I need a study plan

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Yaşar Arabacı, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Yaşar Arabacı

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 11, 2014
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    Hi guys,

    It has been only 1-2 weeks after I started studying electronics. I am following the online textbooks most of the time. I am in book 2, almost half-way through. I have some basic supplies like breadboard and resistors and LED's, couldn't buy other supplies yet because I couldn't get an opportunity to visit an electronics store yet.

    Anyway, my problem is that following only the online book gets boring after a while. I want to do some DIY projects, so that I can apply the concepts I learn from the books. However, I am having trouble coming up with any good project.

    For example, I learnt how different kinds of signal filters work and what they do, however, I don't have any idea what to do with that knowledge.

    One thing that I could think off was audio amplifier. I looked up online for "How to make a audio amplifier". However, the resources I found was like "Connect this cable there, connect that cable here" and they don't teach how that works. Also, they use some integrated circuits that I don't know about.

    I think what I want is that some simple DIY project that also explains how it all works together, but I am yet to come across something like that.

    So, do you guys have any suggestions about what kind of path can I take while I try to learn electronics?
     
  2. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
    7,386
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    One must learn to walk before one learns how to run.

    Do not be offended if I suggest you get one of those 100 in one experimentor kits. They are fairly inexpensive yet give you a complete kit of parts with a set of lessons where you can build something, test it, and move on to the next project. Even the big boys get these, only they are called "development board kits" and the like, but they are still preassembled things with paperwork that shows you haw to use it.

    I bought one myself 10 or so years back, except it was dedicated for micro controllers. All the parts and lessons to make buttons click, LEDs light, pots turn, with a micro in the middle making decisions.

    Building your own boards entails several skills that take a while to develop (if ever) like machining or cutting boards, drilling holes, soldering connections (even harder today with tiny surface mount parts), things you can and should learn, but tough to learn all at once.
     
  3. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
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    I found it very helpful over time, to build many variations of one and the same circuits, for instance LED chasers, microcontroller clocks, and Joule Thief. Each time, I googled various terms connected with it, and learned more, I tried variations on my own, and also learned from that.

    After some years, I made a joule thief without resistor, push button start, one end of the coil just goes into open air. I just had the idea, after bulding these circuits for year, it would work that way (reversing the turns ratio, and usig a ready-made inductor, saving the work to wind two coils/transformer). And after some experimentation, it really worked!

    Maybe, learn transistors properly, really understand how they work, build a transistor tester yourself, hook up some analog meters and potentiometers, use a ZIF socket, and try out various transistors.

    It isnt wrong to use ICs you dont fully understand you just need to be able to use the datasheet properly, no need to master all details of the internal circuit. Its timesaving, it was engineered before, and you can use it for a purpose.
     
  4. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
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    I do mostly Manhattan style now- parts soldered with the copper side up. Its faster, especially to make changes, and I can reuse parts too, remove them quickly. Even most SMDs can be mounted between proto PCB raster points down to 0805. ICs via small adapter PCB.

    These experimentation kits are very basic, and dont include many parts, even if nowadays, component kits are cheap, even the small 250pcs 400pcs kits will include a lot of parts. Nowadays, its mostly about controllers, TFT displays (or LCD), and various sensors, as well touch pads, rotary encoders and stuff like that, together with switching regulators.

    these old fashion experimentation kits dont cover that at all, while for absolute beginners, they can be useful of course.
     
  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    I don't think the course is intended to be entertaining. If you want that, try YouTube. If you can't think of anything you want to do, just try building some of the circuits you have learned "all about."

    Or, get a copy of the laboratory book that follows the Horowitz and Hill textbook, Art of Electronics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Electronics ). There are hundreds of things to do in it. If you are still bored, maybe electronics is not your field.

    John
     
  6. Yaşar Arabacı

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 11, 2014
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    0
    I didn't mean to imply that course is boring, but rather my style of studying (that is, reading the text for hours without doing anything else) can get boring after a while.

    I have actually borrowed a copy of that book from my university's library, but it look more like a reference material than learning material so it is sitting idle at the moment. I wasn't aware that there was a laboratory book, I will try to find it in the library too.

    Today I also bought myself some capacitors, diodes, variable resistors and LM386 amplifier. I will play around with them today.
     
  7. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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  8. BobTPH

    Active Member

    Jun 5, 2013
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    Another option is to use a simulator. LTSPICE is a very good free simulator. You can draw a circuit and simulate it getting oscilloscope like outputs to see how the circuit works. It even comes with some tutorial circuits that you can just open and explore.

    Once you have a circuit "built", you can instantly change values of capacitors and resistors, or even change to a different transistor, and see the effect of it.

    I pretty much use LTSPICE before building any analog circuit more complicated than an LED with a current limiting resistor.

    If you get it installed, I can give you a circuit for an audio amplifier for you to experiment with.

    Bob
     
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