Understanding Where to Learn

Discussion in 'Programmer's Corner' started by ~JayK~, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. ~JayK~

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    Hello,

    I am keen to learn the world of basic electronics / programming (don't want to run before I can walk).

    Unfortunately, I do not wish to follow the college / degree route - as I simply wish to persue this as a hobby, then possibly move onto more challenging projects when my knowledge grows.

    Could you offer someone like myself any info on where to look for sound advice etc - with a view of building my very limited knowledge of programming.

    Many thanks for your time here.

    Jay
     
  2. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    A good free online reference for basic electronics is the ebook at www.allaboutcircuits.com.

    As for programming, one way to learn programming is to choose a microcontroller to learn and buy a development kit for that microcontroller and use it to learn how to program.

    hgmjr
     
  3. ~JayK~

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    0

    Hello hgmjr

    Thanks for the reply here - truly appreciated!

    With refernce to the programming info you have passed over - could I ask what would be a good area to start - (controller etc) and what is a development kit?

    Many thanks for your time here.

    Jay
     
  4. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    You may want to take a look at PIC microcontrollers by Microchip (www.microchip.com) and AVR microcontrollers by ATMEL (www.atmel.com).

    These are two of the most popular microcontrollers currently on the market.

    As for a development kit, there are several from which to choose. A lot depends on how much money you have budgeted to spend to get started.

    hgmjr
     
  5. ~JayK~

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    0
    Hi

    I am trying to make a lighting project using LEDs, which I can turn on and off in phased periods.
    There will be different colours, that I would like to control indipendantly - with a possible LED or touch screen display as the main control panel later on (when my experience is a lot better).

    Where do I start looking for development kits for this type of idea?

    Many thanks

    Jay
     
  6. hgmjr

    Moderator

    Jan 28, 2005
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    I understand that you are starting from no experience.

    I would take a look at this AVR development kit. What I like about this kit is that it has 8 pushbutton switches, 8 LEDs, and a spare RS-232 port for use in development process. It can handle development on all but a small number of the AVR devices.

    This kit together with a 10 to 12 volt power supply will get you the hardware you need to get started.

    The software can be downloaded free. www.atmel.com has AVRSTUDIO4 software development program. www.sourceforge.net has WINAVR C-compiler that is downloadable for free.


    hgmjr
     
  7. ~JayK~

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
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    Thanks hgmjr

    I have been reading the Microsoft book on Visual Basic at the moment - as I am trying to find a way to link a UI touch screen to control a PLC. I want to build a unit that will control lighting / level sensors / temperature etc.

    I know it's a tall statement - but I am keen to learn how to do this as it is for an in house project I have.

    Regds

    Jay
     
  8. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  9. KL7AJ

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 4, 2008
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    I'd start with the ARRL Handbook for the electronics fundamentals. Then get thyself to a Linux machine and start picking apart some of the source code. I know of no better way to learn C++ than to look at some actual working code!

    Eric
     
  10. ~JayK~

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    5
    0

    Thanks for the feedback guys, truly appreciated!

    Jay
     
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