Beginning electronics, understanding whats actually happening

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Ojustaboo, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Ojustaboo

    Ojustaboo

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    Hi all. I understand what a capacitor does, I understand what a resistor does. What I don't understand and cant seem to find in books I've glanced at, is an explanation of how electronics works. I'm not talking about what electricity is, I'm talking about why I need the various components in whatever I'm building, and how the inventor/author worked out they were needed.

    Or to put it another way, I can buy a kit or follow a plan and build myself such things as (to name a few)

    FM radio
    audio amp
    valve amp
    audio delay
    Metal detector
    A rechargable clock
    A lighting dimmer
    A wireless baby monitor
    An electronic dice

    Where I'm getting stuck is how they actually work (how I would design my own from scratch)

    If I sat down with a pen and paper and nothing else, how would I go about working out what was needed and how it all works to build any of those (or anything else)

    Any good books or websites out there that answers this?

    Many thanks
     
    Ojustaboo, Jan 11, 2017
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  2. Ojustaboo

    duke37

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    I have answered this type of question several times. Here we go again.

    Make yourself a crystal set, this will teach you about tuned circuits, their Q and ways of getting energy and out.

    Repair electric and electronic equipment. This will teach you logic, sadly often lacking and enhance your manual skills.

    Contact the RSGB for details of their Foundation courses. You may have one in your area. The examination is for the first stage of the amateur radio licence but you do not need to go for this. It will tell you what the components are and what they do. Some practical construction will be involved.

    I would not recommend a valve amplifier until you know a lot about the dangers of high voltage.
     
    duke37, Jan 11, 2017
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  3. Ojustaboo

    KTW

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    Build something simple you have an interest in.
    Find a schematic on line or ask for help building the one you want.
    Post your questions and someone will usually respond.
     
    KTW, Jan 11, 2017
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  4. Ojustaboo

    darren adcock

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    Thanks Duke27. I hadn't come accross rsgb. I will be in touch.
     
    darren adcock, Jan 11, 2017
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  5. Ojustaboo

    darren adcock

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    I found learning motor based circuits really useful as the motor offers a mechanical expression of what's going on. I leanred more in a couple of months of learning to control motors than a long time tinkering with audio circuits. I found this informed my understanding of electronics circuits.
     
    darren adcock, Jan 11, 2017
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  6. Ojustaboo

    BobK

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    How to learn about active electronic components:

    1. A diode is the simplest. Learn how it is used to rectify AC to DC and how it is used to combine logic signals.
    2. Next, learn about the bipolar transistor. First as a switch, then as an amplifier, and finally as an oscillator.
    3. Next learn about logic gates using transistors.
    4. Learn about the multivibrator, a simple 2 transistor circuit that can make an oscillator (astable multivibrator), a timer (monostable multivibrator) or a flip-flop (bistable multivibrator) which is essentially 1 bit of memory.

    Once you understand those basic circuits, you could build most anything out of combination of them.

    FETs and MOSFETs are similar to bipolar transistors and can do pretty much the same things, with different tradeoffs.


    Bob
     
    BobK, Jan 11, 2017
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  7. Ojustaboo

    Wayne Phillips

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    Above all never rush as it all takes time!
     
    Wayne Phillips, Jan 14, 2018 at 12:36 PM
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  8. Ojustaboo

    kellys_eye

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    If you want to design your own circuits then you need to know and understands the FUNDAMENTALS of electricity and electronics, for which I can highly recommend the 'Horowitz' book.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Art-Electronics-Paul-Horowitz/dp/0521370957

    Expensive? Yes. But probably the ONLY book you'll ever need.....

    For most people this takes years to accomplish - college, university etc but it still possible to design circuits using building blocks - where the fundamentals are encompassed in a 'black box' type of module and all you do is enable the interfacing between them to build a completed device.

    In terms of modern electronics, this is often achieved using the Arduino (as a typical example, not a 'definitive' solution) whereby those modules are readily available PLUS the software is already written (for the most part) to interface to them.

    In this way you derive - from your basic idea - what it is you want to achieve, select the modules necessary to achieve the end result, connect them accordingly and write the software to bring it all together.

    This is the way the world is moving - to a modular form of construction, controlled by software. It is generally a digital environment with an emphasis on programming and a (smaller) understanding of the BASIC principles of the various modules you can choose/use.

    If you wish to approach electronics from an analogue direction then basic principles are unavoidable and, by its very nature, time consuming and (occasionally) maths intensive.

    Whilst adopting the 'learn how each active component works' approach will get you there, if you want results you can see/handle and appreciate you might aim towards the digital/modular route first to gain the encouragement the final product can give and THEN investigate how each module does what it does if the mood take you.

    In this day and age, it's not HOW a circuit works as to WHAT a circuit needs to do that ends up in development and, ultimately, manufacture. i.e. the IDEA is more lucrative than the solution - if that's your aim.
     
    kellys_eye, Jan 14, 2018 at 1:12 PM
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    WHONOES

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    Agreed, the Horowitz book is essentially the trade bible.
     
    WHONOES, Jan 16, 2018 at 8:23 PM
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