Just learning

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Dr.killjoy, May 16, 2013.

  1. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    I am going to order the book Make Electronics: Learn by Discovery by Charles Platt and I am starting to relearn everything I forgot and have not played with in years ... I already have a bread board with wires and alot more ... But I was going to pick up up a couple 555 timer chips off ebay and is there anything else I should get ??? Oh by the way I am not going to buy the already built kits for those ridiculous prices when I can buy it for alot less on ebay ???
  2. Ωhm

    New Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    It sounds like you already have a book so I would start with components used in the circuits in the book first and then expand your collection. It is really easy to go overboard and buy a bunch of stuff you won't end up using.

    Another book that I can highly recommend is Getting Started in Electronics by Forest Mimms. It has wonderful explanations, illustrations and excellent circuit examples that make use of the components I list below. At this stage in the game, the important thing is variety of components, not quantity.

    One other thing I'll stress is if you are in this to learn electronics then try to avoid microcontrollers, at least initially because while they make prototyping and minimizing discrete part count easy they are lousy for teaching electronics. If you are into learning programming then by all means, go for it but you will not learn electronics fundamentals from building everything off a microcontroller.

    Passive components (resistors, capacitors and to a less extent inductors) are going to get used like toilet paper so it won't hurt to get an E12 series of each. They are cheap too, especially from the Asian suppliers (I can provide a long list of options if you are interested). For capacitors, you'll need some electrolytics, some mylar and some ceramic disc caps. and some Don't forget to get an assortment of potentiometers. The ones that plug right into the breadboard are convenient but sometimes you want the ones you can hold in your hand to adjust.

    You'll want some op amps, like 741 etc, a few different types of hall effect sensors, some neodymium magnets are great as well.

    For transistors, some small signal NPN/PNP BJTs and n-channel/p-channel FETs. You will also want some power transistors of both varieties as well. I highly recommend logic level MOSFETs, especially if you are working with microcontrollers as driving them becomes easier.

    A small assortment of switches and relays is good.

    Some small signal diodes are going to be helpful, zener, schottky etc. as well as a few rectifier diodes.

    For transducers it is helpful to have a mix of LEDs, piezos, a small 8 ohm speaker, small brushed motors, small incandescent light with base, maybe a servo and stepper motor, a buzzer, solenoid and array of sensors such as light dependent resistors, thermistors etc.

    For logic, you could go crazy with gates but NAND gates are universal so you can make everything else out of them so if you had to limit yourself to one, it would be these.

    A breadboard is very useful as will be a multimeter and oscilloscope. Don't forget lots of jumper wire, magnet wire etc. 22 gauge solid wire is best for breadboarding but you will want some stranded as well. Hope this helps...
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
    JasonL likes this.
  3. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    There are a few threads on this site about what to buy. You can look them up. I would suggest an electronics vendor like mouser, jameco, digikey, etc. That's where you will find resistors for 7 cents and capacitors for 9 cents. I suspect that's better than ebay and the selection available is mind boggling.
  4. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    Thanks for the info and I will have to buy some stuff from mouser and never had any problems with mouser either when I did buy stuff...

    Here's My equipment
    Bk precision scope 20mhz analog ( I bought really cheap but had to repair it and now it works great but getting a little back feed but will fix later )
    Fluke 77 series II
    Mastek 30v power supply
  5. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    If you want a selection parts cheaply, buy some bundle sets like this...
    Set of 86 resistor values, 10 each (860 total) for $12.50 and free shipping.
    Search "capacitor kit" to find similar (but more expensive) cap sets.
  6. Shagas

    Active Member

    May 13, 2013
    When I was starting ou t I bought a resistor bundle of 10ohm - 1M of 680 pieces in the set for less than 8 quid .
    Also a ceramic capacitor set of 10pico - 220nano for cheap
  7. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    I am starting to put the kits for the projects and found I need a bunch of resistors but was thinking about buying a resistor kit from ebay but I am not sure whether to buy the 64 value metal film at 1% tolerance or to buy the 86 value carbon film resistors at 5%tolerance or just stick with mouser ???? Also I know I am going to have to put resistor together in order to make the right ohm rating...
  8. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    No. We usually don't have to do this. With the 86 value 5% set you get resistors to cover the whole range that you are most likely to encounter and 5% variation you will hardly notice for most circuit applications.
  9. Dr.killjoy

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2013
    Well i picked this up for a really good price and will help me out with a couple projects builds too..

    145 Values Total 1450pcs 10pcs Each 1% 1/4W Metal Film Resistor Assorted Kit

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271149613814?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649ted Kit
  10. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Good for you! Now start building.
  11. Rbeckett


    Sep 3, 2010
    Tons of basic components are available in combos and selections just about everywhere. Start with a good solid core of basic resistor, caps, pots, and led's. Then graduate to the more complx items like 555's 741's and basic single use chips. Then after a bit of tinkering choose a family of logic chips like the CMOS 4000 series, or the 75XXX series and build your inventory from there. Eventually you will get to UC's and you will need to select a language, and how powerfull you need the controller to be. I use Flash programmable controllers because they can be reprogrammed simply and reused many many times. This is potentially a life long hobby, so do not go too overboard initially, you will have plenty of time and lots of opportunities to add to your stock as you progress in your ability and studies. Ultimately you will arrive at some point where you have all the components you need or want and can build just about anything you desire. Try to remember to have a bunch of fun along the way though.

    Wheelchair Bob