Can you learn electronics without a tutor(teacher)?

Thread Starter

wolly

Joined Jul 11, 2018
26
I know that you need someone to help you understand the basic of electronics but what I want to know is how hard can it be to learn electronics all by yourself.What happens if you create circuits without a guidance teacher?I remember I had a classmate in highschool who was middle in electronics and he didn't need help from the teachers.I guess he used simulators to help him create various types of circuits.Can a simulator replace an electronics teacher?
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
10,388
It is certainly possible without a teacher, though it might be quicker with. I learnt most of my original electronics knowledge from books and experiment starting at an early age many thanks to Darlington public library. Folk gave me assorted (usually defunct) radios, TVs, gramophones to play with. I got my first job as an electronic service engineer repairing and calibrating assorted instruments (e.g. oscilloscopes, timer/counters, power supplies, chart recorders, ramp test equipment (tests aircraft electronics)) without any formal training other than school physics and maths.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
21,823
Most of my electronics knowledge was acquired from reading and doing, building, experimenting and trouble shooting. Mind you, I excelled in Math and Physics in school.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,586
I expected more than just 1 answer...How about a list of pros and cons of not having a teacher?
If you are born with the tinker 'talent' you won't need a teacher to get started but if you have a teacher/tutor with the talent the resulting learning experience can be exponentially better. I was extremely lucky to have some of the best engineers from TI (my mom worked there too so I had tours) as instructors in HS while living in Dallas in the 60's/70's at one of the first 'magnet' schools in the nation. I was inspired to understand things far beyond my reach by interacting with people who had traveled much the same road.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
25,389
Can a simulator replace an electronics teacher?
It can't replace the teacher but it can make it much easier and faster to examine circuit operation as compared to doing a breadboard.
You likely will want to build some actual simple circuits though, as you progress, to get some hands-on experience.

I think you can do it without a tutor if you are reasonably motivated.
You can always ask questions on this forum and someone will help you.

I would start with an electronics tutorial, such as the Textbooks at the top of this page.
Then you can put some of the simple example circuits into a simulator to verify and better understand how they work.
Several on these forums (including myself) use the free LTspice simulator from Analog Devices/Linear Technology.
It's one of the best free analog simulators available.
It has a somewhat steep learning curve, but there are tutorials and many sample circuits to help you get started.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,141
I expected more than just 1 answer...How about a list of pros and cons of not having a teacher?
Getting only one response in the first half hour isn't good enough for you?

Sounds like you might want to lower your expectations a bit.

About a third of the membership is sleeping, another third is working, and another third is carrying on the rest of their lives. Only a few members visit the forums more than about once or twice a week. So you are quickly down into a fraction of a percent of active members even having the opportunity to see your post in that short a time window. The ones that happen to be on the forum during that half hour then have to review numerous posts and decides which ones are interesting enough to respond to -- and fuzzy questions seldom rank high on that list.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,141
True.
But a simulator can tell you the power dissipation in each component.
IF the person running the simulator (a) knows how to get that information, (b) bothers to look at it, and (c) knows how to interpret it.

It would be a very rare self-taught person that has all three.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,141
I know that you need someone to help you understand the basic of electronics but what I want to know is how hard can it be to learn electronics all by yourself.What happens if you create circuits without a guidance teacher?I remember I had a classmate in highschool who was middle in electronics and he didn't need help from the teachers.I guess he used simulators to help him create various types of circuits.Can a simulator replace an electronics teacher?
In general and for most people, the answer is NO.

A simulator is NOT a replacement for a teacher -- it is a tool that you can and should learn how to use. A decent teacher can help you learn how to do that much quicker and better.

Most people that try to teach themselves quickly reach the limit of their ability to explore the right topics and learn the right information and develop the right skills. This is where a teacher really makes a difference because they can shine a light on topics and issues that you were completely unaware of and help you start wading into much deeper waters and prepare you REALLY start learning on your own.
 

KL7AJ

Joined Nov 4, 2008
2,225
I know that you need someone to help you understand the basic of electronics but what I want to know is how hard can it be to learn electronics all by yourself.What happens if you create circuits without a guidance teacher?I remember I had a classmate in highschool who was middle in electronics and he didn't need help from the teachers.I guess he used simulators to help him create various types of circuits.Can a simulator replace an electronics teacher?
Yes you can, but why would you want to? (Spoken by a professional electronics instructor, Tutor and ham radio Elmer) :)
 

BR-549

Joined Sep 22, 2013
4,938
"Can you learn electronics without a tutor(teacher)?" Yes. Many discoveries and innovations have been done by self taught people.

"What happens if you create circuits without a guidance teacher?" The process will take longer......but much more rewarding.

"Can a simulator replace an electronics teacher?" No.

You have something much more valuable than a teacher or a library.

You have a record of all of man's knowledge. The internet. It also includes multitudes of free tutors, on any subject.

Even free structured learning.

And of course it depends on why you want to learn electronics. Employment is different than hobby. You need paper(degrees or certifications) for employment.
 

Ylli

Joined Nov 13, 2015
978
I learned 90% of my electronics on my own. In high school/college/trade school I was diplomatically correcting the instructor at times. If you find the subject interesting enough, you can do it. In my case I probably started by **devouring** the ARRL handbook.
 

AlbertHall

Joined Jun 4, 2014
10,388
And of course it depends on why you want to learn electronics. Employment is different than hobby. You need paper(degrees or certifications) for employment.
It isn't necessarily so. See post #6 above, and when I was doing that the internet wasn't even a gleam in someone's eye. If you wanted a datasheet you ordered it from the manufacturer or dealer and waited for the post. And we had racks of data books and transistor equivalent books and...
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
7,586
You have a record of all of man's knowledge. The internet. It also includes multitudes of free tutors, on any subject.
The problem with the Internet is value, selection. and a huge amount of BS before you build the knowledge to detect obvious BS. The Internet is extremely useful for those in proper training or those with experience looking for specific information. As a place for learning I find it an abomination to a deeper understanding of basic facts to a beginner unless you are very careful to select sites like this one.
 
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