  19. AverageJoe

    New Member

    Apr 12, 2016
    8
    1
    I think it depends on the temperament of the learner. There is an astounding amount of information out there, but you have to *want* to find it. I have found and purchased some great books on basic electronics (the "Make:" books are really nice, for example), found some top-notch instructional videos on YouTube and especially iTunes U, and actually enjoy reading through forums such as this one.

    If someone is the kind of learner that just wants to sit back and be "fed" information, then you're spot-on that an academic environment is in order. But if someone is willing to do the work, read entire threads and multiple articles from various websites, and gather, evaluate, and assimilate information from wherever one can find it, I think there's plenty of ways to learn and be successful at this.

    Especially when you finally get around to actually building these circuits and see them in action (or not, and then figure out why). I just recently learned that a 555 timer IC can get hot enough to burn human skin and then still work fine once it's cooled back down! :)
     
  20. Willen

    Member

    Nov 13, 2015
    138
    12
    Haha exactly! I learned many simple to few complex things till now myself using internet but sometime I cannot figure how transistors work in real. :)

    But in my case, internet is only one possible way to learn electronics.
     
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