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General Advice on How to Learn Best

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by SparkyCal, Mar 26, 2020.

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  1. SparkyCal


    Mar 11, 2020
    I am a newbie and have been roaming between trying projects as demonstrated on Youtube, using a breadboard, doing the odd Adriuno project and trying to code, getting tips from this forum, and reading some theory (Ohms law etc).

    What I am finding however, is that I can usually follow a circuit schematic or Youtube video and assemble a circuit on a breadboard, but those videos rarely explain why things are working and rather, just help you make things work. In other words, they are a "do as you are shown" video and things will work.

    I am starting to understand some concepts just based on common sense, asking and reading. Am I going about this correctly? i wish i knew how to understand why people are assembling circuits and choosing the components they do, rather than just replicating what they are doing.

    I am finding however, that studying certain components (for example, i began watching videos on the 555 timer, based on recommendations from users on this board), and I found that helpful. Today, I was watching a video all about boolean math and chips that have Not OR AND etc relationships.

    Am I going about this correctly?

    As an analogy, i have always been able to play rhythm guitar and write songs. But I never knew how to play lead guitar. Every attempt sounded like a train wreck. Finally, I forced myself to join a guitar forum with a bunch of nice people like you folks, that patiently responded to all my stupid questions. I started making headway, but became stuck many times. But I told myself, I am NOT giving up. So I decided to treat it like a university course, forcing myself to study how to play lead guitar for at least 2 hours per day- sometimes 3. After 4 months of this, I can now play fluid lead and jam with anyone without any prep. I am not bragging- God knows, this did not come easy to me.

    Is learning electronics the same sort of thing, or is there a better way?
  2. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    Nov 8, 2019
  3. SparkyCal


    Mar 11, 2020
    Very helpful. I will put this in my to read file.
  4. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    Cannonball likes this.
  5. Cannonball


    May 6, 2017
    Start with simple circuits and learn what each part does.Build the circuit on a breadboard.The more you learn the more you want to learn and the more fun you will have.Keep studying and it will pay off. I hope this helps.
  6. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Do not trust blindly any "projects" you see on the internet. When in doubt, ask e.g. here for clarification. Unfortunately there are quite a few "projects" out there that are really bad designs, some even will not work reproducibly.
    Try to understand what happens and why. Learn how to read and understand datasheets (not a very simple task, I can tell you). Learn the workings of components. In particular learn how active components work. There is, e.g., much more to a transistor or MOSFET than beign a simple on/off switch.
    That way you'll also learn how to modify existing designs to match your specific requirements and finally you'll be able to create designs of your own.
    bertus likes this.
  7. bertus

    bertus Moderator

    Nov 8, 2019


    May 20, 2017
    Buy a book called "The art of electronics" written by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill; ISBN0787721907244. This reference is for the third edition which most current as far as I am aware.
    This book really is the Bible of electronics and takes the reader from the basics onwards.
    Martaine2005 likes this.
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