Seeking advice for curriculum for self teaching and just self teaching in general.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Hartknocks, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    Hello to everyone who may read this,


    I am seeking advice on what type of curriculum to follow on learning on my own and organizing a schedule. I've found many resources to follow, i.e all the intro to electronics guides and khan academy for math/physics etc. There's plenty of resources out there no doubt, but that's where it gets overwhelming trying to decide an approach on my own.

    A little background to support my following question. My reasons for wanting to go the self teaching route besides financial reasons is mainly my local colleges are more catered to learning electronics it seems to get you ready for jobs working at places like "http://aisinillinois.com/" or other various places like that, which I am not saying that it is a bad thing or not a well paying job, but it's not quite what I am going for. I am wanting to learn on a path more related to synthesis and to have the ability to build, maintain, repair, and just have an understanding of synthesis related electronics as I have a musical background as well and the skills would compliment literally everything I am around everyday, ( I am literally surrounded by a "battle station" of computers, synthesizers and electronic gear but I don't know how to work the insides!) advancing to different areas of electronics after that is up to fate I suppose granted I reach these goals first. Sort of what you'd do in a course like this: http://www.berklee.edu/courses/ep-391

    With that being said, I have been following the courses on here, and have been practicing some math (albeit just some algebra because I have not done math since high school) I know you need calculus and physics knowledge which I have basic understanding of some physics. As I was doing these I just thought, "I hope I am approaching this the right way." because missing out on the social and lecture aspect of learning in a class room where it's organized and not as distracting as being at home is just as challenging as the actual material itself at least in my case.

    I am wanting to break it in to a few hour chunks of learning a day to not overwhelm myself as a college course would do, but I am just not to sure besides reading the electronics courses what else I should learn in parallel to this, like doing electronics, then some math, or physics that would be the most ideal for learning at the same time.

    I am not looking for someone to make me a curriculum, just some advice on an approach to this as I am pretty much attempting this with no other source for guidance beyond internet forums/courses. I may attempt a college setting at a later date after I learn some on my own, granted my financial situation permits and I find the right place, but as of now, this is the approach I am taking. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Best regards,
    Jonathan
     
  2. Brevor

    Active Member

    Apr 9, 2011
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    I took the university route several years ago, and after graduation went into the electronic music business back in the 1970's and 80's. In your case I would suggust you start with online tutorials and see how far you can go with that. I think the most important part is learning the basics such as Ohms law, how basic electronic components behave and DC and AC circuit operation. In electronics you need to completly understand the underlying basics to understand how the larger circuit operates. If you get as far as you can go with online resources the next step you can try are home study courses. They are relativly inexpensive and if you are not interested in obtaining a degree or certificate you can stop at the point where you feel you have enough knowledge to do the type work you want to do. In your case you are interested in electronic music, you would want to study DC and AC circuits, semiconductors, amplifiers and most likely some digital. You would not need to learn things like radio, television or high power industrial electronics.
     
  3. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Literally or figuratively? Welcome to an engineering website.
    And I am crazy too.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    Thanks for the response, yeah that's what I plan on doing. I am doing the courses on here, I am going to purchase some beginner DIY devices and got the idea to make a "doorbell" that would play whatever after I learn a bit about it. Are you referring to home study courses like this one? http://www.ashworthcollege.edu/career-diplomas/basic-electronics/objectives
     
  5. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    Well there's a computer in front of me, a mixer, microbrute and studio monitors and another computer to my right, and 3 synths behind me to my left is my escape route, so I guess not literally surrounded, but 3/4s :)
     
  6. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    Understood, but it was not a battle station, unless something else is music to your ears.
     
  7. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    There's plenty of battles that go on in it, if you consider mental, emotional, virtual, verbal and the likes.
     
  8. studiot

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    Getting back to the question in hand

    By synthesis, do you mean audio frequency engineering, including the electromechanical bits?
     
  9. Hartknocks

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    Nov 16, 2014
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    Well, maybe? I am not familiar with that. Right now it's more "I listen to a lot of electronic music, own a lot of electronic devices, have soldering experience, enjoy physics, I should probably do something with this." Type thing. Currently I think it would be fun to just make some cool devices while learning the details of electronics.
     
  10. studiot

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    If you enjoy physics you must already have covered some very basic stuff.

    Beyond that you need to narrow it down some as electronics is a highly applied science.

    Electronic control of high power polyphase industrial motors?

    Radar Engineering?

    Telecommunications electronics?

    Industrial plant process control?

    Whatever floats your boat?

    This is why I asked about audio frequency which is about audio amplifiers, loudspeakers, signal processing and all the instrumentation to go with this stuff including synthersisers.
     
  11. studiot

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  12. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    I see you're an E-book developer, are you plugging your own book? :D Right now my interests seems like it would fall into that category of audio frequency engineering and amps and speakers and all that. How much different would that book be than the courses on this website? Besides the fact I could take that along with me where ever I go if I don't have a a computer?
     
  13. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    'Plugging?' Look in the header of this page. The site has an ebook that the members have written to answer all of the basics for you.
     
  14. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    The internet is FULL of information..
    Search for something you like.. and learn/build the project or whatever.. then search again and repeat.

    But some learn by hands on.. some learn by just reading on their own... and some need to be "schooled" to learn.
    Personally there is nothing in the world I can't do or figure out how to do using just google ;)
     
  15. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    I know this, but when it comes to learning something new on your own it's a little more complicated when all you're doing is reading information and not sure how to apply it. I'm a mix of hands on and schooling, which is why I am going to be purchasing some DIY projects. If I can see how it works, that's a plus, if I can ask why that works and get a solid explanation with visuals that's even better, if all I do is read and read and read or someones just talking with no visuals there's where I run into problems. There's a lot of shitty information out there as well and sifting through it when you don't know what's shitty or not can be stressful, which is why forums are helpful, except for the fact it's a bit different than being in the classroom and being able to ask the teacher and get an immediate response instead of waiting hours if not days or not getting help at all sometimes. I'll figure it out, it's just getting off the ground requires some force.
     
  16. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
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    My 0.02... It depends on what you plan on doing with your knowledge.

    If you plan on just doing things around your house or studio, that's great! Audio is a very fun field to experiment with... there is plenty to do and learn. Any book will cover the basics from ohms law to transistor operation. There are several books out there on power amplifiers. I'd suggest starting there once you get the basics down and build an amplifier or two. There is a lot you can do with $50 worth of parts, cheap power supply, an old speaker out of something, and a harbor freight multimeter.

    If you plan on making a living doing audio electronics that's a whole different ball game. I have never personally met another engineer that has had a successful career doing just audio electronics (maybe AudioGuru is an exception?)... not to say those jobs aren't out there... but I just want to let you know that's been my experience. Audio electronics is very well understood, and the designs really haven't changed much in the last 50 years. All audio amplifiers try to be power op-amps with high linearity from 20Hz to 20kHz - end of story. I'm sure there are exceptions. The good thing about this field is that I believe you would be freely accepted without a degree from a accredited college. Most other fields won't even let you in the door without a bachelors in electrical engineering (and a good GPA) these days. Many won't let you in the door without a PE either. In the audio world (as with any field, really) - if you are good at what you do and can sell yourself, you can make a decent living. It helps to have good ears and soul too...

    Good luck!
     
  17. tindel

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2012
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    Oh - and don't expect to learn everything is a few weeks... I've been working in electronics for the last 7 years (14 if you count all of my formal education too)... I've never stopped learning... and there is ALWAYS something new to learn, or a different way to look at the same thing. It really is a rewarding hobby and career. I apply physics daily to make things happen. Not many people can say that.
     
  18. studiot

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    Nov 9, 2007
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    Someone suggests a book that could cost you only one penny and you quibble, though I am flattered that anyone thinks I could produce a book of that calibre

    My honest opinion? You will be wasting you money on DIY kits as learning aids.
    Such kits are useful if you want the gadget itself more cheaply.
     
  19. Hartknocks

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 16, 2014
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    Who knows where it will take me, I don't expect to learn it all in weeks. I just think it will be a good start since it's related to other interests. I've dabbled in programming before, and have a slight interest in AI as well, but currently nothing past basic curiosity and layman knowledge. Audio stuff would probably be a fun hobby, considering it's pretty set in stone but once I learn basics I am not opposed to progressing past that. Thanks for your 0.02.
     
  20. Hartknocks

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    Nov 16, 2014
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    How is DIY as learning aids a waste? What else would I do?
     
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