Getting started with electronics? :)

Hi,
I'm completely new to electronics, but I'd like to get started.
Perhaps it is just me getting tired of this wasteful culture where
devices are disposable, or just me being a tightwad, but I'd really
love to learn how to repair my own stuff, and know how various little
DIY projects actually work as opposed to putting them blindly together.
Are there any books that you guys might recommend to help me get started?
I've always been a software person by training and trade, so you can
say I have absolutely no background in this, except for being a geek.
Thanks for any tips and recommendations :)
Reply to
Woei Shyang
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Here's a couple links to get you started...
Mark Z.
Reply to
Mark Zacharias
disposable, or just me being a tightwad,
little DIY projects actually work as
have absolutely no background in this, except
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This will give you a solid foundation if you read through the modules, answer the quiz questions and ask the folks in sci.electronics.basics to get you unstuck.
It is a fascinating hobby.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
For me, seeing how things work >> reading about how things work. Radio Shack no longer makes experimenters' kits, so I would check out Make Magazine's introduction to electronics:
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Reply to
spamtrap1888
Experimenter's kits are still available. You really need one of these, especially as Heath, Allied, EICO, etc, have long been out the kit business.
Allied had a wonderful kit, which cost $30 50 years ago. It was a small console, with a pegboard for the circuits on the back. Someone should revive it, but it would be pretty pricey. (Still have the manual. Don't know why I didn't save the unit itself.)
Reply to
William Sommerwerck
On Sat, 21 Jan 2012 04:39:46 -0500, William Sommerwerck wrote (in article ):
Radio Shack has a couple of nice ones. I bought this one for my kid:
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Nelson
Reply to
Nelson
There's a few beginner books occasionally get reposted on alt.binaries.e-book.technical, not to mention magazines like Everyday Practical Electronics, Nuts&Volts, Circuit cellar, Elektor etc.
Beware though, there's a couple of wankers posting pages of virus's! - Avoid RARs and other archive files untill you know which posters you can trust.
Reply to
Ian Field
ness.
evive
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Wow, I missed that one. Aside from a few small Radio Shack branded items, everything in the hobby kit selection on their website was either Make or Velleman.
Reply to
spamtrap1888
Would that it /were/ fireworks. The caps usually explode and emit a foul-smelling gas.
Reply to
William Sommerwerck
Poor man's fireworks: Always connect electrolytic caps the wrong-way-round before applying power! :)
Reply to
Madness
They give a tantalizing performance, no doubt.
Reply to
William Sommerwerck
Tantalum caps can be a bit more entertaining.
Reply to
Ian Field
And just as smelly as alu caps too.
Reply to
Ian Field
I don't like this much. Defining voltage in terms of resistance. It should be in terms of coulombs and joules.
"Voltage is represented by the letter E. The basic unit of measure is volts or the letter V. One volt will push 1 amp of current through 1 ohm of resistance. Resistance will be discussed in a later section."
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Reply to
Tom Del Rosso
Yeah, I wish they had labs to go with that. Guided experiments are what's missing from almost all good electronic courseware. The lab manual for The Art of Electronics is available and costs about half the price of the main text, so that might be helpful.
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Reply to
Tom Del Rosso
On Sun, 22 Jan 2012 20:33:26 -0500, Tom Del Rosso wrote (in article ):
Do you really think it's necessary for someone trying to get started in electronics as a hobby to to worry about such niceties? Defining voltage in terms of resistance or "pressure" is much more intuitive to a neophyte.
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Nelson
Reply to
Nelson
Edit: Radio Shack also has a nice set of experiments/manuals called "Engineer's Mini Notebooks" written by Forrest Mims which are very economical and geared to the beginning hobbiest.
On Sat, 21 Jan 2012 04:39:46 -0500, William Sommerwerck wrote (in article ):
Radio Shack has a couple of nice ones. I bought this one for my kid:
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Nelson
Reply to
Nelson
Yes, I can say that it is harder to learn when you start by learning it wrong.
If they want to talk about pressure then at least they can do it conceptually instead of quantitatively, and it doesn't take a great effort for them to make clear that they are using analogy. When they take the ass-backwards approach of defining voltage quantitatively in terms of resistance then they are only making it necessary to unlearn all that and start over from scratch some day.
Defining things backwards is not a mere detail.
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Reply to
Tom Del Rosso
t
Let people get a good working understanding of things before you drown them with abstractions. Thank goodness when I first became interested in electronics, no one sat me down and emphasized the difference between the abvolt and the statvolt.
Reply to
spamtrap1888
I didn't say anything like that at all. I said resistance is defined in terms of voltage and current, not the other way around, and if you aren't ready to define voltage then just don't do it.
You can omit lots of things without being compelled to teach something that isn't so, but most "science" teachers think the resistor color code is the root of everything.
And lots of abstrations are taught to 5-year-olds, like the concept of time. You don't have to teach them SR. You just teach them how things are affected by time. But you don't teach them that the clock makes time happen, do you?
Kids are more capable of learning abstractions than adults. Adults assume incorrectly that kids need an explanation for abstractions, so they provide one that is wrong and make learning harder rather than easier.
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Tom Del Rosso

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