Where to start

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tony8404, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. tony8404

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    98
    0
    Hello to all, I have not been here in quite some time nor have I been keeping up on my electronic learning. I had to take some time to myself to deal with my marriage and alcoholism. This was by far one of the hardest things I have done, not to mention since I have gone through this I feel that I can go back to learning electronics to better myself with a decent career now that I have straighten my life up a bit. I went to a alcoholism specialist and it has been 50 days since i stopped drinking. I was told to keep busy, so i figured getting deep into this was my calling to finally rid the dreaded alcohol.
    I went through my book a bit and went over some stuff from about 2 months ago and remember most of it surprisingly. Now that I have a clear head I would like to ask you guys besides starting with my basic or teach yourself electronics yourself book where would be a good starting place? A few months ago I was told to start with radio but i am not sure what it was exactly called. thanks guys
     
  2. wr8y

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    232
    1
    It never hurts to read all that you can get your hands on.

    A basic understanding of High School Algebra can really be helpful, too.

    My electronics education up to the age of 18 was from ARRL books and electronics magazines. The ARRL Handbook (which seems overwhelming when you first look at it) was a great primer on electronics and radio. But I would have learned more, and faster, with a better math background.

    I took several algebra courses in my early 20's that helped a lot. Now, after 28 years making a living doing component-level electronic repair, I just finished an associates degree in electronics. They made me take Algebra and Trig to the point that the next class would be beginning calculus.

    At the age of 47, I did way better at the math than I thought I would! An 88 in Algebra and a 93 in "PreCalculus" (which would be called College Algebra II 20 years ago).

    The ARRL (arrl.org) and the Radio Society of Great Britan (www.rsgb.org) both have wonderful books for the beginning electronics student. THey are mostly aimed at basic electronics and also teaching radio theory, but you will find many other topics covered.

    The e-book here is highly recommended, too. (I have still not even looked into it, but the testimony of those who show up here says a lot).

    In short, learn basic algebra as part of your journey, it DOES help.

    You can find a LOT of free help by typing "algebra tutorial" or "Beginning algebra" into Google. Same goes for most electronics topics.
     
  3. tony8404

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    98
    0
    thank you for your insight on this... i think your right i need to bring my math up i only had up to geometry in high school. i also took algebra as well.
     
  4. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
    1,146
    16
    WR8Y is correct, math is the primary facet of designing and buiding electronics. Since you only went up to geometry, I would advise you to learn trigonometry and then calculus. Trig comes in when you work with AC waveforms and such, calculus helps out a lot too.
     
  5. wr8y

    Active Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    232
    1
    Thanks, Nerd....

    But from a TECHNICIAN'S perspective, doing what I did - that is, studying right up to calculus (I have done limits and derivatives and that is it as far as calculus goes) has done WONDERS for me when trying to understand (but not design) rf amps, etc.

    I didn't want to overwhelm him with calculus just to "learn electronics".

    (Now, I DID, just today, go see about continuing my math in school this January... but I still think from a Technician's perspective he can go a LONG way with College Algebra and some not-to-intense trig! I know I have made a good living for 28 years even WITHOUT my associate's degree. Just got tired of not understanding polar to rectangular conversions and bipolar rf amp impedance matching.)
     
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    1,584
    435
    A radio shack do It your self project kit that Is solder free
    would put little entertainment in your life while you go the math.
    Easy to build things like radio,door bells and a long list of projects.
    Stop by radio shack and have a free look see If you are up for that.
    Good luck with keeping your mind busy,this Is the place to be for
    a lot of Information general conversation. In off topic you can talk
    about a lot of things to keep busy. Loosewire
     
  7. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    1,585
    141
    I watched my old man kill himself with booze 40 years ago (and a number of friends since then), so it does my heart good to hear that someone got off the sauce. Congratulations.

    A key to getting deep into something is to develop a passion for it. You'll want to learn all you can and hunger for more. Any technical field is good for this. Electronics is good and you'll find lots of knowledgeable folks here to help with any questions you have.

    I encourage you to make use of the local education opportunities. Learning more math could be a good choice, as it's useful in many ways. I look back on my technical career and realize that the single most broadly useful class I took was the basic year and a half calculus class that every engineer/science freshman takes. There were two main reasons for this: a) it's basic for everything that follows and b) you really learn your algebra and trigonometry well because you use them so much in doing the elementary calculus course.
     
  8. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    3,373
    1,159
    Congratulations on your fifty days. One day at a time. For some, like me, one drink is too many and fifty drinks isn't enough. So I keep my imbibing down to less than one.
     
  9. hobbyist

    Distinguished Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    764
    56
    Tony8404 and Joejester

    Congratulations to both of you guys...
     
  10. JoeJester

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 26, 2005
    3,373
    1,159
    I'm doing ok.... it should be 19 years next month ... as long as I live by that motto above.
     
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