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very new to electronics. looking for starting place.

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Scott Zechman, Aug 1, 2004.

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  1. Hi all,

    I have a very very basic knowedge of electroics. I have a project in mind
    that i would like to build but have no idea where to even get started. I
    looked over a few posts in this group and they are over my head. Is there a
    web site that would have a "getting started" section for someone with my
    very limited knowledge? If more details are needed on my project please let
    me know. This is a one time project and I am not persuing a career in
    electronics, so all the help i can get would be apprecated. If this is the
    wrong group to post this in, please parden the intrusion.

    thanks,

    Scott
     
  2. Byron A Jeff

    Byron A Jeff Guest

    -Hi all,
    -
    -I have a very very basic knowedge of electroics. I have a project in mind
    -that i would like to build but have no idea where to even get started. I
    -looked over a few posts in this group and they are over my head. Is there a
    -web site that would have a "getting started" section for someone with my
    -very limited knowledge? If more details are needed on my project please let
    -me know. This is a one time project and I am not persuing a career in
    -electronics, so all the help i can get would be apprecated. If this is the
    -wrong group to post this in, please parden the intrusion.

    You're in the right place.

    As to what you need to read up on, more detail of your project is required.

    Share with us what you already know, and whay you're trying to do.

    BAJ
     
  3. I know what the basic components are (ie, resistors, ic's, etc). I know how
    to solder and am really good at following diagrams. I have a good idea of
    what components do, (ie, a capasitor stores a charge and a transistor is a
    switch, sort of, and an ic is a collection of transistors) but putting all
    of them together to actually do something is beyond me. I have gotten basic
    books from Radio Shack that had projects in them and was able to
    successfully build the projects by following the instructions, but could not
    tell you WHY it works. I guess that is what I am getting to, I want to build
    my project that works, but really (at this point anyway) dont care why it
    works. Sorry is that is a dissapointment to some of you diehard electronics
    experts out there. I dont mean to offend. Now on with my project.

    This is more of a two projects that work hand in hand.

    1. I want to design some type of curcit that is capable of storing a sound
    bite on a some type of memory chip. about 20 seconds more or less. The
    source could be through a line in type such as a computer sound card or a
    mic. I think i would have a better quality with a line in type as there
    would be no background noice associated with a mic. A spin off project would
    be to be able to store multipule sound bytes on a larger chip or chips and
    have them selectable with a switch. The chips would have to be able to be
    erased to allow new sound bites to be recorded.

    2. play back of the sound bite(s). I would like to incorporate this into
    (now dont laugh) a CB radio. So for example, if I flip a switch to active
    the "sound bite chip" and key up the mic, the sound bite would be played
    rather than someone talking into the mic.

    that is my project. Now if anyone is interested in a little background on
    me, you can read this.

    I was a database programmer in another life. Sept 11 changed that for me as
    I became unemployed. I had to do something to support my family so I started
    driving a Big Rig. What a carear change! I still have my love of computers
    and intend to get back into that some day. so my project comes from what I
    have seen other Truckers have in there CB radios. If you go to a CB shop
    they would be more than happy to install this type of prerecorded sound chip
    in your CB for you. For 45.00. And if you want a different sound you have to
    get a new prerecorded chip. And yes, that would be another 45.00. That is
    where I came up with the idea of something that I could erase and rerecord
    over. Just trying to have a little fun while I have to spend time away from
    my family.

    Thanks in advance for any help,

    Scott
     
  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Well, you're not going to bring it in for 45.00! You'll spend that just
    on your first tools.

    Then, that's an _awfully_ big project for a very first project. It's
    definitely doable, but I'd recommend doing it in little chunks.

    If all you want is a cookbook, connect-the-dots of an input amp,
    ADC, memory, DAC, output amp, and control logic, I'd say, Lots of Luck!
    I know I could "design" something that would accomplish this - actually
    more like copy example circuits from data books and string them together -,
    but I wouldn't want to start on it unless I had a couple of weeks to
    devote to it. And I've been into electronics for 35 years. Went pro
    in 1968, in the USAF. But enough about me.

    I'm really sorry if it sounds like I'm saying you shouldn't even try,
    but to build something like that, and "[not] care why it works",
    it will be extremely difficult to get it working, even with the most
    detailed of instructions.

    If you wanted to approach this as a learning experience, I'd share your
    enthusiasm, but from what you've said so far, it'll be much cheaper in
    the long run to just buy the unit. Now, just programming the one chip,
    that's a little less - actually, not that much less - involved than
    the whole shebang with interface and everything, but you'd still need
    the amp and ADC (which I guess you could do with the computer), and
    some way of programming the chip, which you _still_ couldn't build for
    less than $45.00. And Dawg knows how much in time and frustration!

    Anyway, don't make any rash decisions based on my input - I really want
    to read your response to me - I may be way off base as to where you're
    at with all this.

    Cheers!
    Rich
     
  5. Thanks for the reply. I guess I am the type of person that wants it now. I
    think back to my computer experience and it was a long hard road of
    learning. took years and years. I assume the same would be true for
    electronics. as a matter of fact I took an electronics course in school,
    back in the day around 1981. That is when I decided that I would rather get
    into computers. Working the end result of the electronics rather than the
    electronics themselves. I guess a lot has changed since 1981. I still
    remember ohms law and how to calculate resistance run in parellel. I realize
    that this is a rather large project as I am jumping right into digital
    electronics, but for someone with my very rudimentary knowledge, wouldnt it
    take years of study to come up to speed to tackle something like this? This
    project is just like me, jumping in with both feet. I was going over the
    posts in the group and could follow alot of it. Like the discussing about
    the LED's and the difference between running them in parellel with there own
    resistors as opposed to running them in sieries with one resistor. And then
    there where other discussions that I was just clueless about with no frame
    of reference. As for the cost of the project, I feel that it could "pay for
    itself" by being able to reprogram the chip on my own rather than paying
    someone else 45.00 everytime I needed it reprogrammed. As far as "not caring
    why it works" I guess that is not necessarally true. Its just that the time
    I think that it would take to increase my knowedge to the point where I
    could design something like this would take years, not weeks or even months.
    I am still interested in doing the project but have no idea even where to
    get started. I have no idea of what parts are availble. What type of memory
    chip i would use to store my sound byte, etc. I guess I could get some parts
    from Radio Shack, but only the very basic ones. (I used to work there so I
    have a good idea of their inventory). I have seen these types of devices in
    CB Shops and on the bread boards that they use it only appears to be a few
    parts, so i do not see cost as a real big issue (at least not for the final
    cost. I do see how testing and trial and error could get expensive) but of
    course the design is of a closely guarded secret as they want to keep
    getting their 45.00. Cant say as I blame them, they have to eat too. Well I
    have gone on enough here. If you have any suggestions as to where to get
    started, please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Scott





     
  6. CFoley1064

    CFoley1064 Guest

    <snip>

    Hi, Scott. If you just "want it now", you'd probably be best off with a kit.
    There are a number of good kits built around the ISD 400X chips (made by
    somebody else now, I think) which are reasonably priced and will get you where
    you want to go fairly quickly. Here's one such kit:

    http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/audi/ck1212.htm

    I think it's about $27.95 USD.

    If you want to get started in electronics "on the cheap", the best place to
    start is your library. With interlibrary loans, you can get just about any
    book from just about any library. Start out with titles by Forrest M. Mims III
    (particularly "Getting Started in Electronics") and Don Lancaster (particularly
    TTL and CMOS Cookbooks). Also, look around in back copies of old electronics
    magazines, like Nuts & Volts (recent Don Lancaster articles) , Popular
    Electronics (Forrest Mims' old home - a fresh newbie column every month),
    Radio-Electronics (formerly Don Lancaster's home), and EPE (Everyday Practical
    Electronics -- a British magazine). Every issue has articles and projects for
    newbies.

    http://www.forrestmims.org/pages/8/index.htm
    http://www.tinaja.com/
    http://www.nutsvolts.com/
    http://www.epemag.com/

    Good luck
    Chris



    Good luck
    Chris
     
  7. Byron A Jeff

    Byron A Jeff Guest

    -I know what the basic components are (ie, resistors, ic's, etc). I know how
    -to solder and am really good at following diagrams. I have a good idea of
    -what components do, (ie, a capasitor stores a charge and a transistor is a
    -switch, sort of, and an ic is a collection of transistors) but putting all
    -of them together to actually do something is beyond me. I have gotten basic
    -books from Radio Shack that had projects in them and was able to
    -successfully build the projects by following the instructions, but could not
    -tell you WHY it works. I guess that is what I am getting to, I want to build
    -my project that works, but really (at this point anyway) dont care why it
    -works. Sorry is that is a dissapointment to some of you diehard electronics
    -experts out there. I dont mean to offend. Now on with my project.

    No offense taken. Sometimes we just want to get it done without having all of
    the background.

    -
    -This is more of a two projects that work hand in hand.
    -
    -1. I want to design some type of curcit that is capable of storing a sound
    -bite on a some type of memory chip. about 20 seconds more or less. The
    -source could be through a line in type such as a computer sound card or a
    -mic. I think i would have a better quality with a line in type as there
    -would be no background noice associated with a mic. A spin off project would
    -be to be able to store multipule sound bytes on a larger chip or chips and
    -have them selectable with a switch. The chips would have to be able to be
    -erased to allow new sound bites to be recorded.

    There is a single chip solution if you can find it: The winbond ISD5216.
    Stores up to 16 minutes of audio, is reprogrammable, and has all the analog
    circuitry required to record and playback.

    I'd start there if I were you.

    BAJ
     
  8. Fred Stevens

    Fred Stevens Guest

    Radio Shack has a small prebuilt PC board with a 20 second sound
    recorder on it. I think it goes for $9.50 or somewhere thereabouts.
    Would that help as a first pass?

    Fred.
     
  9. L. Fiar

    L. Fiar Guest

    Did you say, "CB radio"?
    Hahahahahahaha.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist.
    But, seriously...

    I have found a few more record and playback ICs:
    ISD1016
    Single chip voice record / playback.
    16 seconds record / playback.
    ISD1020
    Single chip voice record / playback.
    20 seconds record / playback.

    And also these, which appear to require external memory...
    HT8656.
    16 seconds of record and playback.
    Includes an output to control a circuit or a motor.
    HT8658.
    Upto 4.5 minutes of record and playback.

    I am unsure if any of those are still available, but I have a sample circuit
    diagram for the HT8658. It was also available as a complete project.
    With the right circuit, you could also get it to automatically trigger at
    the end of transmission.

    I do think that this may be rather large for a first project. Check out this
    site...
    http://www.citizensband.radiouk.com/
    There is a beep circuit there, which could either make a first project or
    give you the delay circuits to make your desired circuit into an
    end-of-transmission sound bite. The circuit described and mods suggested, so
    you can do a Frankenstein with it.

    There is another beep circuit at Lou Franklin's site...
    http://www.cbcintl.com/images/rbeep.gif
    Again, maybe a project or ideas for a delay and switching circuit. Also,
    take a look over that site, some tech info is now free on the site or to
    download.

    Another thing that may interest you, are the music and noise chips that
    could still be available. Sirens, alarms, animals, cars, jet sounds, well
    known songs... you name it.
    Some are simple three pin ICs, TO92 style package. Really simple to make
    into CB noise toys or beeps. I do have a couple of diagrams for beeps
    using some of these ICs.

    If you want real fun, get a PA speaker under the hood of your vehicle.
    Just imagine it, sat on a quiet street, animal sound toy at the ready,
    hiding behind the dash and waiting for the perfect victim to pass the
    front of the vehicle...
    Mooo.

    Beware of the cows:
    http://www.cravendale.com/tv/supermarket.mpg
    (4Mb Mpeg of TV advert - OT, but funny)


    Regards.
    LF.
     
  10. Guest

    If you are a real beginner, you may be better approaching this in a modular way.
    To get your 20 second sound bite, try hacking one of the many greeting cards that are available
    As to basic electronics, try www.mallinson-electrical.com/shop
    There is a good kit available which is ideal for new starters
     
  11. And you replied to a message from July 31st, 2004.

    The guy is likely not still waiting for an answer (there were a few
    answers back then when it was relevant) and chances are good he's no
    longer a beginner after eight years. Either he's given up, or he's become
    more capable.

    If a message is older than 30 days, don't respond to it, not via google at
    least and google really needs to fix that problem again.

    Michael
     
  12. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    Eight years after the original thread he is most likely either no longer
    a beginner or he has given up and moved on to other things.
     
  13. BeeJ

    BeeJ Guest

    explained :
    In any event, an interesting resource.
     
  14. No, the guy replied to an old message so he could spam the newsgroup.

    He wasn't suggesting a useful place, he was pointing to his own company,
    the email matches some of the name in the URL.

    Michael
     
  15. Guest

    This is my first post to a Google group, so hopefully I'm doing this right and posting in the right place. My interest is in elementary electronics. I'm a total beginer who will be trying to learn basicaly on my own. My firsttools are a learning kit called Snap Circuits and a multimeter.
    Which brings me to my first question. I built a simple circuit in the kit: It is 2 aa bateries in a battery holder, a switch, and a small motor. I'm told that a aa battery puts out about 1.5 volts.And when I measure across the batteries I get about 3.5v which makes sense. But when I throw the switchand turn the motor on then I'm reading like 9 volts across the motor. Thatdoes'nt make sense to me. It seems voltage should be decreased by the resistance of the motor, not increased. Can someone explain?
     
  16. Daniel Pitts

    Daniel Pitts Guest

    First point, this isn't a Google Group. You are using Google Groups to
    access a Usenet Newsgroup. GG is known to be quirky at times in regards
    to usenet. Just be aware of that, or search for a real solution to
    accessing usenet.


    Second point, when you are asking new a question, it is best to start a
    new thread, rather than piggy-back on an existing one. I suggest
    reading up on newgroup etiquette. It helps to know good etiquette when
    asking for help.

    Third point. Spelling and grammar matter. Most web-browsers will
    underline misspelled words in red, so you have little excuse for
    spelling errors. Grammar can be more difficult, but you seem to be doing
    alright on that point. People are more likely to help you if your post
    is coherent and easy to read. These people are basically volunteers,
    here of their own free will. Adding obstacles to helping you will not
    encourage them to answer your question.

    And finally, to perhaps answer your question:

    AA batteries usually have at *most* 1.5v, and you'll likely see less
    than that. I would have expected something like 2.5v to 2.9v, not 3.5v.

    Voltage isn't "decreased" by a load. Voltage is a potential. Also, a DC
    motor often contains an inductor (coil or wire), which could affect
    voltage. This principle is actually used in DC to DC converters to
    increase voltage. To learn more, I suggest reading on first Ohms law,
    and then Faraday's law of inductance.

    I'll be honest, this is outside of my direct experience, so I'm just
    making educated guesses. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable in this
    group will correct me if I've mislead you.


    Welcome to usenet, hope this helps,
    Daniel.
     
  17. Baron

    Baron Guest

    Daniel Pitts Inscribed thus:
    I agree ! Two AA cells in series would be expected to produce about 3
    volts.
    In all likelyhood the back EMF from the motor is producing the aparent
    higher voltage reading on the meter.
     
  18. Did you read the original message, that was posted back in 2004, almost 9
    years ago? Did you read the rest of the thread, that might have some
    pointers for the beginner?

    Did you see my reply to the idiot who replied to this really old thread
    via google back in September?
    And you replied to a message from July 31st, 2004.

    The guy is likely not still waiting for an answer (there were a few
    answers back then when it was relevant) and chances are good he's no
    longer a beginner after eight years. Either he's given up, or he's
    become more capable.

    If a message is older than 30 days, don't respond to it, not via google
    at least and google really needs to fix that problem again.

    I still have no idea why people are replying to old posts, though in the
    September resurrection, it clearly was so someone could promote their
    website. That doesn't excuse why it's being resurrected again four months
    later.

    If you have something to say, start a thread. Even if it's about
    something old, don't reply to an old thread, the context is missing except
    for people using google (and those of us who see what's happening), the
    person who posted originally isnt' likely to still be here

    If you actually did a search on something that interested you, and want
    more details, don't reply to that thread (the ability to do so is a bug
    that google needs to fix), but start a new thread, referencing the old or
    quoting some of the old and then asking what you don't understand.

    It's just ridiculous to post a reply to an old thread, and ridiculous to
    post to an old thread that has no relevance to your question.

    Michael
     
  19. Hi Ian, That mostly sounds like a cheap voltmeter. My son has a snap-
    circits kit, I can check and see what the voltage wavform looks like
    when driving the DC motor. (I don't have much experience with
    motors.) You might try looking at the voltage across the batteries.

    George H.
     
  20. Hmm, I think Ian was asking a new question. He just didn't know how
    to start a new thread. (That's my guess anyway.)

    George H.
     
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