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Mechanical engineer looking to expand knowledge

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by JRW68, Feb 25, 2004.

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  1. JRW68

    JRW68 Guest

    I am a senior M.E. student at penn state who is looking to learn alot
    more about electronics, mainly in microcontrollers and similar
    topics. I dont want to come across as a TEACH ME person. I searched
    ALL of the posts on this forum as well as other ones, I have also
    searched the web and frankly am tired of sifting through all the
    results. So, I was hoping for some direction. I have had C++,
    Electrical engineering, and Controls classes for my degree. We were
    taught alot about each topic but not how to combine everything to
    produce an outcome, if you know what I mean. You might ask why I
    dont just take a class in electronics at PSU, well I dont care to pay
    for something that I will probably be forced to learn on my own even
    if I have a proffessor teaching it. (thats headed in a whole other

    I was curious about what books you might suggest that would suite my
    level of knowledge. As well as books on using a computer as a
    control device, I have seen some info on this but a good book would
    be nice. I have looked several places at books, when I find books
    they either seem too simple or not really what I want. Text books
    would be fine too

    I understand the physical aspect of what I will need todo: make a
    program, transfer it to a PIC, and "plumb it up"..... I was wondering
    if there was software that allowed you to basically construct block
    diagrams of your control system, set range of input values, and
    simply apply output scenarios... I think this would be more M.E.
    oriented.... if no thing exists, some programmer reading this should
    make it haha (pass it on)...Basically im trying to avoid relearning
    programming languages although I can if I have to, which i probably
    will have to.

    Also I was wondering if anyone scavenges parts from things, like old
    computers, VCRs, and whatever... I have several old computers and a
    working old laptop (good old presario), Car ECMs.... im a junk
    collector.. I was just curious if there was a book that i could get
    that would help identify certain things and where they would be that
    would be worth rescueing.

    Man, now you guys probably think i chose the wrong major... if you
    knew me you would understand....

    Thanks.... your time is appriciated

  2. fpd

    fpd Guest

    You want LabVIEW (and/or LabWindows). After a lot of definitions, you can
    watch a signal "bubble" through your circuit. Take a peek on National
    Instruments web site:
  3. JRW68

    JRW68 Guest

    that software looks awesome, Im going to have to email them and talk
    about student discounts... 999$ wont burn a whole in my pocket.....
    it would probably burn straight through both legs.... Im sure any
    good software is going to be up there though

    thanks, any more pointers?
  4. fpd

    fpd Guest

    Sorry about the $1k price tag. The package is used in HUGE systems (city
    size), so it's good stuff, and could possibly be overwhelming (Autocad-ish,
    but actually interacts with physical devices). I hope a student's discount
    works for you, or if you can convince your school to pay for it and make a
    backup copy... More pointers? Study until your eyes bleed, then study some
    more. When you are done with school, your work will be a cake walk - so
    have fun!

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