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How do I get started in electronics Answered

Hi, I just entered ninth grade and just started to get a large interest in electronics. They don't really have any courses at my school on this subject which is rather frustrating, but I am joining the schools robotics team. I have read a few books on the subject and do have a pretty solid understanding of the basics. I read "Getting started in electronics" by Forrest Mims. So far my understanding has gone as far as learning the basics of logic gates but no farther. My question is where should I start.  Any suggestions or info on any resources would definately be helpful. Thanks

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No-Shi-De (author)2011-09-02

hey there! im actually a mechanical engineer, but also took interest in electronics.

uhm... 1st, der r sum basic projects u can find... but wat u'll learn is the function of the parts, like rely, led light, different kinds of switch, or the most common. the 555 timer. some projects also involves lasers and photo cell so u can make a laser trip line where it is attch to a relly so it can activate a buzzer... so far, in circuits, u can learn the basics der.. den find a project that involves more so u'll explore more... but if ur good in logic, i suggest try to learn programming as well... so u can program PLC, uhm just incase ur not familiar, its the its a black ic, u know, the one with many feets. if u learn to program that. then u can learn basic mechatronics. u can program that, then, by simple swithces, u can send signal to the ic, so u can have different functions. like , if ur familiar with bumper cars, wen the car bumps, it click s a switch, witch den sends a signal to the ic to everse the polarity to make the car reverse. pretty much, first, u'll try to maniipulate lights. den replace the loads with motors or servos. den u can start making mechanical arms and stuff...

not sure if this heleps.. uhm.. u said ninth grade, we dont have that in here, ours is termed hgh school. so if u have basic in programming.. u'll get the logic.common commands are sending the signals den loops and intereputs, the usual if then else or while... so thats it... so again for basic, try small projs... i'm assuing u have physics? not sure if thats wat they call it there. but for safety. use dc voltage 1st, 12v u know like those in laptops, try to analize th V=IR formula, basically u'll revolve der, other wise u'll burn ur loads, standard leds are 3 volts. next skill u need is soldering. safety to remmber is ur sldering lead. so safety as much avoid inhiilation... toxic.. but just not concentr8ted, as u my know many people are doing it so just to pla safe avoid... so der...

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Jake4444 (author)No-Shi-De2011-09-02

Also, how did you start in electronics. Because at this point I really don't know where to go. I have an interest about learning about microcontrollers but dont know if that is too complex for me to learn know. It can be quite confusing without an organized course. By seeing how others get their start, I can get a better understanding of my overall skill level and what to learn next.

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No-Shi-De (author)Jake44442011-09-11

i attended a 40 hrs course here in philippines.. pretty much, it gives me a small back ground..i cant say its complex... if a student is willing to learn nothing is complex... (but still can't understand some of it.. hehehhe) but dont think about it... just try it...

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iwoodinspire (author)Jake44442011-09-04

I just saw an instructable making an RGB led change colors published by a 10 year old. If you don't understand it, I bet the internet has the material to help to understand. Go for it man.

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Jake4444 (author)No-Shi-De2011-09-02

Thanks for the advice. Do you know though if there is any experience needed to start BASIC programming because I have pratically no experience on the subject. My understanding of logic gates and IC's is pretty elementary and basic

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No-Shi-De (author)2011-09-11

hey... uhm... well i guess 1st, understand dat in electronics, der is that that play with diodes, resisors and relays and other semi conductors.

another is programming.

in elecronics, like most said, all u need is buy parts, assemble dem via bread boared or soldering.. the u have sumthing der..

if u want basic artificial help "sorta kinda likea" programaing

i suggest u have to buy a programmer, to program ur ic, i tried making my own programmer... a sad story of my life... so may be if u have access der.. work with wat u have... like if u can find priogrammers for this type of IC. den focus on that ( diff. conmpanies of ic, like PIC, ATmel< micro chip) i have access here in atmel, so i use atmel 2051/4051.

u may have to make a small investment for prigramming

den, i'm sure... u can also buy trainers.. like copy paste this program, laod it in the ic, place ic in the triner, seel the lights. so far, light manipuplation is the basics. but like i said on my older post, u can start changing the loads. so for basic go with the lights.


so... to recap, if u like basic programming, buy a programmer 1st.

if u like basic semi conductor electronics sumthing sumthing dont know wats it called electronis... do wat they say, look for small project... ususaly wat turns out is the blinking red light.

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Jake4444 (author)2011-09-07

Also, Im starting to take an interest in microcontrollers as I am starting to learn a little bit about them. Yet I have practically no experience at all in programming. Its difficult finding out which language to start learning first. Any info on the subject would also be very helpful. -Thanks

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Kiteman (author)Jake44442011-09-08

On this site, have a look at the Arduino Channel, and then have a look at what Makershed have in store, and then have a google around to see what other sites offer similar kits for (Makershed have a decent range, but are not always the best price).

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iwoodinspire (author)2011-09-04

You're on a great website to learn all about electronics. What you could do is figure out what you like. If your high school doesn't have any courses, (mine didn't either) then find your interest and google it up and use wikipedia and especially instructables.

For myself, I always liked doing soldering kits. I soldered together basic cheap stuff from radioshack, but it didn't help me understand any of it. I then got into LEDs and how they work, and learned some basic ohm's law stuff. I've gone from soldering kits to now I'm teaching myself how to program a microcontroller. I didn't know anything about it, but now I'm almost there because of this website. What you have on this website is thousands of people who know more about electronics than any high school teacher and probably your community college teachers too. Click on the technology tab and pick LEDs or EL wire. That uses some basic stuff. Look at microcontrollers, and there are instructables on there ranging from the most basic of programming and setup to an animatronic fish I just saw. The internet is your best teacher. Hope this helps

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Jake4444 (author)2011-09-02

Again to any other responses- telling me how they started would definately help me get an idea of what I should learn next and what areas lie within my grasp currently.

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iwoodinspire (author)Jake44442011-09-04

I guess the point is, if you like robotics, look up stuff on robotics. If you need to learn about servos in order for a robot's arm to move up and down, google it up! Instructables is one of the better sites I've seen to learn from. I have a Digital Electronics textbook that cost me $165 from the local college, but without someone to tell me what the heck I'm reading (and I'm 30) the book doesn't help me much. So if you want to know what to learn next, figure out what you want to do. Find what you like and use this site to learn it. That's what I'm doing right now for myself, you could do the same.

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sam D (author)2011-09-01

Hi there, I found these sorts of books (first two in link below) handy as a kid. You start small and every project gets bigger. And you can buy each project as you go.
http://www.jaycar.com.au/productResults.asp?MID=11&SUBCATID=963&CATID=76&keyform=CAT2#11

I'm not sure which country you are in - but there has to be something similar there.
Good luck.

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Jake4444 (author)sam D2011-09-01