Instructables

Beginner in Electronics?

I am a complete beginner when it comes to electronics. I would like to build functioning machines eventually, so does anyone know how exactly I can get started? Are there any specific books?

Thanks, freeza36

First of all, I'm pretty much a beginner too, so before anyone publicly eviscerates me, please keep in mind that we all have to start somewhere.

The previously-referenced make: electronics book is good in that it a) gives some clear-cut information on electronics and b) includes a list of references for further reading. I found the "Practical Electronics for Inventors" book good, although there are (according to amazon reviews) some typos. On the other hand, one of my earlier purchases "Basic Electronics Theory With Projects and Experiments" is notorious for being riddled with errors, some of which appear in the formulas you would use to calculate fundamental aspects of the circuits you're building. As I only want things to belch fire that were designed to belch fire, this book got retired fairly quickly. I liked "Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred" although it doesn't deal exclusively with electronics, and also enjoyed "Gonzo Gizmos," with the same caveats. Randy Safaran's (of Instructables) "62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer" also has some good information on electronic circuits and components.

I've found the most basic information is available everywhere, as is the more advanced information, but the intermediate kinds of information, the "when do I use an [insert component-type other than an LED]" or "which diode is the most efficient one for this project" is scarce.

Other advice: there are tons of sites offering resistor calculators and other short cuts, but always check multiple sources before doing anything that could conceivably catch on fire, explode, use high amounts of current and/or voltage, or will be left on and unsupervised for any length of time. There's a reason electrical engineering is a degree program, not a "I took the 'Great Courses' class online and now I design smart grids!" kind of program. I suspect that some of the members of this site with violently disagree with me on this, but as someone with kids, I would feel irresponsible if I said (or did) otherwise.
freeza36 (author)  The Green Gentleman2 years ago
ok that helps alot. thanks
Higgs Boson2 years ago
Don't be afraid to start from the beginning. Start with simple stuff and work your way up. Be patient and it will pay off.
rickharris2 years ago
Start

Further reading

1

2

3

5

don't rush, try to incorporate some practical experiments.
Potential shopping list:

a reasonable multi meter one that ideally can measure frequency
an oscilloscope.
A temp controlled soldering iron
A bread board patch panel
Some basic components
aelias362 years ago
Try these:

http://www.makershed.com/product_p/9780596153748.htm

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3814337