How did you start electronics?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by bertus, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. bertus

    Thread Starter Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008

    I would like to know how you started electronics.

    I started with the EE1000 series boxes of philips.
    I got my first box when I was about 10 Years old.
    On the library page you will find some manuals that used to be shipped with the kits:


    AAC Fanatic!

    May 26, 2009
    I built my first PCB project with my grandfather, which was an audio amplifier. Later, I built a crystal radio set with him. I went on from there and kept building electronic projects and such.
  3. steinar96

    Active Member

    Apr 18, 2009
    I propably started when i was 6-7 years old. My dad is a electronic engineer and when i visited him at work he'd give me a wooden board to drill holes trough, then random components (mostly resistors and wires) to soldier together in a wirenet like fashion trough the woodem board. I doubt it'd ever work in a usefull fashion though :p. Also learned that touching the soldier joint equaled alot of pain:D

    My first real project however was propably a temperature controlled fan controller for my PC. Which changed the fan's speed depending on the temperature inside the case.
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    My dad got me a simple electric experimenter when I was 7, mostly lights and switches, but it also had an audio amp, which I found extremely facinating. I starting playing with circuits around 10, especially around model rockets, but the real kicker was a 250 in 1 projects kit from Radio Shack when I was 14. That kept me and my brother busy for over a year, and I started making PCBs for some of the circuits I really liked. From there it was Crystal Radios and beyond.
  5. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    I started when I built my first RC transmitter for "27 1/4" MHz in about 4th grade. We could buy receivers ( superregen), but the transmitters I could get came as kits. I also got pretty deep into Knight kits.

  6. bigcape


    Sep 18, 2009
    I wanted to fix something that was broken. That was a month ago.



    I am still working on it!
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009
  7. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Testing tubes in the old RCA B&W TV. Built a zillion kits from Allied and Heath.

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 26, 2009
    Too bad we don't have Heathkit anymore...they had some really nice stuff, and the fact that they came in kits made them priceless.
  9. flat5

    Active Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    My father repaired Packard-Bell TVs. Perhaps I asked him how a flashlight worked. I don't remember. I do remember he showed me how to light a bulb with a battery and a piece of solder.
  10. BMorse

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 26, 2009
    When I started it was mostly taking apart working devices to see how they worked, and appliances, plus when I was about 9 one of my uncles had made an electronic zapper box that he zapped me with, ever since then I just wanted to know how he did that (made plenty of voltage doubling devices for zapping stuff since then:) ), my curiosity just kept getting stronger......
  11. yourownfree

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 16, 2008
    way too complicated to post here. I heard a mans voice come from the car radio, and could not figure out how he got in the radio. How can he be over there and here at the same time? I built things from scratch, could not afford parts or kits. I found a whole pile of radio parts in a guys backyard when a kid. They were buried and shoved in the dirt under a wood pile. I snuck over the fence at dark at gathered all the parts, with the help of a friend. Also started gathering parts from broken stuff. This was in the 60's. I was into building rocket fuel from scratch, rebuilding lawnmower engines that didn't run, blowing stuff up, making go carts etc. before 12 years old. I am a survivor. Electronics was the most interesting of all. weather stations got one for Christmas from Sears (Santa) at about age 7. Then A steam engine at about age 8. Neighbor had a 1906 Stanley Steamer car I tried to start. Blew up in my face.
    There is more to tell but it all leads to electronics, even the pirate transmitters I've built when I was 16. I wanted to be a DJ. These were tube transmitters. It is the thrill that you can come up with anything you can dream of and make it work with the right parts and know how. Don't let someone tell you it cant be done! There are many ways to get to the end result.
  12. crazzycat

    New Member

    Sep 28, 2009
    It was when i was seven and parents gave me to the electronics circle
    My wallpapers are more cooler, doubts?
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  13. Nanophotonics

    Active Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    Started off with dismantling a few electronic toys when I was around 8-10. Enjoyed watching the rotation of DC motors of the toys, no design involved, just dry cells and a couple of DC motors. Enjoyed Physics at college and later on decided to take a degree in E&E Engineering.
  14. bloguetronica

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 27, 2007
    This is a very interesting topic, I must say. I guess I should tell you how I started:

    Electronics always had fascinated me since little, mainly because of the beauty of a well built PC board that would resemble a miniature city with its roads and buildings. One of my hobbies was to dismantle old things to see how they worked. I was also very fond of collecting vintage parts from old scrapped radios.

    However, I started to be seriously interested in the field of electronics a bit late, when I was 16 years old. And came to build my first project only about 6 years ago. I was 22 years old then.

    I guess I never had the opportunity or the guidance to get started earlier. The electronic component shops are rare in Portugal, and I always had other fields of interest besides electronics.
  15. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    Lol! That's what my missus says!

  16. BillB3857

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 28, 2009
    Always had a curiosity of how things worked. When about 6 or 7 went with parents to a friend's house. He had a hearing problem and had tied a speaker into his TV and placed near his rocking chair. I just HAD to know how it was done. Started taking anything and everything with wires apart to figure out how it used to work. (still do that!) While a freshman in High School, sent a coupon for information to Commercial Trades Institute. A salesman came knocking at our door and my parents enrolled me in the TV and Electronic Repair program. After High School graduation, joined the US Navy and learned radar maintenance (see my avitar) After the Navy, went to work for a major aircraft manufacturer as a Maintenance Electrician specializing in Numerical Control systems (now known as CNC) As they say, the rest is history!
  17. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    I can't remember WHAT year I started, but it had something to do with Cub Scout merit badges; I was probably 7 or 8 in the early 60's.

    One of my first projects was an electromagnet, using some insulated wire, a ten-penny nail and one of the large old "A" 1.5v batteries, similar to those on this website:

    I thought there was no way the magnetism could get into the nail unless the copper of the wire was touching it - so I stripped off the insulation and wound the wire around. That nail sure got hot in a hurry! Trying again by wrapping lots of turns of insulated wire did the trick; I was mystified. Then I built a little battery powered electric motor.

    Dad bought a Norelco 20 EE kit for me, which was the same as the Phillips 20 kit Bertus linked to in his thread-starting post. I actually just threw the kit away a couple of years ago.

    The TV was a big fascination - how did that thing work? It died one day. I pulled all of the tubes out, wrapped them individually in paper towels and took them down to the Rexall drugstore; they had a tube(valve) tester (that really sounds odd nowadays, doesn't it?) and I found a couple of bad tubes.

    I started taking apart radios; sometimes I'd actually get them back together again. I asked my Dad if I could have a radio; he gave me an older one and was none too pleased when he discovered I'd completely dismantled it for the parts. :eek: But a saving grace was that I used a capacitor from the dismantled radio to fix his favorite portable radio; and all was forgiven.

    I was always tinkering with stuff; steam engines, antique cars, lawnmower engines, minibikes, rockets (nearly blew up Mom's kitchen making rocket fuel) and of course, electrical/electronic things.

    I eventually enlisted in the Marines thinking I'd be a helicopter mechanic. I wound up being a missile fire control/radar technician on McDonnell/Douglass F-4J/F-4S Phantom II's. After my six year tour, wound up at a major aerospace & defense contractor doing all kinds of interesting things.
  18. darenw5

    Active Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Interesting how some started off deeply curious about sounds, voices from the radio, while others were caught by the TV, and others by yet other devices like that zapper.

    My interest in TV innards started when I was so young I thought the TV contained tiny actors, furniture and buildings. Watching dad take out tubes from the B&W TV and test them at the drugstore. Ah, so it's not tiny actors, but strange metal and glass parts, colored wires, colored stripes, mysterious dust-covered parts hidden behind metal shields under other parts. I also loved light and sources of light like the warm orange glows of tubes.

    So curious about how things worked, at age four I tried to open an obsolete baby toy by standing on my bed and dropping it. Busted by mom - but otherwise in general my parents, both science teachers, let me be curious. Most dissected toys I put back together and they still worked.

    First rudimentary education in electronics, where I started to gain a glimmer of understanding and spell words like "germanium" was in third grade (around 1968) when Santa gave me an electronics experimenting kit - something like the Philips kits Bertus mentioned, but in a gray plastic console with knobs, some Fahnestock clips, and an array of little holes. One PNP transistor, one germanium diode, a few resistors and capacitors, an AM antenna etc. hid inside the console. You'd "program" a circuit by inserting wires e.g. from holes "E3" to "D6". I've been searching the web for information and photos on the toys I had as a kid, but have never found this kit. If anyone has a clue, please tell!

    Seems like a lot of educational and hobby kits in the 1950s and 1960s used PNP. I wonder why? Lots of cheap surplus PNP available from misplanned production? Were PNP actually cheaper than NPN?

    Later, Heathkit played a major role, especially building an IO-102 oscilloscope ( in 7th grade. Luckily I had a whole week off from school due to recovering from mumps. Then I could *SEE* waveforms while playing with waveshaping circuits and having infinite technical fun.