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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by AJRussell, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. AJRussell

    AJRussell

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    Mar 6, 2011
    Hi,

    I really don't like when a new forum user comes along and with his first post asks for help, without having contributed anything. But I'm really struggling here.

    I'm not a total electronics newbie. My degree reads "...with Electronics" and we went through the basics - Ohm's law, transistors, up to building PCB circuits from schematics. Part of my problem is my degree was 10 years ago, but I never kept up with it, and I have trouble remembering most of it. Not only that, but electronics must have moved on significantly in the last 10 years.

    Last year I did a diploma in audio engineering, and the course involved some very basic electronics. For me, it was a refresher, but it definitely wasn't in-depth, not much higher than the standard of high school Physics' electronics content. It still piqued my interest, as I remembered being good at all that stuff a long time ago.

    These days I'm also a musician, and a bit of a geek when it comes to synths. I can program my own designs in Reaktor and SuperCollider, which is what I want to take further by experimenting with sound at the electronic component level. I've pretty much exhausted Maplin's supply of audio-related project kits, which if nothing else, has got my soldering skills back up to scratch, but they're little more than toys. They're almost all based around ICs, and I'm still virtually clueless as to what's actually going on in the circuit, as they teach you nothing about the theory behind it.

    I've read a lot about circuit bending, but it's not really the route I want to go down. My goal at the moment is being able to design and build circuits of my own design, starting with little simple noise boxes (the Atari Punk Console kind of idea) up to more involved, more 'musical' projects. I'm also a guitarist, and would like to experiment with building my own effects. Not because I think they will sound better or will be cheaper than buying Boss pedals - if anything they'll be more expensive because I'll keep frying the components and will sound worse, which I'd enjoy. Just because I like building stuff.

    Anyway, all of which rambling has lead me to some actual questions:

    1. Can anyone recommend some good sources for re-learning about electronics, especially with an emphasis on audio applications? I've been Googling for a few weeks now, but the problem is there's just so much information. So I'm looking for recommendations, rather than "please help I can't find anything." Free and online is good, but I really don't mind dropping money on some good books. I don't expect there to be a "bible" either; my knowledge right now is so scattered that I'll be skipping out parts of any source.

    2. This is a long way off for me, but it still seems like you guys will think it's a stupid question. Where do you get PCBs printed and etched and so on? I've only ever done it using university facilities. Are there companies who do it by mail order, or have all you guys invested in some kind of copper printer and bottles of powerful acid?

    Seriously, thanks for any help you can offer. Like I say, I hate these kinds of posts, but I'm a good forum-poster, I'd make a good contribution when I'm back up to your level.
     
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