self-teaching method?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by fbchurch2009, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. fbchurch2009

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 10, 2010
    I have been getting into electronics a lot in the past couple months but since I'm not taking any classes I am basically trying to teach myself. I bought some essentials to electronics so I can experiment myself (iron, multimeter, breadboard, components, strippers etc.) But it seems whenever I get time to "teach" myself, I end up randomly looking at bits and pieces of whatever I find on the internet; there isn't an organized way to get information. And the book I bought has horrible explanations... What I am trying to ask is, do you guys have any recommended books, dvd's, links, webpages, or organized way of teaching yourself? thanks!
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    Look at the top of the page to find tabs for our Ebook, complete with experiments and workbooks.
  3. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008
  4. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    If you want to buy a book, "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hall is good. It's a bit dated, but the basics don't change.
  5. davebee

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    I learned electronics by siging up for an electronics correspondence course.

    It worked out pretty well because it let me work at my own pace, while leading me through a huge variety of electronics-related topics, from analog and digital basics to radio, computers, serial communications, direction-finding, satellites, all sorts of stuff.

    If you're disciplined enough, all this information is available on your own, but it's not easy to pull it all together when you don't even know enough to know what you're missing.
  6. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    To give a better feel of electronic,I have some suggestions If you ask.
  7. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    He did ask.

    Kits are a good way to go for some. Repair for others. Some like books.

    Get yourself some kits. Especially those 7,000,000 in 1 kits. They give you plenty of components and different experiments to teach the basics, and then some.
  8. Jaguarjoe

    Active Member

    Apr 7, 2010
  9. t06afre

    AAC Fanatic!

    May 11, 2009
    It would be interesting to hear your point of view in this topic Loosewire. I promise it will be none funny remarks or sarcasm. Just feel free to share
  10. jpanhalt


    Jan 18, 2008
    I find the best way for me to learn anything, is to have a project -- be it a sick patient or just wanting to make a sequential timer with an MCU. Find something you want to do, and make something to do it. Horowitz and Hill was/is my Bible. Trying to learn something in the abstract, "just because you should know" is far more difficult.

  11. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    I agree with jpanhalt -- set yourself some project goals and they will help you keep yourself both motivated and focused. I also strongly recommend you find a nearby person who has similar interests or can act as a mentor. Having someone to discuss things with can really cut through the fog quickly. However, you need to find someone who is sensitive to the needs of a newbie learning this stuff for the first time -- it's awfully easy to find people who love to show off how much they know without doing the newbie a lot of good (or just hopelessly confusing them). It's really best if you can find someone who can mentor you in what you're interested in, but then return something of value to them by something you know or can do.
  12. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    You will hear people recommend the 100 in 1 or better sets. They are meant for kids, but really do have something to teach in an easy to learn format.

    I would set some time aside every day to go through the text book, either the one here or another. It will fill the gaps in knowledge and suggest project for themselves.

    I tend to try to create new ideas and articles myself, but that after many decades of practice.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  13. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010

    PDF's starting with DC and electron theory, then AC and transformers and onward. lots of pics and good explanations.

    You may have to refresh your screen a few times to get a complete download, it sometimes freezes before completing the download.

    EDIT: I see JaguarJoe posted this first, but I missed it. Oh well, it's good enough to be recommended twice. :) and @ my link the downloads are $free$
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  14. loosewire

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 25, 2008
    I will wait to be asked,thank you,I have stated before I gave up
    sitting on a stool.No time ,that not a plus. Other projects keep
    my handy stuff not available when needed.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  15. mbohuntr

    Senior Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    I often think of DC as plumbing using current instead of water. Try a couple of simple projects such as a voltage divider, and lighting a LED limiting the current with resistors. There are some incredibly smart and intuitive people here to help you along. Once you learn how to control the flow, the possibilities are endless. Once you get a concept, then learn the formula behind it. Good Luck.
  16. gootee

    Senior Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    Also, download the free LTspice circuit simulator from . If you don't have an oscilloscope (or a spectrum analyzer, or a distortion analyzer, or a signal generator, etc etc), or even certain electronic components, it can serve as a very nice laboratory for virtual experiments. I have links to tens of thousands of component models, plus a direct link to the LTspice software download, at .

    Note, also, that there are free software downloads that will enable you to use your computer and its soundcard as an oscilloscope, and a signal generator, and a spectrum analyzer, with real inputs and outputs. The maximum frequency is, of course, quite limited, relative to most "real" test equipment (and it might not work for DC measurements). But it's a whole lot better than nothing, and can be quite interesting and very educational, as well as entertaining.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010


    Jul 13, 2010
    If you going to learn electronics directly even without any guidance you forsure drop out in week or two..
    My advice is to start any small project and gather the info about components and also about logic..

    it's better to make an full adder then to just read it...

    However To Clear the basics you need a book...
    I've used "principles of electronics by a.p.malvino"..and yes buy an international edition...
    This is one of my favourite book..
  18. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    I'll also recommend the Navy NEETS course material. I went through a predecessor course (back when it was called AFTA, or Advanced First-Term Avionics) in the mid-70's. They have updated the course materials several times since then, and renamed it. There is still legacy information in the course, but it remains relevant.

    I suggest this site for downloading the .PDF's:

    My download speed from there was quite good.

    If that seems too overwhelming, try some of Forrest Mims books. Website:

    His Mini-Notebooks are very handy; they're available here:
    Volume I and Volume IV are great quick-reference books. If you're only going to get one of Forrests' books, get Volume IV. It covers a lot of basics, plus has lots of other information that you really need to know.

    I keep both of these mini-notebooks within an arm's reach. My copies are pretty dog-eared, as I refer to them frequently. 90% of the battle is just knowing where to look stuff up.
  19. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    I just about have my U.S.N. basic electricity / electronics correspondence course texts, and a 1976 copy of AARL's Amateurs' handbook [ just to highlite a couple ]worn to a frazzle.

    Mr. Bertus' signature says it well........

    "You don't have to know everything, if you know where to find it.............."
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2010
  20. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    Forgot to mention the Electronics Learning Lab:
    It's another brainchild of Forrest M. Mims III. It's worth the price just for the board alone.

    You can download the 2nd manual in .pdf form by clicking on the "manuals" link, then the "RadioShack® Electronics Learning Lab (User's Guide - Workbook 2)" link on the page that comes up. Of course, you really need Workbook 1 for all of the introductory information.