Feeling stupid 32 and reading the chapter 1

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Nostradomus, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. Nostradomus

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 23, 2015
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    Not sure if anyone is in the same boat as me but i am constantly reminded of the things i want to do but haven't. I went to work right out of high school building and remodeling houses and have made a descent living at least enough to support myself which has to be a positive aspect of my life. My mother passed away last year and since then i have been hell bent on pursuing the things i always planned on but haven't yet. I have always been into technology, computers, electronics, and so forth and if i had the money to go to college i would have gone down the path of engineering with emphasis on electrical engineering, but i didn't and haven't. I find myself starting now at 32 years old reading chapter one of the electronics text books available on this site and wondering if there other people out there like me. I am not really stupid actually i have been told many times that i am very bright and scored very high multiple times on professionally given I.Q. tests. Yet here i am starting at the beginning wondering and worth some self doubt if i will ever be able to read, learn, and put together enough dots to make a descent understanding and knowledge enough to make some cool things/prototypes that i have always had the idea of designing not to make a min dollars but for my own enjoyment and self esteem. I guess it would help to know if there are others out there like me and they say there's strength in numbers so if there are some of you or me's out there i think it would help me to have others to learn from or together and maybe network with similar minded people. Please if you are reading this no matter where you are on the experience timeline or education background or what ever i would love to talk chat email worth anyone willing to, my people in my circle are tired of hearing about electrical currents, flows, static or dynamic and definitely don't help me learn or help me continue down the path i so desperately what to go down. Thank you for anyone and everyone who took the time to read this and big time thank you to anyone in advance that can help me with this over whelming task as it seems to be right now.
     
  2. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    Welcome to AAC!

    When I started studying electronics, it was a bit overwhelming. I spent a lot of hours studying, while working almost full time to pay for college and being head of household for my younger siblings. It's going to take a lot of work to become competent.
     
  3. sailorjoe

    Member

    Jun 4, 2013
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    Nostradamus, none of us who understand electronics were born that way. And even after years of study and work, we can't know all of it, so we have to keep learning. People learn in different ways. You'll want to find the way that well for you for this type of information. in college, we had some students who were great at the theory, but not worth a nickel in the lab. Others were great in the lab, but struggled with the theory and the math. You have to ask yourself a few questions and give yourself honest answers. What is your goal, to be a hobbyist or a professional electronics engineer? It makes a difference in the effort you'll need or want to make. How are you at abstract thinking? You can imagine a remodeled home (respect to you), but can you imagine things that aren't real, like imaginary numbers, and the infinitesimals of calculus? Do you like to learn by studying text books, or videos, or classes? You're lucky to live in a time when virtually all information is available on line in one form or another. Even MIT has its classes available on line, for free!

    No one learned all they know about electronics in a single book. Take it one step at a time. If you want to learn it, you will.

    On this forum, I've noticed that people are more than willing to help IF they believe you're doing your part. Working hard, asking specific questions instead of asking others to do your work, taking all advice graciously, and following a reasonable line of thinking. There's even a dedicated space for Homework help on the forums.

    Hey, it's a journey. If you decide you don't like the scenery (learning electronics) then go somewhere else and try that instead, like web programming.
     
  4. donavan22

    New Member

    Dec 23, 2015
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  5. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    It might help to think about and clarify your goals. A hobbyist learns on an as-needed basis, and acquires the knowledge and skills to get the job done, or to satisfy a curiosity. A professional starts with a broad view of a field and learns the theoretical underpinnings, and only later gets into the details of a task at hand. It sounds like you are more of a hobbyist?

    If you have specific projects in mind, this is a good place to get ideas on how to proceed. Strategies and tactics. If you'd feel better getting some basics first, consider taking a class. If nothing else, it can be great way to meet people. As you have discovered, most people cannot talk about electronics.
     
  6. donavan22

    New Member

    Dec 23, 2015
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    I am an old timer at electronics. I started out early as a ham radio novice which means I had to study basic electronics and radio theory and then I took a FCC test and wow I passed. Then from there, I took electronics at several levels: in high school, Navy and then correspondence as a civilian. Since my first job out of the Navy was a field service engineer, I traveled a lot. I am saying all this to say no matter how you learn it you have to really apply yourself. What ever situation you find yourself in life you just make the best of it. I was fortunate to stay away from the things that could have caused me to waste my life. You might say the love of electronics, ham radio and now computers has really always kept me learning. You will find your niche in the technical world. Find out what you like an stick with it. Since hardware and software are tightly together these days, find out what you like best. Do you like just the hardware or the software or both. Both technicians and engineers need a great deal of knowledge of both. Like the others or saying you can learn all this online for free. Getting an online education with a degree is important also. From what you have stated in your Post, you are eager to learn but feel the subject matter is over whelming you. We are here to help you and cheer you on to success! Keep going my friend.
     
  7. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    You are not at all alone. There is plenty of info out there for free. That should give you an idea of how many there are on the same path as you. Schools are great but not necessary depending on your goals. Just take it one question at a time and build knowledge step by step.
     
  8. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    It's possible if you have the time to devote. I'm completely self taught mainly because I just couldn't learn the way schools taught. I dropped out of high school in the 11th grade, joined the Navy and turned down AT A school. I wanted to be an AT (Aviation Electronics Tech) but knew I wouldn't do well in the school. I hit the books and 3 years later I was a 3rd class petty officer (E4). Almost unheard of accomplishment without going through the Navy schools.

    After the Navy, I managed to pass the FCC operators 1st class license test and worked my way up from a two-way radio service tech to a Motorola COSC manager. When Motorola sold off all of the company owned service centers I started my own business developing and selling photo systems for the amusement industry. I learned C++ and the Windows API, my electronics background rounded out my ability to write the software and develop the interface electronics for several products from Thrill Ride Photos to Photo booths.

    Before the internet I read and studied from books and on-line in Compuserve forums, after I discovered the Internet I used the search engines when I would run into something I was stuck on, be it software or electronics. The trick is to study the available info on what you need to do then if you get stuck ask specific questions outlining what you have tried. Provide as much info as you can to help those that know understand the question and provide an answer.

    Now I'm retired but still dabble in software and electronics. Being self taught has left allot of holes in my knowledge base but for a guy with an 11th grade formal education I'm pretty satisfied with my accomplishments.

    Study the available material, never give up and ask if you get stuck. Not easy but can be done..
     
  9. bwilliams60

    Active Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Nostradomus, like you I took a very different path inlife and strayed away from electronics which was my real passion in high school. I am now 55 years old and pursuing this with a vengeance and things are starting to make sense so you need to be patient and READ, READ, READ and ask lots of questions. This forum with all it's members and books are a great resource but there are many more on the Internet. One that I founds really helpful was:
    http://www.talkingelectronics.com/te_interactive_index.html

    Good luck and don't give up. Repetition is a good teacher. You will get it.

    Happy holidays
     
  10. sjgallagher2

    Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    111
    7
    Nostradmus,
    I've been studying electronics since I was a freshman in high school, four years ago. I'm in college now, and through my years I've worked with engineers, read endless amounts of books, built many projects, and filled notebook after notebook. But I still ask questions every day that remind me how novice I am when it comes to electronics! It takes time, effort, passion. But really, electronics is just what I do. I don't feel any obligation, it's just part of my life. In this way I keep moving through all the times I doubt and feel overwhelmed by how much there is left. Theres never anything left to learn, only things to do next!
    Anyway, I'm self taught so I guess I can offer some advice. Start with simple books, learn a lot about all the different kinds of components. When you start with circuits, make sure you understand concepts- first how voltage and current actually work in a circuit context, without numbers, and move from there. Voltage dividers are perhaps the most useful circuit to study and understand. Look at their loading and how they behave with given values of resistors to be able to design them on the fly. Having a teacher is an invaluable resource as well. I learned more working with engineers than any book could have taught me, but getting to them was very tough. It's hard to become someones student.
    Finally, build lots of projects. Learn to plan them out, get all the details sorted, and finally execute them. Invest in many parts and tools that people recommend. Ebay will be huge here, as well as all the different places to buy electronics components like mouser, digikey, etc.
    If you keep asking questions, and keep "bothering" people to give you better answers, you'll keep learning. But it's not easy. A site like this people tend to give answers that require further research and questioning- go ahead. Good luck dude, and happy holidays!
    Sam Gallagher
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I did the same thing with music. I was so busy studying electronics and general science that I played a guitar for 27 years and never played a note somebody else didn't write. I am musically illiterate. Shall I start now? I don't think so. That's why I'm on an electronics site. Behavioral truth observes that I would rather read a schematic than to read those dots and flags. If you really want to understand electronics, "Whatever you want to be, you will be, in the end." (Moody Blues)
     
  12. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
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    @#12 Your picture really looks like some one who played guitar in the 70's
     
  13. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I did. I started in about 1966 and was enjoying time playing in a garage band by 1975. Only got on stage in front of an audience once in my life. It was terrifying! I was all fumbles and scants. Couldn't get my loudness adjusted right, thanking Dog I didn't have a singing part because I didn't have enough skill to do two things at once. :oops:
     
  14. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Nostradomus, just remember that no one was born knowing electronics. If this is something you really want to pursue, then you're very welcome to this site and we'll help you any way we can.
    The one word you should always keep in mind while exploring a new interest is this: perseverance. Do that, and I guarantee you'll be going places. It's never too late to start learning something new.
     
  15. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    I started playing in a band with some guys not long after getting out of college. Our first public gig was an outdoor party of an acquaintance, unpaid of course. That was fine because we knew we wanted some "real" practice time before demanding money.

    Anyway, we ended our first set and as I turned around from putting down my guitar, a girl ran up from the audience and gave me a big kiss. The word "stunned" barely describes my response.

    All those hours of practice vindicated in a single second.

    If I don't get another chance, Merry Christmas everybody. :D
     
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  16. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    I've been playing the guitar since I was six... and that experience never happened to me :(
    I do have to admit, however, that my guitar playing attracted my first serious relationship....
     
  17. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Hope that your last (current) serious does not find out about. Just in case. . .

    Feliz Navidad jointly with serious et al.
     
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  18. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    I've only been in two relationships in my entire life... I married the second one, and it remains happily so.
    Feliz Natividad to you too!
     
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  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Pretty much, "ditto", except I didn't start playing a musical instrument until I was about 15.:(

    ps, Merry Christmas...in about 4 hours. The time of the gathering is decided. I think the victim will be a ham.
     
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  20. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    Persistence across time will fix this. If you REALLY want to know electronics, you will start noticing that you are chronically finding time to study it.;)
     
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