where did you learn about electronics?

basically where and how did you learn about electronics (wiring, circuits, diodes, soldering, etc)? you guys make great stuff and i want to do that too. so any books, websites, etc will help. just let me know how you did it. thanks. and please dont say much aobut college. i can do that option. thanks

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4 semesters, 5 days a week, 6 hrs a day (3hrs theory / 3 hrs lab). North Idaho college Electronics technology program (no longer offered). I had a friend who went to ITT tech...he only seemed to go 10hrs a week I do not understand how you can learn everything you need to know with that little time. We had one semester of DC, second and third semester were AC/RF and finally one semester of Digital. My understanding is that most other programs are a simple electronics training to work in industry without having to know much (test technician) ...our instructors said our training was more an engineers assistant type training.
> I do not understand how you can learn everything you need to know with that little time.

You NEVER learn "everything you need to know" in any school... You have to keep learning ... forever!
Obviously, I'm talking about the basics. There are clearly things you will never have time to teach. Basically, a lot of things in you only need to learn if you are doing them...specialties and whatnot but the basics that you need to know take quite a while to learn.
Well, it'll depend on how you define "basics." For instance, I recall (somewhat vaguely, mind you) four semesters each of physics and calculus, (not counting the EE-specific classes that overlapped) but never ANY instruction on assembly techniques (soldering? Hah! That's for technicians!) I have a special admiration for companies that are willing to take graduates from such theoretical engineering programs and turn them into actual useful engineers! It was a chemistry graduate class (in lab equipment) that got to use "the CMOS Cookbook" as one of the textbooks, while the EE majors were busy analyzing 555 timer internals at the transistor level, and transistors at the semiconductor physics level. Likewise, I have fond memories of having my initial EE senior design project proposal rejected because it was "too software intensive."
That's funny...they gave very basic soldering instructions to us and said if you want to solder you can do that now with no schooling. We had a pretty well rounded study..both instructors who ran the program really knew their stuff well good industry backgrounds in R&D etc. We learned a bit about the actual transistor structures of timers, gates, etc but we also had an 8088 primer trainer in the end to actually teach some programming which was then interfaced with external hardware. I am not saying that you cannot teach yourself everything you need to know about electronics (I have taught myself a considerable amount more since leaving school) but having the basics gives you an advantage. Honestly, I would have gone on to an EE program after the 2 year Associates program if I would have thought that I would have actually completed it...just like you say they spend too much time analyzing minute details when all you need to know is what the chip does. My main comment was that ITT cannot be giving an adequate education if a program with significantly more hours could not cover what they wanted to. Plus at over 15k a year you might as well enroll in a university...or just buy a ton of parts and start experimenting.
All that being said...the internet is amazing, plus there are tons of people who went to school for a long time just to spend time writing walkthroughs / tutorials (or Instructables) for free. It used to be that colleges/universities were the only places to learn this type of things. Why? because that is where the libraries and knowledgeable people were, now it is everywhere online. We are in a transition period where I believe the self taught will become more important than those who went to college just to spend all their time trying to get into the right fraternity...eventually employers will figure out that they want the people who can do the job and teach themselves, not someone who exploits their connections in order to get hired.
starwing1238 years ago
Books, websites, friends, experimenting.
brokengun8 years ago
A childhood of taking christmas toys apart and making them "better". My pops is a master electrician that helped to spark my interest (pun intended). I read his books from night school, countless internet tutorials, anything that said "electricity," on it basically. I would highly recommend the book "Teaching Yourself Electricity and Electronics" it's available at most booksellers and is a great reference/ teaching guide to have around. The most important thing is to just experience plugging stuff into other stuff...
caitlinsdad8 years ago
As a kid we found out you can create a spark with flashlight batteries, from there it was doing Frankenstein experiments on ants and various insects, but I digress... I used to watch my brother tinker with electronics. He had to fix the TV which had tubes which blew out every once in a while. Then he got into HAM radio. We were always taking apart things that broke like a radio or stereo tuner and trying to fix them. Learning how to solder and desolder stuff for parts led to further experimenting. All of our other hobbies(model rocketry, model trains, model airplanes-R/C, electronic music, computers) required knowledge of electricity and electronics so it just built up from there. After you learn the basics, it is hard not to try to fix appliances or rewire the house. Just having a fascination with electronics, wondering how things work and having no fear of taking apart things will get you along. Good luck.
guyfrom7up8 years ago
I made a list in some other form, but I can't find where, basically it's my list of must have books that contain all the info you'll ever need. Maybe I should right an intro to electronics instructable... maybe when i have more free time...
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