Hardware for self-education - Analog Discovery 2? ADALM2000?

Thread Starter

casterle

Joined Dec 11, 2020
3
I'm a retired software dev with lots of experience programming to the metal. Now I want to learn electronics as a hobby. I want to be able to follow a curriculum of some sort.

I've found two possible contenders: the Analog Devices ADALM200 (https://tinyurl.com/y3yefx7y) and the Digilent Analog Discovery 2 (https://tinyurl.com/y5exsg4l ). If I've missed any (except the Red Pitaya which seems too niche), I'd appreciate a pointer.

I don't really care about the respective merits of either of these units as bench equipment - my only concern is how much I can learn. Checking .EDU sites for pdf files (and thus labs), the DAD2 is used quite a bit more often. The ADALM, however, is accompanied by dozens of classes and labs, and a parts kit to match the classes is also available.

If you have experience with one of these devices as an educational tool, which would you choose?

Thanks!
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,729
Really. developing an understanding of electrical and electronic functions starts with book learning, long before getting into physical experiments. Certainly working with hardware can be fun, but understanding what the circuit is doing is the more important part. And that comes from reading.
 

Thread Starter

casterle

Joined Dec 11, 2020
3
Really. developing an understanding of electrical and electronic functions starts with book learning, long before getting into physical experiments. Certainly working with hardware can be fun, but understanding what the circuit is doing is the more important part. And that comes from reading.
Thanks, but I think you missed the bit where I said "I want to be able to follow a curriculum of some sort." I learn best by doing.

I take it you have no experience with similar devices?
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,729
Thanks, but I think you missed the bit where I said "I want to be able to follow a curriculum of some sort." I learn best by doing.

I take it you have no experience with similar devices?
None at all. I built lots of stuff from scratch, and a few kits. I did my learning from text and books.
 

Analog Ground

Joined Apr 24, 2019
452
As part of switching to a completely remote curriculum, I evaluated the two devices you mention. The Analog Discovery 2 (AD2) has more capability than the ADALM200. Both have similar pedigrees since they were developed with the involvement of Analog Devices engineers. The Analog Discovery 2 will take you farther as a piece of bench equipment. The ADALM200 has some curriculum developed by ADI. The last time I checked, the AD2 was on allocation with preference given to educational institutions. The whole world wanted these for remote learning. Either one will serve you well for learning basic electronics.

Edit: Sorry, I did not answer your question. For me, I would choose the AD2, if I could get one. I would not be to concerned about tightly coupled curriculum. But, that's me.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,400
I was hoping someone with hands-on experience with one of these modules would respond but apparently, they don't get much use. I went through my collection of College Lab and Experiment Manuals which accompany their various Textbooks and didn't find any using these particular modules. But! Check out what IS available from Analog Devices on their web site in support of their module. They also sell parts kits to go with their learning modules that uses their product.
Modules and Courseware | Education | Analog Devices
 

Thread Starter

casterle

Joined Dec 11, 2020
3
I was hoping someone with hands-on experience with one of these modules would respond but apparently, they don't get much use. I went through my collection of College Lab and Experiment Manuals which accompany their various Textbooks and didn't find any using these particular modules. But! Check out what IS available from Analog Devices on their web site in support of their module. They also sell parts kits to go with their learning modules that uses their product.
Modules and Courseware | Education | Analog Devices
Thank you. ADI's courses and parts kit are what attract me to their product. I think I'll download a couple of courses and take a closer look.
 

Analog Ground

Joined Apr 24, 2019
452
I was hoping someone with hands-on experience with one of these modules would respond but apparently, they don't get much use.
Yeah, I was not clear about experience. I have an AD2 and found it to work as advertised. I did not get an ADALM200 since there were so many more features on the AD2. Due to supply issues, we had to deploy with a Picoscope and cheapy function generator. The function generator shall go unnamed. It did not work. We made due with the limited but working function generator on the Picoscope.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
8,729
Actually, application notes are very valuable for learning because they often include insights and information not usually obvious. In that area, the National semiconductor analog application books were especially good. And anything by Bob Pease or Jim Williams will be educational.
 
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