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Electronics For Beginners Websites??

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Scott Cadwell, Nov 9, 2004.

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  1. Hello All,

    Besides "Googling it", does anyone know of any good electronics websites for
    green newbies, like myself?

    Thank you.
  2. They are called libraries. I can't imagine any that won't have some books
    for beginners in electronics.

    Radio Shack used to carry some books for beginners, but I have no idea
    whether they still do.

    Traditionally, magazines were a good way to ease into electronics, but
    they've pretty much disappeared. Nuts & Volts is the only US magazine
    for the electronic hobbyist these days.

  3. Dmitri

    Dmitri Guest

    I'd say there is nothing wrong with googling for any electronics-related
    stuff. It basically provides instant gratification by giving you the best
    resource, and a single site may not contain all the information you are
    looking for. For a desktop use a book may be sometimes more convenient
    than a PC, so I personally like to keep quite a few around. Practical
    Electronics for Inventors by Paul Scherz (ISBN 0-07-058078-2) is one of my

    Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
    Cabling Forum, color codes, pinouts and other useful resources for
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    Residential Cabling Guide

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  4. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I would also recommend the NEETS modules (Navy Electrical Engineering
    Training Series) to educate yourself on electronics. Also, the "Basic
    Electronics" book from the Navy is great, which I'm currently reading.

  5. Mike

    Mike Guest

    Nuts and Volts is a great magazine,but most of it is not beginner's
    material. They usually have a section every month for novices, but other
    sections tend to be intermediate. I would learn the basics of semiconductors
    (e.g. transistors, diodes, etc.) before divining into the mag.

  6. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    Subject: Electronics For Beginners Websites??
    For starting in electronics as an absolute beginner, try going to your library
    or and reading

    Getting Started in Electronics -- by Forrest M. Mims III

    For a green newbie who has an interest in electronics, it's the best way to
    start out. When you return the book, look in the stacks for intro to
    electronics books written after 1975. There are dozens of good ones.

    Another way to get started is to look at electronics hobbyist magazines.
    Currently in America we're down to "Nuts & Volts", which is great but isn't
    exactly for newbies. It's definitely worth reading, though, and their website
    has a good bulletin board which is _very_ newbie friendly:

    The library can help you here, too. Look for back issues of "Electronics Now",
    formerly "Radio-Electronics", reading everything you can by Don Lancaster. The
    other good hobbyist magazine was Modern Electronics, formerly known as Popular
    Electronics. Forrest Mims wrote a column every month in those, and they're all
    worth reading. All of these magazines are now defunct, but libraries will keep
    back issues.

    On the other side of the pond is Everyday Practical Electronics (EPE), which is
    still publishing in England. They have some good newbie stuff, and if you can
    get a hold of it, is definitely worthwhile. You can also check out their

    as well as their chatzone:

    The web is a good way to fill in gaps in knowledge, but not always so great at
    starting from scratch.

    Good luck. Electronics can be a fun and rewarding hobby.

  7. Public libraries all over the world often have one or more versions of
    ARRL:s handbook for radio amateurs.
    (maybe on the shelf for very big books)

    In its last version it is called "The Handbook for Radio Communications".

    It looks like this:

    Here from another seller:

    Note that they use the old title, despite the text on the Book :)

    Anyway, this is a bible of beginner electronics and the best value for
    money you can find. It is a very big book, and every page have been
    checked for errors and revised year after year by millions of Radio
    Amateurs, so it is a lot more reliable and accurate than most books about

    I have borrowed it many times from my local library, and I have bought it
    in paperback and used a knife to cut it up though the spine, so I get
    12-14 thinner books, a lot easier to handle.

    There are chapters about elementary electronics, semiconductors, DIY
    measuring instruments, power supplies, etc..

    It changes a little every year, but any version of it, even one 10-15
    years old, is very good as an introduction, study book, workshop manual,
    and reference book in electronics.

    It is not only theoretical but also very practical, there are chapters
    about tools and how to use them, how to etch pcb boards, how to build
    boxes for your projects, etc..

    It covers everything you need to know to understand, design and build
    electronics, and it starts from a real beginner level.

    There are special sections about radio transmitters and receivers. After
    all, it is a book for radio amateurs, but if you are not interested in
    radio you can just ignore those chapters.

    There are not many books which have the effect on the reader that you
    borrow it 100 times from the library, and then you go and buy your own
    copy. For its size and massive content it is actually very cheap.
  8. Rusty Wright

    Rusty Wright Guest

    After clicking on each chapter scroll down a bit and there's a pdf
    file. The diagrams and images are much better in the pdf files than
    what you get in the online web version.
  9. Joel Kolstad

    Joel Kolstad Guest

    Maybe it's me, but I really wouldn't recommend the ARRL handbook for someone
    wanting to learn electronics without any formal background. Although it has
    plenty on beginning electronics, the organization is more 'topical' than
    'tutorial' in nature, and early chapters talk about things like current
    distributions on antennas, which are far beyond someone who doesn't yet know
    anything about resonant circuits, standing waves, etc. (...covered in later
    chapters!) There's also a lack of worked example problems (not to mention
    'homework' problems), which makes it difficult to go from a discussion of
    concepts to actually applying them.

    I think the Forrest Mims books are much better starting material.

    The ARRL handbook _is_ kinda cool, for a beginner, to see just what you
    _can_ build yourself once you do have some theory under your belt! And I
    _do_ think everyone interested in electronics should eventually end up with
    a copy.
    It would be nice if there were an electronic version, but I imagine they
    figure that it would immediately be pirated and thereby cut into sales of
    the printed version.

  10. Nobody expects anybody to read this book from page one to the last page.
    It is much better to search the index or browse through the book and find
    the chapters you are interested in, or need at the moment.
    I have not read his book, but I hope it is a lot better than the hundreds
    of his articles in Popular Electronics I read many years ago. His
    articles were superficial and full of errors, as I remember them.
    I think it has good chapters on elementary electronics, treated in a very
    practical manner. And the book also has lots of data on components,
    formulas and reference stuff you need.
    Quoting from

    "The most complete update in a decade! This edition is by far the most
    extensively revised version of this work in ten years. Entire sections of
    this book were updated to reflect the most current state-of-the-art:
    analog and digital signals and components; working with surface-mount
    components; High-Speed Multimedia (HSMM); new and previously unpublished
    antennas, and advice on baluns; satellites and EME, now with new Phase 3E
    details; oscillators, DSP and software radio design; a new chapter with
    Internet tips for hams, Wireless Fidelity or Wi-Fi, and other wireless
    and PC technology.

    CD-ROM now included. For the first time, this edition is bundled with The
    ARRL Handbook CD (version 9.0)--the fully searchable and complete book on
    CD-ROM (including many color images)."
  11. TW

    TW Guest

  12. Guest

    You might start with

    It might not help directly -- it just a collection of links.
    But those topics are arranged like the courses being studied
    in school so that you might be able to pick up the stuff
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