# Getting started with electronics? :)

W

#### Woei Shyang

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,

I'm completely new to electronics, but I'd like to get started.

Perhaps it is just me getting tired of this wasteful culture where
devices are disposable, or just me being a tightwad, but I'd really
love to learn how to repair my own stuff, and know how various little
DIY projects actually work as opposed to putting them blindly together.

Are there any books that you guys might recommend to help me get started?

I've always been a software person by training and trade, so you can
say I have absolutely no background in this, except for being a geek.

Thanks for any tips and recommendations

M

#### Mark Zacharias

Jan 1, 1970
0
Woei Shyang said:
Hi,

I'm completely new to electronics, but I'd like to get started.

Perhaps it is just me getting tired of this wasteful culture where devices
are disposable, or just me being a tightwad, but I'd really love to learn
how to repair my own stuff, and know how various little DIY projects
actually work as opposed to putting them blindly together.

Are there any books that you guys might recommend to help me get started?

I've always been a software person by training and trade, so you can say I
have absolutely no background in this, except for being a geek.

Thanks for any tips and recommendations

http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/

http://library.thinkquest.org/16497/intro/index.html

Here's a couple links to get you started...

Mark Z.

W

#### Winston

Jan 1, 1970
0
Woei said:
Hi,

I'm completely new to electronics, but I'd like to get started.

Perhaps it is just me getting tired of this wasteful culture where devices are disposable, or just me being a tightwad,
but I'd really love to learn how to repair my own stuff, and know how various little DIY projects actually work as
opposed to putting them blindly together.

Are there any books that you guys might recommend to help me get started?

I've always been a software person by training and trade, so you can say I have absolutely no background in this, except
for being a geek.

Thanks for any tips and recommendations

http://jricher.com/NEETS/

This will give you a solid foundation if you read through the
sci.electronics.basics to get you unstuck.

It is a fascinating hobby.

--Winston

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Experimenter's kits are still available. You really need one of these,
especially as Heath, Allied, EICO, etc, have long been out the kit business.

Allied had a wonderful kit, which cost $30 50 years ago. It was a small console, with a pegboard for the circuits on the back. Someone should revive it, but it would be pretty pricey. (Still have the manual. Don't know why I didn't save the unit itself.) N #### Nelson Jan 1, 1970 0 Experimenter's kits are still available. You really need one of these, especially as Heath, Allied, EICO, etc, have long been out the kit business. Allied had a wonderful kit, which cost$30 50 years ago. It was a small
console, with a pegboard for the circuits on the back. Someone should revive
it, but it would be pretty pricey. (Still have the manual. Don't know why I
didn't save the unit itself.)

Radio Shack has a couple of nice ones. I bought this one for my kid:

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Poor man's fireworks: Always connect electrolytic caps the
wrong-way-round before applying power!

Would that it /were/ fireworks. The caps usually explode and emit a
foul-smelling gas.

M

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi,

I'm completely new to electronics, but I'd like to get started.

Perhaps it is just me getting tired of this wasteful culture where
devices are disposable, or just me being a tightwad, but I'd really love
to learn how to repair my own stuff, and know how various little DIY
projects actually work as opposed to putting them blindly together.

Are there any books that you guys might recommend to help me get started?

I've always been a software person by training and trade, so you can say
I have absolutely no background in this, except for being a geek.

Thanks for any tips and recommendations
Poor man's fireworks: Always connect electrolytic caps the
wrong-way-round before applying power!

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Tantalum caps can be a bit more entertaining.

They give a tantalizing performance, no doubt.

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mark said:

I don't like this much. Defining voltage in terms of resistance. It should
be in terms of coulombs and joules.

"Voltage is represented by the letter E. The basic unit of measure is volts
or the letter V. One volt will push 1 amp of current through 1 ohm of
resistance. Resistance will be discussed in a later section."

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
Winston said:

Yeah, I wish they had labs to go with that. Guided experiments are what's
missing from almost all good electronic courseware. The lab manual for The
Art of Electronics is available and costs about half the price of the main
text, so that might be helpful.

N

#### Nelson

Jan 1, 1970
0
I don't like this much. Defining voltage in terms of resistance. It should
be in terms of coulombs and joules.

"Voltage is represented by the letter E. The basic unit of measure is volts
or the letter V. One volt will push 1 amp of current through 1 ohm of
resistance. Resistance will be discussed in a later section."

Do you really think it's necessary for someone trying to get started in
electronics as a hobby to to worry about such niceties? Defining
voltage in terms of resistance or "pressure" is much more intuitive to
a neophyte.

N

#### Nelson

Jan 1, 1970
0
Edit: Radio Shack also has a nice set of experiments/manuals called
"Engineer's Mini Notebooks" written by Forrest Mims which are very
economical and geared to the beginning hobbiest.

Experimenter's kits are still available. You really need one of these,
especially as Heath, Allied, EICO, etc, have long been out the kit business.

Allied had a wonderful kit, which cost \$30 50 years ago. It was a small
console, with a pegboard for the circuits on the back. Someone should revive
it, but it would be pretty pricey. (Still have the manual. Don't know why I
didn't save the unit itself.)

Radio Shack has a couple of nice ones. I bought this one for my kid:

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
Nelson said:
Do you really think it's necessary for someone trying to get started
in electronics as a hobby to to worry about such niceties? Defining
voltage in terms of resistance or "pressure" is much more intuitive to
a neophyte.

Yes, I can say that it is harder to learn when you start by learning it
wrong.

If they want to talk about pressure then at least they can do it
conceptually instead of quantitatively, and it doesn't take a great effort
for them to make clear that they are using analogy. When they take the
ass-backwards approach of defining voltage quantitatively in terms of
resistance then they are only making it necessary to unlearn all that and
start over from scratch some day.

Defining things backwards is not a mere detail.

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
spamtrap1888 said:
Let people get a good working understanding of things before you drown
them with abstractions. Thank goodness when I first became interested
in electronics, no one sat me down and emphasized the difference
between the abvolt and the statvolt.

I didn't say anything like that at all. I said resistance is defined in
terms of voltage and current, not the other way around, and if you aren't
ready to define voltage then just don't do it.

You can omit lots of things without being compelled to teach something that
isn't so, but most "science" teachers think the resistor color code is the
root of everything.

And lots of abstrations are taught to 5-year-olds, like the concept of time.
You don't have to teach them SR. You just teach them how things are
affected by time. But you don't teach them that the clock makes time
happen, do you?

incorrectly that kids need an explanation for abstractions, so they provide
one that is wrong and make learning harder rather than easier.

N

#### Nelson

Jan 1, 1970
0
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 03:23:58 -0500, spamtrap1888 wrote
(in article
<[email protected]>):

[Snip]
Where are the coulombs and joules in that drawing?

The best way to explain three new concepts is not by adding two more
new concepts.

Drilling down to bedrock is not always the best way to learn
something. As a kid, the current convention always bothered me,
because I knew current was a flow of electrons, and electrons went the
other way. Did current reflect a hole-centric way of looking at
things?

I still find myself occasionally getting momentarily hung up on this...
and I have Master's Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics
I have always found "holes" counterintuitive. It's too bad the
conventions didn't evolve so that they were consistent with the
underlying physics. It's as if we defined the basic unit of heat as
the "friggie" so that when a body heated up, we would say it lost so
many friggies.

W

#### William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
0
Nelson said:
On Tue, 24 Jan 2012 03:23:58 -0500, spamtrap1888 wrote
(in article
<[email protected]>):

No. See below.
I still find myself occasionally getting momentarily hung up on this...
and I have Master's Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics
I have always found "holes" counterintuitive. It's too bad the
conventions didn't evolve so that they were consistent with the
underlying physics. It's as if we defined the basic unit of heat as
the "friggie" so that when a body heated up, we would say it lost so
many friggies.

Positive and negative, as you point out, are misnamed. This is supposedly
the fault of B. Franklin, who said that electrical particles flowed from an
source with an excess to a sink with fewer -- which is basically correct. He
called the excess side "positive", not knowing that the charge of the
electrical particles would eventually be called "negative".

BY CONVENTION, current flows from positive to negative. This has never much
bothered me, nor has hole flow. (A hole is a place in the lattice where an
electron "should" be.)

Now, if someone could explain exactly how -- on a quantum level -- junction
transistors work -- I would be delighted. I've yet to find a book that makes
it clear. (FETs are easy.)

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
spamtrap1888 said:
I don't think you sufficiently understand voltage. Explain to me the
difference between the abvolt and the statvolt, to prove me wrong.

They're just different units. Convert by multiplying by a constant. That's
all. It's like using the bell instead of the decibel or microns instead of
angstroms. That's not a big deal.

You don't start by teaching them about the leap second if you want
them to learn about the big hand and the little hand. Similarly they
when it's a quarter to five.

Which has nothing to do with avoiding teaching them something that's wrong.

Resistance is not a fundamental quantity. It's nothing but the ratio of
voltage and current, and only when measured in the absence of other factors
which are fundamental, so it's not something you should refer to when
explaining voltage.

The last sentence in the cited web page could simply be deleted and nothing
would be lost. I'm baffled why you think it's so important to include it.

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
spamtrap1888 said:
Drilling down to bedrock is not always the best way to learn
something.

You can never reach bedrock.

As a kid, the current convention always bothered me,
because I knew current was a flow of electrons, and electrons went the
other way. Did current reflect a hole-centric way of looking at
things?

So you just think of current as an abstraction. You don't think about
holes. You didn't need to learn (at first) about holes. But you also
didn't need to learn a lie about positive particles. It can just be left as
an abstraction. So can voltage.

T

#### Tom Del Rosso

Jan 1, 1970
0
spamtrap1888 said:
Where are the coulombs and joules in that drawing?

Coulombs and joules are in the other drawing, in the web page in question.
They were included without naming them in an abstract and intuitive way.
Then the author went off in the wrong direction when he should have just
left it as an abstraction.

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