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Total electronics noob

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Chucksta, Feb 21, 2012.

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  1. Chucksta

    Chucksta

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Hi all

    Well, at this point I know virtually nothing. Capacitor ? Resistor ?

    In fact the only part I do know what its purpose is is the circuit board. Otherwise, forget about it :)

    Anyway, the main aim here is to add the knowledge of electronics to my computing related skills, so that I will then be able to do absolutely anything with a computer short of becoming a Daddy !
     
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,448
    2,809
    Jan 21, 2010
    Welcome to Electronics Point.

    Maybe we can help you with your goals.

    The only thing is, start small. "Hello World" is a good example!
     
  3. Chucksta

    Chucksta

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    Feb 21, 2012
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,448
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    Jan 21, 2010
    Almost everything has a "hello world" equivalent.

    Get a battery, a breadboard, a LED and a resistor. Connect them all up and you've "hello worlded" your breadboard.

    With a PIC or other microcontroller, the typical "hello world" is to cause a single LED to flash on and off.
     
  5. Chucksta

    Chucksta

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Ah, of course, "Hello World, I am here, working"

    That Dummies book is very good, and easy to read. I now understand the purpose of the Atom in the creation of electricity :)

    I've ordered a soldering iron plus other required bits from maplin (gonna need to practise soldering), then once I get to my first practical, I'll order the required parts. Actually, I'll order the parts you mentioned, plus the microcontroller :)

    I found these two excellent tutorials on soldering:
    Solder a wire

    Solder and Desolder on a circuit board


    Not meaning any disrespect to Americans, but from the vids I have viewed about soldering it's as if they drop the 'l' when pronouncing 'solder'... :O
     
  6. donkey

    donkey

    1,289
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    Feb 26, 2011
    thats all great but what are you going to solder? got a project in mind?
    I reccommend getting a kit or two to understand basics of electronics(hands on is always fun, especially if it involves loud noises late at night), then move along to soldering. the dummies books are ok and they have alot of information in them, but there are heaps more books out there depending on what you want to learn
     
  7. Chucksta

    Chucksta

    15
    0
    Feb 21, 2012
    With the soldering equipment, initially, I am just going to dismantle some old circuit boards I have, and re-assemble them, just to perfect the soldering.

    I haven't got a project in mind, but will definitely do as you say, and get some kits to work on.

    I did robotics at Uni (1 module - primarily programming), and found that very interesting, so will look into getting kits for that, or at least progressing to robotics level :)
    This looks like a promising site for robotic kits:
    http://proto-pic.co.uk/categories/Robotics/Robot-Kits/

    I should probably start VERY simple, with something along the lines of what Steve said... get an LED working, and then turning on and off.

    The dummies book suits me for now, speaks in my language, simple and amusing :)

    Instead of continuing with this thread in the Introduction area, I think I should create a new one in a more appropriate forum, especially as I am at the stage where I know virtually nothing. A kind of diary of a Noob.

    Thanks for the welcome and tips :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  8. donkey

    donkey

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    Feb 26, 2011
    you studied robotics... wouldn't say an absolute noob. but i might message you from time to time to help with a project i have in mind lol
     
  9. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,448
    2,809
    Jan 21, 2010
    If you're salvaging components, perhaps the first thing you can do id try to identify some and get datasheets for any that you can.

    Then get a solderless breadboard and (if the leads are long enough) you can start making simple circuits. Perhaps you can search old boards for the components you need. It will certainly ensire you're familiar with resistor colour codes for example.

    Then you can learn how the components work, and from there how the circuits work.
     
  10. Chucksta

    Chucksta

    15
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    Feb 21, 2012
    They used Mindstorms sets! That course was 2006 - 2009

    But programmatically the principle should be the same.

    Back in the early 90s I was on a Computer Science course at Kent, and there we did some proper robotics - Digital Systems, Robotics (Motorolla 68k programming), heuristics, scientific computing. But, that was a long time ago, and I remember very little. I think I spent most of the time drunk or asleep, oh and watching Neighbours (Ausi TV program).

    I'll be more than happy to help you, where I can :)

    And I can't wait to start messing about with my own proper robot.

    Actually, I shouldn't put down the Mindstorms stuff, it's actually very good :)
     
  11. Chucksta

    Chucksta

    15
    0
    Feb 21, 2012
    Excellent idea. Thanks.

    Now to message my friends (they work in the IT industry - AMEX, IBM, HP, etc.), and see if they can find some boards I can have.

    This is very cool... "datasheets"... new terminology for me... love it :)

    Solderless breadboard.... gonna get ordering now, thanks
     
  12. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    25,448
    2,809
    Jan 21, 2010
    Most "new" equipment is going to use a great deal of surface mount components, and they're less suitable for beginner style experimenting. You really need to salvage stuff from older equipment.
     
  13. Chucksta

    Chucksta

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Okay, thanks for the tip :)
     
  14. AGLite

    AGLite

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    Feb 19, 2012
    I would recommend starting out with an electronics lab or kit. radioshack has a great lab called Electronics learning lab, comes with the lab (on board power, buttons, leds, breadboard, transformer, switches, potentiometers, meter, speaker, buzzer, and a relay) also a ton of components like PICs and resistors and capacitors, and two booklets full of info and projects. This is how I am getting started, Its really great. Its also only 70 bucks.
     
  15. Chucksta

    Chucksta

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Brilliant find, mate :)

    And they have a RadioShack in the UK, double :)

    Besides the Electronics learning lab (£49.99), they also have an Electronic Sensors Lab (£39.99). All looks good, and pretty much an excellent rating by most people on the US site, who have bought them.

    I think I will go with building up my equipment by working on small projects and kits, but those kits from RadioShack do look very good... I be a little tempted :)
     
  16. donkey

    donkey

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    Feb 26, 2011
    here in australia we have a company called jaycar(here goes phil promoting jaycar again lol) and they have kits to do all sorts of wicked stuff, from piano up to automotive kits.
    I am sure most countries will have a similiar company (or just buy from jaycar cos they rock) and learn from there. just a note about these kits though, most places i see have the kits in one bag but the instructions either come in a book with about 50 others or they are sold seperately..... its kind of deceptive but thats how i find them.
     
  17. Chucksta

    Chucksta

    15
    0
    Feb 21, 2012
    That site looks cool. Tons of goodies for the beginner by the looks of it, and they have a UK store: jaycarelectronics.co.uk.

    I'm thinking that will be an excellent start on the practical side of this... first steps into getting my hands dirty.

    Thanks donkey, you've just killed the rest of my day. I'm gonna be glued to that site for a good while, checking out all those goodies. And yeah, the manuals that tell you how to build the kits are separate to the kits, but they are pretty cheap, and each manual covers many projects.

    Now to find a couple of nice starter kits and the manual that covers them :)

    Wow: http://www.jaycarelectronics.co.uk/productView.asp?ID=KJ8502&form=CAT2&SUBCATID=963#11
    Sooo cheap, and plenty to play with. Damn, what a find!
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  18. donkey

    donkey

    1,289
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    Feb 26, 2011
    if they have it like the aussie store you can order the big catalog for around $2.50.... I always fiind stuff in there to play with, the best part is they also stock the tools to start, having said that when you get more advanced you might want other items they don't stock so don't rely on these guys alone. anyway happy hunting
     
  19. Chucksta

    Chucksta

    15
    0
    Feb 21, 2012
    Donkey, that UK store is not actually a UK store :( They still ship from Australia :(

    So, what I reckon I'll do is buy their books, 1, 2 and 3, because they look very very good judging by examples I haves seen on the net.. Then I'll get the components here in the UK.

    I guess the books list what is required for each project ?

    Besides the books, I have just ordered this:
    http://www.bitsbox.co.uk/select.html

    This set accompanies this site's tutorials:
    http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/index.htm

    I reckon that will get me started off nicely, finally :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
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