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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by nyancatvsghosthead, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Okay, so I need some pretty basic advice. I don't remember every piece of science that goes with every chapter of my Electronics book. Here's my story:

    So, I started this MAKE: Electronics book right before I moved into a real high school, from a private high school. I bought the book right before the end of summer. I supposedly did experiments 1 to 10 so far. The problem is that due to the amount of work I've had, I haven't been able to remember much of the science. Here's a general idea of what I remember:

    The parts so far:

    -Fuses

    Function: I think the function of a fuse is to contain some of the power in the circuit. I think it is to protect the circuit from overheating.

    -Jumper Wires

    Function: to connect different parts of the circuit together in an easy way, without a breadboard.

    -Resistors

    Function: Stop too much electricity from flowing through the circuit for safety, very much like a fuse.

    Science: These use ohms. An ohm is a measurement of how much resistance a resistor has to the electricity in the circuit.

    -Toggle Switches

    Function: These toggle switches connect the middle wire to one of the two side wires. When the the switch is flipped, it literally changes how the circuit is completed. This is used to toggle between two functions in an actual machine.

    -Relays

    Function: These parts change the direction of the circuit also. When used, they change the direction of the circuit or let's the electricity through in order to let electricity move through that function for a split second, usually to be used for a specific function.

    -Transistors

    Function: Transistors are used, essentially for the same reason as relays. A transistor has a collector, base and emitter. The collector receives the electricity. The base and the emitter are like a faucet. The emitter lets the electricity through, while the base let's off the electricity to either nothing or a part of the circuit that is meant to default a function of the circuit.

    -Push button Switches

    Function: These switches allow something to happen when the button is pressed (this is an obvious one)

    -Alligator Clips

    Function: Connect things together, esp. wires.

    -Breadboard

    Function: The circuit board, which puts the circuit into a chip, as a substitute for alligator clips.

    -Potentiometers

    Function: A way to control the amount of current flowing through a circuit at once, in order to turn the electricity up or down. Such is used for dimmers.

    -LEDs

    Function: Lights that let one know that the circuit is working and conserve power.

    -Capacitors

    Function: Capacitors function in uni-farads, micro farads, and macro-farads. These farad units control the speed of the circuit. A capacitor changes the speed of the circuit, which either speeds up or slows down the circuit. This is difference from a resistor.

    So, I'm wondering this: do I need to go back and reread all of what I've learned? I'm worried that I'm not learning enough. Any advice?
     
  2. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    The short answer is yes, go back and re-read, you only have an elementary grasp of several things and I'm not going to say your answers are flat out wrong but they are hardly complete or correct...

    Also this is just what appears to be a random list of items and a generic definition... Even though I don't know the book I would suspect that 10 projects covered much more then 12 or so generic definitions...

    EDIT OK there is free sample PDF of the book, and YES IMO you need to go back and start over... The book appears to cover things in much more detail...
     
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,765
    1,920
    Sep 5, 2009
    hi there

    I seriously think you need to do some google or wiki searching on some of your
    items lets take
    thats all pretty much wrong
    capacitor value ranges from smallest to largest commonly used

    pF = picoFarad 1000pF = 1nF (1pF is an extremely small capacitance)
    nF = nanoFarad 1000nF = 1uF
    uF = microFarad 10,000uF is quite a large value capacitance

    Often in circuits with microprocessors you may find capacitors with really large values like 0.5 Farad or 1 Farad
    these are used as a form of power storage and perform the function of a backup battery.

    Very rarely you may see mF = milliFarad, it is not one that is in common use like the others

    Basically, Capacitors store a charge, a couple of things they are commonly used for are
    1) --- smoothing on DC voltage lines to remove AC voltage
    2) --- DC voltage blocking between stages of an electronic circuit, say stages of an audio amplifier.

    do some searching on smoothing capacitors and on Dc blocking capacitors

    Capacitors pass an AC current but block a DC current

    thats a basic start for you lets see what else you can find :)

    cheers
    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  4. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012

    Yes and no on this:
    They are not specifically for overheating, they are rated for current and/or voltage so if too much current and/or voltage goes to a certain point it will break the connection, by melting a filament or a thin metal bridge


    Almost, they are used for a lot more than protection, they can be used for current limitation, and can be used to change the voltages applied to certain points

    Again, almost:
    While they can be used for split second connections they can also be used for indefinite connections, for example when used in latching circuits, they switch once and then stay closed (or open) until power is removed

    Not only for current, but can be for voltage, and for things dependent on impedance

    can be used for much more than just an indicator that the circuit is working, they can be used for basically anything you want to make flash/have a light etc

    That really depends on your end goal, but yes, go back and read more, a lot more, from multiple sources for different explanations/descriptions/uses

    -Green
     
  5. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Should I just re-read everything I've read? I'm just wondering.
     
  6. BobK

    BobK

    7,682
    1,687
    Jan 5, 2010
    Perhaps you should read a real electronics text book. It does not sound like what you have read gave you any foundation at all.

    Bob
     
  7. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Well, Here's what happened

    I read each experiment. But I also had a ton of school work to do in between.
    So I think I forgot the actual science. I remember the basic parts. I just forgot most of
    the all important science. I ended up doing the experiments, but not acually remembering.
    This is because I did like an experiment per month and so I forgot. I happen to be in high school. Should I just read over and try to finish over the summer, since I've done the experiments?
     
  8. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Or is that a bad idea?
     
  9. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    Sounds like a great idea, it never hurts to start from the beginning and reground yourself in the basics...
     
  10. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Also, should I actually do the experiments again? I don't
    want to if I don't have to. I mean I know I should read. Also, I've spent a long time with the book
    and I want to know of I could finish it over the summer. Is that a good idea? Thanks for the reply.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  11. GreenGiant

    GreenGiant

    842
    6
    Feb 9, 2012
    the ones that you have done may not be very useful a second or third time, but experiments in general make the education, I would not have my degree if it weren't for hands on experiments
     
  12. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    IMO yes, from my quick once over of the sample book it appears to be tied directly to each experiment, thus it's likely best to do each experiment as you read, so that you can get the most out of it...
     
  13. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Thank you. That makes perfect sense. I'll do that. :)
     
  14. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    I have one last question. How long should it take me to do all of this? I've been with the book for a year, but have made very little progress. Could I finish the book in two months or less, because if so, I could have it done by the time school starts. This is because I have like a two month summer. I COULD do it over the summer right? I mean, if I take time every day to do each experiment. I mean Hypothetically speaking, and retain all of the information. I KNOW that you don't know how long I'll take. What I'm asking is, on average, what is considered a reasonable but quick amount of time to complete the book? What are your recommendations and opinions? Any extra opinions appreciated please. Thank you. :)
     
  15. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
    My only knowledge of the book is the few sample chapters I downloaded... I suspect some people could rifle through the entire book in a few days, others will take weeks or even months... Like most things it's all dependent upon the individual and the amount of time they devote to it... I have seen people read entire 500 page novels in a day or two never putting it down, and I have seen people that take a year to complete the same novel because they only read a few minutes before bed each night...
     
  16. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
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    Jan 7, 2012
    Oh, okay. Has anyone here known of anyone who has done MAKE: Electronics before?
     
  17. john monks

    john monks

    693
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    Mar 9, 2012
    What is "MAKE"? GreenGiant is correct. There are only three basic electronic components, resistors, capacitors, and inductors. Memorizing formulas is of little use. You need to work from scientific facts and definitions. Then you will be generating your own formulas. You should be experimenting with these components every day. This will make your studies far easier. At some point you will need to take mathematics from algebra through differential equations. I suggest that once you start you do not stop until you are through. Understanding electronics is a hands on project. And for me this has been a great source of excitement and this is how I make my living.
     
  18. CocaCola

    CocaCola

    3,635
    5
    Apr 7, 2012
  19. nyancatvsghosthead

    nyancatvsghosthead

    117
    0
    Jan 7, 2012
    Yes, that is what I'm referring to. I just want in your experience, if you have friends that have done this or if you have done it, how long did it take you/them? I heard that a year is a long time for it, but that could mean that I could do it over the summer. I want to complete the book this summer and still retain the information. What I'm looking for is something that points to that being a reasonable goal. I won't correct you guys though because you guys are experts and obviously I'm not one. I actually think it would be nice if I could complete this book before next school year to help my robotics team membership. :) P.S. I don't have any time to do it during the school year.
     
  20. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,473
    2,819
    Jan 21, 2010
    The key is to go no faster than you can understand the stuff.

    If you are having problems understanding then keep at it.

    You remember the problem with the transistor that turned out to be the wrong device? If you had given up on that one you wouldn't have realised that the problem was something unexpected, and you would have been caught again the next time.

    It's more of a problem to go too fast than too slow.
     
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