Learning Electronics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by electronewb, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. electronewb

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    What background do you guys have in electronics? I took a course over 7 years ago it was a very basic course but I forgot most of the basics. Do you guys get involve in electronics on a regular basis? I think that's my downfall I only get into it once or twice a month and usually never finish any of my projects but I read various electronic articles every single day but the practice is not there and well the theory that I learn is quick forgotten it seems. What's the best way to learn about it? I'm not planning on becoming an engineer but at least knowing some basics would be very good!!!!
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    The best way to learn is by doing.
    Find yourself a simple project and start from there. There are enough people on this site who would be just delighted to lend a helping hand. They will be happy to suggest equipment, parts, supplies and construction techniques to get you started.
  3. J-Ri

    New Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    I my experience, the best way to learn is to finish what you start. If I don't know what to do next in a project, I look it up; ask here, google it, ask a friend, whatever gets your answer. I keep going and going until I finish, and that is how I learn. If I give up when I have a problem, I learn nothing. I'm certainly not an engineer myself, my formal education is a college level class called "basic electronics" that I took in high school and a college class "automotive electronics", which was much more basic than the one I took while in high school, but was required for my degree in automotive technology.

    I built a progressive methanol injection system controller for my car, took me about a month, spending an hour or two a night. When I ran into a problem, I found a solution before I went to bed that night. Answering your question about how frequently I'm involved in electronics is a bit tricky. As far as actually building something, maybe every couple months. As far as diagnosing and repairing very simple circuits, every day. Sometimes I get to diagnose something more difficult, but typically my contact with electronics at work is dealing with switches/sensors/motors.

    I have a very analytical mind, however, and constantly think of how I could use electronics in various aspects. For example: A vehicle's door locks are controlled by the body control module. The door lock system is two wires. To unlock the doors, one wire is energized and the other grounded; to lock the doors the power and ground are reversed. One output was still good, so I built a circuit that fed 5 volts to the one good wire. When it dropped to ground, my new "door lock module" would unlock the doors, when it went above ~10v, the doors locked. $100 fix to a $400 problem.
    sairfan1 likes this.
  4. electronewb

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 24, 2012
    Thanks for the replies guys. What would be some good and "easy" projects to do? I have a breadboard, a scope, signal generator and lots of basic components
  5. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    How about a digital clock for starters?
    You can try a typical 4-digit HH:MM digital display or a circular face with 12 green, 12 yellow and 12 red LEDS to show hours, minutes and seconds.
  6. vk6zgo

    Active Member

    Jul 21, 2012
    Read ,Read,Read!

    You need to revise the basic stuff as you go!

    If you can find magazines with projects,read the articles,try to work out how & why things are done.
    Some books & mags give a description of the design process the original builder followed,others don't.
    Some websites have good projects & background information,others are crap!

    You don't have to build every project you see,& for Pete's sake,don't tack them together on a breadboard & ask us to sort things out when they don't work.(Of course,I know you wouldn't do that!:D).

    If you do build & get stuck,go back to basics:-

    Did I follow the schematic correctly?

    Are my solder connections good?

    Is something connected backwards,or in the wrong place?

    Do I understand Basic Theory enough to know how it is supposed to work?
    (If the answer here is "no",this website has an E-book which will probably cover the information you need)
  7. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  8. ramancini8

    Active Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    Look at the semiconductor company application notes because they are filled with good design information. The National Semiconductor (now TI) AN series was especially good, Texas Instruments has many good app notes, and so does Intersil.