Author Topic: Beginner exploring electronics, next steps?  (Read 384 times)

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Offline ajr1991

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Beginner exploring electronics, next steps?
« on: December 30, 2017, 02:57:43 pm »
Hi! I'm a software programmer who is exploring the world of electronics. I have a good understanding of basic circuits somewhat of diagrams, and just want to go further with learning and maybe designing my own circuits.

So far I'm learning to solder. For Xmas, I got a soldering station (X-tronics #3020 XTS) which had some pretty good online reviews (although I understand it's not a renown brand; maybe that will bite me later), bit of soldering wire (63/37), and some project kits to solder together. I've already done some cheap moving bug kits (ones with two motors and light sensors to move towards light) and am going to do two others (MintyBoost charger and some electronic clock/temperature thingy that looks daunting). I also recently got a Klein MM600 multimeter for $65. Seems to be similar to the MM1000 it (and the higher end MM700) replaced but without a few things like TrueRMS, low impedance, and moving bar that I don't plan on using soon. Seems pretty solid.  :-DMM

I've already ordered more tips for my soldering iron since heating up some of those giant copper pads was a chore if I didn't have enough surface touching with the conical tip. Also have a desk fan on the way to blow the fumes away from me. An aside, some people seem to love the fume smell; I heavily dislike it.  :--

Few things:

1) Where should I get some stuff like desoldering wicks and soldering wire? Is there a particular brand to look for or is it all mostly the same? Can't seem to find brick and mortar stores with this stuff so probably just get it online.
2) What should I focus on learning/doing next? I'm wanting to learn more about understanding and designing a circuit but don't exactly know where to go next.
3) Are there any other equipment I may need? Oscilloscope may be next for me but for now I'm just wetting my toes and don't want to spend too much in case I lose interest for whatever reason.

Thanks much!
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Beginner exploring electronics, next steps?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 04:05:36 pm »
 

Offline danadak

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Re: Beginner exploring electronics, next steps?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 11:12:40 pm »
You can start with a PC sound card based scope for free. Will give you basically
audio range scope, spectrum analyzer, and function generator all using your
PC sound card.


https://www.zeitnitz.eu/scope_en


http://www.zelscope.com/


http://www.ledametrix.com/oscope/


http://www.virtins.com/downloads.shtml


But first build a simple circuit to protect sound card inputs so you do not
ruin from transients, overvoltage. Google "protect sound card input".



For example   http://makezine.com/projects/sound-card-oscilloscope/


Regards, Dana.
Love Cypress PSOC, ATTiny, Bit Slice, OpAmps, Oscilloscopes, and Analog Gurus like Pease, Miller, Widlar, Dobkin, obsessed with being an engineer
 

Offline danadak

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Love Cypress PSOC, ATTiny, Bit Slice, OpAmps, Oscilloscopes, and Analog Gurus like Pease, Miller, Widlar, Dobkin, obsessed with being an engineer
 


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