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group faq?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Kenneth Sundby, Nov 10, 2003.

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  1. Does this group have a FAQ or a archive somewhere?
    Does it containt links to sites aimed at teaching newcommers like myself?

    Kenneth Sundby
  2. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest


    I dont know of one. Maybe the guys here can start one. Here is my

    Q: "How can I do 'xyz' (something really complicated), using only
    hardware logic gates, relays, and transistors?"

    A: Its time to join the microcontroller generation - learn how to
    program and use them in complex projects like this.
  3. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest

    I didn't realize you could program a microcontroller to produce a faq ;-)
  4. Sure, and its cleaner than a room full of monkeys at keyboards, too!

    On a serious note, if there is enough interest in a FAQ, I am will to
    compile the data and put it online.
  5. It would be a nice touch for it to happen, but the group tends to be rather
    broad. It would also be nice (and quite realistic) to post a page of
    "frequently requested projects". The FRP page would probably have LED
    modulators, game show pushbutton circuits, a taser or two, a Knight Rider light,
    some power supplies...
    I wouldn't mind contributing a handful of schematics for that.


    Chip Shults
    My robotics, space and CGI web page -
  6. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest

    Michael A. Terrell wrote:


    This posting was a bit 'tounge in cheek'. I dont know if a FAQ for this
    type of group is possible. FAQ's usually contain specific questions and
    answers that come up very often. That does not mean that we could not
    do something very useful in one, like general guidelines for asking
    questions - such as including what the overall goal is, and being
    specific about all the requirement.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Anyone have general information that could be put in our FAQ?
  7. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest

    I like the idea better all the time. How about a collection of all of
    our 'favorite tricks' allong with some links to projects that use them?
    Also, links to favorite part sources and hot deals on specific parts.

    Considering the scope of this group, and the collection of varied
    expertise here, this could turn into one of the hottest engineering
    resources on the net.
  8. Do you think it should be limited to the Basics group, or do we need
    a broader FAQ covering all the sci.electronics groups (Except Sam has that one already covered.)
  9. Then it sounds like you are wanting to write a book. Sam has done a wonderful
    job in that form for sci.electronics repair but it does not hold that
    every FAQ has to have every answer.

    The purpose of a FAQ is to clear out some of the clutter, not answer
    everything anyone could ask. Yes, in some newsgroups the FAQ is pretty
    extensive, but I'd argue that in those cases it is a field where there
    is limited information, and the participants are writing the details.

    With electronics, pretty much everything has already been written down.
    If people are asking common and simple questions, it's not because they
    have nowhere to look, it's that they aren't looking. That includes not
    doing websearches, but it also means not looking in (or even buying) books.

    So really, the FAQ should be about the newsgroup, what's on topic and maybe
    pointers to the other newsgroups in the hierarchy, a bit about not posting
    binaries (and how to handle the problem, be it to a binary newsgroup or
    stashing the file somewhere on the web), maybe some history of the newsgroup,
    and some general pointers to where to find basic information.

    When Michael Covington was doing the Q&A column in Electronics Now,
    he dedicated space every month to what amounted to a FAQ. It was not
    detail, it was pointers to some useful sources. He was right, it was
    worth expending a fair percentage of the column each month to repeating
    the information, since there was no way he could deal with all the questions.
    And a significant portion of the repeated information was a list of important

    If someone is asking how large a resistor they need for lighting an
    LED, they haven't bothered with the basics. They should be looking in
    books to learn some of that, rather than forcing people to answer once
    again their question. People's time is better spent trying to fill in
    a bit of information that a poster is having problems grasping (ie they've
    already tried to understand, but need help) instead of typing in stuff
    that has already been typed in, in books or even in previous questions.

    If you start creating a massive file, then it won't get posted here, and
    the people who most need it won't see it. If you come up with something
    that is enough to cover most things, but still small, then it can be posted
    here on a weekly basis and everyone can see it.

  10. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest

    It may be best to target it at the basics group. There is no real
    dividing line. If we cover the most basic stuff first, that is quite a
    project in itself. Maybe break it down into catagories: audio, video,
    powersupply, logic, micro, etc.

    Then we could expand into more advanced stuff once we have some kind of
    structure to put things in.

  11. What I was thinking about was a small FAQ that could be posted to the
    newsgroup, along with a link to more data on a website. The basic part
    of the FAQ would be the simple stuff, along with tips on how to find
    data on the net.

    The website would have things like: a list of sites with decent
    quality schematics and projects. Another list of places that sell kits.
    One for surplus dealers, another for OEM distributors. A list of places
    to buy or download manuals. A list of recommended books, tools and
    equipment for someone just starting out, and some reference materials on
    common components. Some basic formulas, with examples of how to use the
    formulas. For instance, when someone asks "How do I find the resonant
    frequency of..." you have it in the FAQ.

    Common subjects that take a lot of time and space need to be
    collected. Then anyone familiar with the FAQ can post a link to the area
    that deals with the subject, rather than have 250 message length threads
    arguing over everything except the original question. I already have
    some reference materials and links on my website and I will be expanding
    them, as time permits.
  12. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    the FAQ should be about the newsgroup, what's on topic and maybe

    Nettiquite tips & links to pages on basics will do a lot
    without making a huge page. (Re-inventing the wheel is a waste.)
    Making the sections of the page (topics) linkable
    gives you an easy way to answer a bone-head question.
    If properly blockquoted, a response could have as little as 2 lines:
    Look here, dude:
  13. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, how about the idea that, since "FAQ" means "Frequently Asked
    Questions," some nice volunteer could comb through the archives and
    glean the frequently asked questions. :)

    Any volunteers?
    ;-) Rich
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