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How to practice and use electronics

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by u0362565, Nov 27, 2013.

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  1. u0362565


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm new to electronics, i bought electronics for dummies and learnt some basics using a solderless breadboard and now i've moved on to soldering and made a few electronics kits like an FM radio etc from manufacturers like Velleman. So i've learnt a fair bit so far and making predefined projects from instructions is fine but i don't really know where to go from here. Eventually you run out of kits that you want to build either out of interest or for a practical use. Perhaps i'm not being inventive enough and should be coming up with my own ideas for what to make? Although that would require more skill as well to pick the right components.

    The other issue i've come across is that most kits use DC power sources which again is fine for short term use but ideally i guess i'd like to make things that use AC and take batteries out of the equation but i don't really feel confident enough to take on AC, if i get something wrong it could be quite dangerous.

    I just wondered whether other people have come across these problems? It reminds me of when i learnt to play guitar and eventually stopped because i wasn't in a band therefore didn't feel i had anywhere to go with it apart from learning songs i liked and i fear i might go the same way with electronics if i don't have any direction.


  2. electrocutedUnlessHelped


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hey Matt,

    I'm kind of in the same position as you, just fumbling into electronics and looking for some kits to build or something. I've been looking for kits that are a little more versatile though, I think you may be interested in the same! Look for things like programmable microcontrollers? with screen displays? maybe then you could do something a little inventive? It seems that the reason you become bored with things is because you don't throw caution to the wind enough to try new things, be inventive, get a crazy idea. This isn't something to feel bad about, I'm actually only saying this because I used to be just like that. Always thinking there needed to be one solution (I have to join a band or I shouldn't play a guitar), sometimes it's better to just say eff it and just start something totally new with all the old kits you buy, take them all apart and try to combine them all into one idea that's all yourself. You don't have to care about being in a band to play guitar, you don't even have to learn other peoples songs! Make a song from scratch, write all your own notes and lyrics. It will probably be terrible, but I prefer failure towards higher goals than success at petty accomplishments (learning someone else's song).

    Uhm, so yeah, if you find somewhere to buy cool kits let me know! :p
  3. jpanhalt


    Nov 12, 2013
    Hi Matt,

    There is no endeavor for which you can expect other people to keep you interested. The interest must come from within. Competition is one way to do that. Need is another (e.g., pay the rent, put food on the table). There are other drivers.

    As for electronics, I have no pressing needs. I am retired and don't, nor would I, do it for money. For me, I am constantly thinking of things I would like to do. Those projects keep me busy when I can't work outdoors. And sites such as Electronics Point allow me relaxation and stimulus even during months of good weather. We just had our first snow, so it is time to dust off last year's unfinished project. I will never be done.

  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi Matt
    welcome to the forums :)

    well your next step then would be to use plugpack type power supplies
    it gets you away from batteries for projects that don't need to be portable but keeps you away from mains voltage circuits till you are ready :)

  5. u0362565


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the responses, looks like i just need to have a good think about what i set out to do and what my aims are. Initially i was intrigued by electronics and just wanted to grasp the basics and build a few circuits which i've done but i'd like to keep doing it if possible.

    One website which lists some home made projects is instructables:

    If anyone knows of other sites which i can use for inspiration let me know, electronics point looks like a good place to start!

  6. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Yeah, but many of the projects are very poorly engineered.
  7. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    Try SparkFun or Adafruit. Stay away from "destructables".
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
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