Learning about electrical dohickies
So I'm trying to find an avenue to increase my knowledge about the subject but I'm having a hard time at it. I've checked out books from the library but, being that those books are written by engineers, they're coded so that only those who posses the engineers genome can understand them. I stopped by a local community college, explained to an instructor there what I was wanting to learn and after a few minutes he tells me that I'd have to spend the next year or so learning electrical theory before I could even get started doing what I'm interested in doing. Maybe he's right, but I just want to cover all my bases before diving in.
I have no urge to become an electrical engineer, but I would like to know things like how to repair an extension cord correctly and safely. I'd like to know how to hook up a small DC motor to an AC power supply, use a bread board to make blinking lights or something then transfer them to something more permanent. I'd like to know how to wire up a light table, know what rating of switch I would need and why. So nothing all that difficult, or should I say nothing I think is all that difficult.
I know the standard reply here is "just start playing with stuff" but considering that this is electricity and components can add up money wise, there is a risk of fire, and I have no urge to give myself electroshock therapy, I was wondering if anyone here could at least point me in a direction to start.
I've considered getting one of those electrical sets that you get for kids to learn with but I don't know if that's a decent place to start or not.
So any feedback would be very much appreciated.
P.S. I'm just joking about getting a hammer and beating in a third hole. Instead you get a pair of wire cutters and cut off the poky thing that doesn't fit ;)