Impressed

Thread Starter

musomaniac

Joined Jan 7, 2012
21
Hi everyone , i'm a total beginner to electronics , and i just happened to stumble across this website while i was looking for information on electron charge , i'm busy reading Vol 1 - basic concepts of electricity , and i'd just like to say i love it , and more to the point i understand it !! i was reading articles by W.J.Beaty but found it all too confusing , maybe i'll understand it in 10 years time or so.
The main reason i got interested in electronics , is because i'm a musician , and would love to build my own boutique pedals , and thus have a totally unique sound , i'm not sure whether or not i'll be able to attain this goal , but i'm going to try my best .
At present i am spending about 3 hours a day reading about atoms , protons , nuetrons ,and electrons , hoping this will give me a better understanding of what electricity is ?
Anyway super site , and if anyone has any information for beginners like me , ie books, video's , courses or whatever , i would really appreciate it.
Books i have so far are ---

Electronics for dummies
Electronics for musicians
Digital electronics demistifyed
Getting started in electronics
teach yourself electricity and electronics
Electronics for guitarists

i seem to get so far in some of these books , then hit a stumbling block , then go off on a tangent on the internet to try and understand what it means , one example is semi-conductors , which at the moment is rather baffling .
 

Sparky49

Joined Jul 16, 2011
833
Welcome to the forums!

Those are some pretty good books - I've read most of them myself.

One book I recommend is The Art of Electronics. It's quite dear, but it's packed with just about everything to do with electronics.

It has helped me to further my knowledge from those books - which are great as an introduction. However, I was a bit puzzled as to where to go from these books to some a little more advanced. I think going through the Art of Electronics is a great book to do this with.

I found it best to sit with a pen, paper and calculator when reading it. It's got little 'quizzes' throughout, which can involve a bit of maths (or math!;)).

Semiconductors aren't very hard to understand. You've just got to think about 'holes' and 'spare electrons'. YouTube can be great for teaching some simple ideas, like how transistors work.

Saying that, nothing beats making your own experiments. If you haven't already, I really recommend buying a simple multimeter. You can do many of experiments with just a multimeter, battery, resistor, potentiometer, led and capacitor. These'll will teach you lots of things which reinforce what you learn from the books.

I hope you find this useful, I'm sure you'll have fun (and get really cheesed off sometimes!) with electronics.:)

Sparky
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
On youtube, there is MIT Courseware that includes physics for art majors or something like that which covers the basics very well.

There are a few intro to electronic videos from MIT that are also very excellent for quality and the amount of information packed into an hour in an understandable format.

How old are you? Must be under 20, since not many people think 10 years ahead on learning something :D
 

Thread Starter

musomaniac

Joined Jan 7, 2012
21
hi Sparky thanks for the info , i have already bought a digital multimeter , some resistors of varying values , a spst switch , breadboard , capacitors , led's ,and have so far looked at ohm's law , and series/parallel resistors in a circuit .
Still a bit confused as to which way electricity flows , electrons from positive to negative , and holes from negative to positive ?
 

Thread Starter

musomaniac

Joined Jan 7, 2012
21
How old are you? Must be under 20, since not many people think 10 years ahead on learning something :D
oh how i wish !! Slightly out of the ball park there Thatoneguy :eek: i'm 51 , yep you read right 51!! Now i'm gonna be told i'm too old to understand :D
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,461
Hello,

Age does not matter over here.
I am going to be 52 next week.
You are never to old to learn.

Bertus
 

Thread Starter

musomaniac

Joined Jan 7, 2012
21
I'll wish you Happy birthday in advance then Bertus , just in case my brain decides to implode over the next week or so
 

Sparky49

Joined Jul 16, 2011
833
hi Sparky thanks for the info , i have already bought a digital multimeter , some resistors of varying values , a spst switch , breadboard , capacitors , led's ,and have so far looked at ohm's law , and series/parallel resistors in a circuit .
Still a bit confused as to which way electricity flows , electrons from positive to negative , and holes from negative to positive ?
No problem.

The flow of electricity is from negative to positive. However, when we talk about designing and reading through circuits we almost always look at it from positive to negative.

This doesn't really make much difference most of the time.

The way to think about it is - can a 'spare' electron move to somewhere else? Or does a hole move? How can nothing (the hole) move to nothing - eugh it gets difficult to explain!:D

No, it's the electrons which can move. So that's why (as we look at it) current can pass one way through, for example, a diode - but not the other way.
 

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
Let's try to state this as simply as possible, in case what has been said so far may have confused the original poster.

  • Conventional current, defined historically before electrons were discovered, flows from positive to negative. This was so well established by the time electrons were understood that circuit theory still uses the positive to negative flow convention.
  • Electrons have negative charge, and they flow from negative to positive.
  • Holes (or vacancies)are relevant to semiconductors, not ordinary conductors. The virtual "movement" of holes is a convenient concept to describe what is going on, even though electrons are really moving. Holes are not relevant in ordinary conductors, where the conduction is by electrons.
 

Thread Starter

musomaniac

Joined Jan 7, 2012
21
Oops just bought some today :eek: No doubt as i progress (or not as the case may be) i'll be asking lots of questions , so if you guys get sick , just tell me to shut up :) i will of course endeavour to the best of my ability to try and answer my question via researching it first .
Well thats my lot for today , i have spent the last 5 hours in front of this laptop , reading , and watching videos !!
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
24,741
If you want to better understand the operation of circuits I recommend getting familiar with a Spice based analog simulator. It allows you to easily experiment with all types of circuit without ever having to buy or touch a component. Of course, eventually you will want to build actual circuits, but the simulator will help tell you how it will (or won't) work before you build it. I never build any circuit without simulating it first. It saves me a lot of grief.

Many on this forum use LTspice which is free from Linear Technology. It has a somewhat steep learning curve but there is a good tutorial and instruction manual you can download with it. There is also a Yahoo users group that has much info. I think you will find the effort to learn it is well worth your time in helping your understanding of circuit operation.
 

Blofeld

Joined Feb 21, 2010
83
As has already been suggested by bertus, the best introduction is to read the e-book here. And to ask questions (here in this same subforum) as soon as you don't understand something.

If you want to buy another book, "Practical Electronics for Inventors" by Paul Scherz might be interesting. It has some nice explanations for the beginner. However, the book is notorious for the many errors it contains. Before you read it, make sure to print out this errata sheet
http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/physics/ph235/errata.pdf
and keep it near the book.

"The Art of Electronics" that Sparky49 has mentioned is a wonderful book. But as he said, it is more advanced than the books in your list. So if you have hit some "stumbling blocks" in those books, "The Art of Electronics" might be too difficult for you (now).
 

Blofeld

Joined Feb 21, 2010
83
Are you kidding me? 27 pages of corrections? :eek:
Well, the bad news is that the list is still growing, the last update is from July 2011, and I think I saw an earlier version about one year ago. Maybe one day the errata sheet will become bigger than the book ? :D

But seriously, I think the author makes an honest attempt to explain the concepts as clearly and intuitively as possible, and the diagrams are quite nice too (OK, unless they are wrong). I would perhaps not recommend it to everybody who is new to electronics, but when I saw that musomaniac has already invested in several books at the introductory level and is in some cases still looking for better explanations, I thought it might be useful.
 
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