This idiot is learning electronics.....again

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Gizzy, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Gizzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    As I'm becoming precariously close to hitting my mid life crisis, I've decided to go back to school at the local community college - for fun:eek:

    Who knows, I may even get my AS degree in electronics. Wait, I already have a BS degree in CIS - isn't that a step backwards?

    Anyway, my interest in electronics began in my early teens when my brother bought an electronics lab for my birthday. I'm not sure what ever happened to that kit, but I decided recently that I wanted to get back into electronics again. I still have my Elenco 2770 multi-meter that I bought when I was in high school (not really sure when, but I've had it for years)? It might not be the best, and who knows how accurate it is, but even after all of these years, it still appears to work.

    I just recently purchased a new Electronics Learning Lab from radio shack which I really recommend for someone new. Not only does it not cost much, but it also gives you a nice little start on basic circuits and IC's. If memory serves, the books in my origional kit explained things a little better, though I don't remember anything about a 555 timer being in there at all. Given that it provides your power source for low DCV projects and a breadboard, I'm sure that as I learn, there will be far more projects that I will be able to prototype than what is ever mentioned in the books that came with it.

    Speeking of the 555 timer, I still don't really understand it, but that's OK - I'm only begining again after 20+ some odd years.

    I found this site through an internet search looking for more information about beginning electronics and there is certainly pleanty of information here for that.

    While I really wish that I could build a workbench for all of my projects, my wife still says no:mad:. I used to build model RC airplanes. I would like to get into reloading (gun stuff). It would also be nice to have a workbench area to work on small wood or metal working projects, etc. Alas, still no workbench!. Besides, where am I going to put my power supply, Oscilloscope, Function Generator, etc. as I grow in electronics?

    Anyway, I'm very open to any ideas and suggestions that any of you might have on working environments that you might have where you don't have a workbench, can't scratch the kitchen table, can't make a mess, and everything must have its place.

    Ideas of recomended reading/learning projects also welcome, or any other idea in general be it fun comments or otherwise. I still need to peruse this site more.... a lot more..... so please no "do a search before asking" comments as I will be searching and browsing, but hey, I'm new and I'm mainly saying "Hello, World" (doesn't every programmer start with a program like that?).

    Yes, I'm an idiot and I'm getting back into electronics (not that I was very deep before anyway).
  2. iONic

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
    Sounds like you need a shed in the back yard!!!
  3. Gizzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    OH! One more thing - suggestions on periodical publications/websites for idiot level projects and educational articles.

    I'm considering Make magazine, though I'm not really into making Bonnets, Quilts. I haven't decided on this one yet.
  4. Gizzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    My back yard is 9' x 12' and is reserved as my dogs bathroom, but yes I could use a larger yard with a shed...

    Of course the shed would need to be easy to rebuild. I'll probably blow it up a lot!
  5. Smoke_Maker

    Active Member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Have you considered trading the wife in on a good Oscilloscope :D

    For a while I kept my stuff in my night stand and used a cafeteria tray (because of the wife) until we got a bigger house and now I have a garage and a laboratory (spare bedroom my man cave)
  6. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
    Go ahead and use the kitchen'd be surprised how fast your wife 'approves' the work bench...

    if that fails, change wives... :D
  7. iONic

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 16, 2007
    I just hope the wife doesn't read your posts. She'll trade you in and keep the house! Then all you'll have is the back seat of the car for your Lab.....nope that would be reserved for the dog!
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  8. Kerim


    Mar 3, 2011
    Is there an electronic project that can be useful to your wife?
    If you find one your start in electronics would be more encouraged and supported. :D
  9. upand_at_them

    Senior Member

    May 15, 2010

    I was in a similar situation. I had been interested in electronics from childhood, but it took me until middleagehood to really do anything about it. Learning labs are good, but you'll definitely want a breadboard to experiment on and a simple power supply (batteries, or a wall wart feeding a breadboard supply like SparkFun has).

    Pick up some of Forrest Mims' books and experiment with those circuits. He has lots of great circuits that use easy to find parts.

    I had a subscription to Make, but cancelled it after a year because of how much fluff it contained. EPE, Elektor, and Nuts & Volts are so much better.

    You absolutely need a workbench. No garage or basement space?...It doesn't take much.

    Oh, and do the machining too. I have a small lathe and mill and they are AWESOME!
  10. debjit625

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    I think you need a divorce attorney...

    I am 22+ and not married.But sometimes women in your familly are usefull in electronics,when I was starting with electronic at my teen age I use to make PCBs using my sister's nail polish,the best enamel paint I could find at that time and without spending my pocket money.Their are many other think you could use but just don't get caught....My mother sometimes be a great help and sometimes she mess up all.

    In AAC you will find a very good e-book which will help you in learning electronics,above the web page you will find all the links,anyway here are some of them...

    VOL I DC :
    VOL II AC :

    Good Luck...opps not for your divorce
  11. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
    Another idea would be find a girlfriend with a work bench :) Oh, wait I tried that and lost the wife and girlfriend took my tools. Not such a good idea after all. :(
  12. Bernard


    Aug 7, 2008
    I would definitly keep the Wife, with out one for about a year & a half, my house shows the result- a smallproject on dining room table, 3rd bed rm -agh I cringe on entering, but that is where the good stuff is, bed rm has the computer, two outside sheds are full, inc drill press; table saw sits in the open under tar paper; yes keep your wife. Put a doily & potted plant on scope & a small work bench that fits under a bed.
    I had an Allied Radio experimentors kit back in 1942- still have xfmr & relay.
  13. JingleJoe


    Jul 23, 2011
    Grounds for a divorce, that is. Seriously, I'd choose my workbench over a wife, call me sad but I'm pretty sure I could build a better wife with a workbench and enough time.
  14. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Do what I do.
    Teach her electronics and see how soon she kicks u out. :D
  15. Gizzy

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Stephford wifes tale huh? As I recall, that didn't turn out so well. Unless your a really good engineer, I'm also guessing that the maintenace cost would be more than what it takes to keep my wife happy now (she doesn't care for jewlrey +++PLUS+++;))

    No, I think I'll keep my wife despite that she tends to block a lot of my fun (and I do let her know that). Though the comment to trade her in for a nice oscope is VERY tempting :)