Beingineer looking for guidence and saying hi

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Hey,
This is my first of many posts. Just wanted to say hi and see what would be a good plan for a begineer. I know very little about electronics but would like to start a few projects as a hobby. Currently I reading the material on this website (1/2 way through the first book) and I'm planing on reading all of them. I was wondering if there is something else I should be also reading. I'm finding the current book very informative (and bring back memories of math and physics in high school) but was wondering what other material I should be looking at. The one of the projects I'm looking to build is a basic RC car. Thanks in advance.

--James
 

sceadwian

Joined Jun 1, 2009
499
A basic RC car covers... nearly everything.
Batteries, DC circuits, AC circuits, RF circuits, and a knowledge of all the components and methods for all of it and probably more.

The computer you're using right now is much the same way.
There are some odd billion transistors switching at some odd billion times per second to provide you a static image. The static image you have in mind for what you call simple... Is perhaps not.

The most basic form of remote control vehicle I can think of is wires connected to the motors supplying the motor directly with power from switches. What do you have in mind?
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Thanks for the reply. What I ment by simple is just a basic RC car that can go forward and turn left/right from a wireless remote (much like one you can buy from radio shack). As I stated this would be a hobby and something that I will work towards (i know it wont happen over night). I know that the material here will provide good knowledge of all (or most) of the basics I will need to acomplish this but I'm sure there other material out that that would enhance this. Like I said I plan on reading all the books here which I would hope will give me a good enough knowledge to start designing my project. I was just wondering if this is realistic or not and If I should go about it another way. Thanks again.

--James
 

kingdano

Joined Apr 14, 2010
377
you should check out

www.parallax.com

they have great kits you can buy to assemble robots and learn about microcontrollers and robotics, in addition to a world of other things like sensors and general electronics.
 

retched

Joined Dec 5, 2009
5,208
I would get yourself these 2 books...As they are great small resources written by a great man.


Engineer's Mini Notebook Volume I
Timer, Op Amp $ Optoelectronic Circuits & Projects
by Forrest M. Mims III

Engineer's Mini Notebook Volume IV
Electronic Formulas, Symbols & Circuits
by Forrest M. Mims III

Both are available here:
http://forrestmims.com/engineers_mini_notebook.html

You may also want to pick up a few others..but these will hold your hand and teach you what you need to get going and to UNDERSTAND what is going on.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Thanks for all the great replys :)

you should check out

www.parallax.com

they have great kits you can buy to assemble robots and learn about microcontrollers and robotics, in addition to a world of other things like sensors and general electronics.
I'm looking into build all my circuits from scratch rather then a kit. I feel this will give me a complete understanding on what is going on. I may get one tho just for fun one time thanks for the link.

I would get yourself these 2 books...As they are great small resources written by a great man.


Engineer's Mini Notebook Volume I
Timer, Op Amp $ Optoelectronic Circuits & Projects
by Forrest M. Mims III

Engineer's Mini Notebook Volume IV
Electronic Formulas, Symbols & Circuits
by Forrest M. Mims III

Both are available here:
http://forrestmims.com/engineers_mini_notebook.html

You may also want to pick up a few others..but these will hold your hand and teach you what you need to get going and to UNDERSTAND what is going on.
Awesome "hold your hand" is exactly what I need :). I'll be picking these up for sure.

All the mini Engineers Notebooks that Retched mentioned would all be great reading material, I believe I have all of them, and also the Robot Builders Bonanza Volume 2 >> http://www.amazon.com/Robot-Builders-Bonanza-Tab-Electronics/dp/0071362967 is also very handy they have a lot of great robotics type projects that are great for beginners....

B. Morse
Thanks for the link I'll check it out for sure.

If you guys think of anymore books just let me know :). Thanks again
 

retched

Joined Dec 5, 2009
5,208
"How to make friends and influence people." is a good book.. And I think Sarah Palin wrote a book..

nevermind, dont read either. ;)
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
23,395
I like projects myself. Hands on is a good way to stay motivated. Building with an eye to understanding what you're doing is one way to learn. Ultimately there is no substitute for reading, but building can get the juices going.

Don't be quick to dismiss kits or existing projects. You build from a knowledge base, and projects such as what Volume 6 offers provide a good base to build from. Designing in many cases is just modifying such a project.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
I like projects myself. Hands on is a good way to stay motivated. Building with an eye to understanding what you're doing is one way to learn. Ultimately there is no substitute for reading, but building can get the juices going.

Don't be quick to dismiss kits or existing projects. You build from a knowledge base, and projects such as what Volume 6 offers provide a good base to build from. Designing in many cases is just modifying such a project.
Hey thanks for your insight. So you think a good plan would to be to read volumes 1-4 then work on projects in volume 6 to apply what you have learnt?
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Ahh true true. So A better way to do it is read a volume the go to volume 6 and do the those experiments. By doing so retaining that information you read better then reading all 4 then doing the experiments. Thanks man this will help out for sure.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
I'm going to be making an order for some electronic components and hardware just wondering if there was a component list of everything I shiould have in my home lab? I know I'll be getting a better multimeter (probably fluke) but as far as components I'm not sure what are must haves. Other hardware I'm looking to get is wire cutters, neetle nose pilers, soild 22g wire, another bread board (2 is probably better then 1). I already have a soldering iron and stand so im good there.
 

kingdano

Joined Apr 14, 2010
377
youll really want an oscilloscope if youll be doing anything non-digital.


there are a lot of relatively cheap PC based ones available now.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
youll really want an oscilloscope if youll be doing anything non-digital.


there are a lot of relatively cheap PC based ones available now.
Got any you would recommend? I took a look and I think I would prefer a USB one and I'm unsure what Freq/sample rate/etc I would want/need.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Hey,
Also looking into other hardware if I plan on getting into digital circuits I'm gonna to need a PIC programmer correct?

--James
 

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
23,395
Yep, electronics can be expensive. I waited over 5 years when I started this hobby before getting a cheap oscope, and cheap is relative.

The main things you will need is needle nose pliers, side cutters, a good soldering iron, possibly a protoboard, and at least one good cheap DVM (digital volt meter). DVMs are one of those items you really can get a good deal from, they can be bought for as little as $3, and work well.

Start looking for sources of cheaper components (they are still expensive). I use Radio Shack as source for many of my tutorial articles, but I don't really recommend them, their mark ups are substantial.

I would put your city/state as part of your profile similar to mine (and most of the older members), this way people can tell you where some of the best deals area.
 

Thread Starter

qbvbsite

Joined Jun 29, 2010
25
Yep, electronics can be expensive. I waited over 5 years when I started this hobby before getting a cheap oscope, and cheap is relative.

The main things you will need is needle nose pliers, side cutters, a good soldering iron, possibly a protoboard, and at least one good cheap DVM (digital volt meter). DVMs are one of those items you really can get a good deal from, they can be bought for as little as $3, and work well.

Start looking for sources of cheaper components (they are still expensive). I use Radio Shack as source for many of my tutorial articles, but I don't really recommend them, their mark ups are substantial.

I would put your city/state as part of your profile similar to mine (and most of the older members), this way people can tell you where some of the best deals area.
Thanks for all the suggestions It has been quite helpful. I'll be getting all these supplies with in the next few weeks. I think for now I may wait on the oscope and just test all my circuits on the computer. WEll back to reading :).
 
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