Author Topic: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?  (Read 30888 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« on: May 27, 2015, 05:18:48 pm »
A reddit user asks what is the point in learning basic electronics these days when you can do everything with off the shelf modules and boards like Arduinos and the like.
They make it super easy to build stuff, so why does anyone need any knowledge of basic electronics any more?

http://www.reddit.com/r/TheAmpHour/comments/36evuq/i_am_confused_what_is_the_point_of_learning_basic/

 

Offline Galenbo

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2015, 05:37:56 pm »
There's a difference between being a taxi driver and a taxi customer. Both "drive" a taxi.

The same in technics. Choose what side you will be.
There's also the cash side: Choose if you spend or earn money in a specific field.

Much is decided by the personal definition of "hobby". Making pictures of PCB's is a hobby too.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 05:44:27 pm by Galenbo »
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a nonworking cat.
 

Offline Isad

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2015, 05:46:00 pm »
Wery nice video Dave.
I have been wanteing to ask in this forum for
somthing in a long time but never got the chance since idk
were to put it.
My problem is i have been doing electronics since 14 yunger then that but i will take 14.
Now i am 17 year old each day for the last 3 years i have had somthing to do with electronic
but this year i have been not really into them really probably worked on 2 major project and
1 didnt want to work and i left that and worked on the other one wich is still siting in my bench.
Ok so by not doing any electronic i have started to play quite a lot of games wich are time consuming
but idk what to do i have school and that get a bit of time then games and then there is that time were i have
nothing to do and i dont have any project to do.I love electronics dont get me wrong.
So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?


This might not even be a place to post this so i am sorry.
Btw sry if my English is messed up.
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Offline delmadord

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 06:00:45 pm »
Actually, I believe, it is still a problem to reliably detect when the toilet paper runs out :D it is a legitimate engineering problem! :D or does anyone else knows about some new progress in this field? :)
 

Offline Macbeth

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 07:47:01 pm »
Actually, I believe, it is still a problem to reliably detect when the toilet paper runs out :D it is a legitimate engineering problem! :D or does anyone else knows about some new progress in this field? :)
Toilet paper is for philistines. I recently imported an electronic bidet from South Korea. Bloody fantastic it is too! I justified it when I realised the insane amount of toilet paper the women in my life get through!  :-DD
 

Offline neversleep

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2015, 07:48:14 pm »
Hi Dave,

You are right. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are all development platforms to get beginners into something real fast!!! This may switch on couple of leds... In short, it refers to programming/coding (Computer Science) rather than Electronics side of thing.  For example, Arduino Uno library is used only on ATMEL ATMega328  microcontroller... If any other ATMEL chip like ATTINY range or ATXMega series, then you are stuffed because there are no libraries specifically written on them. You may have to re-tune the library on ATMega328 into other ATTiny, ATMega or ATXMega chips.

Cheers,
Steve.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 07:50:08 pm by neversleep »
 

Offline gemby

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2015, 08:25:58 pm »
Even if you are stuck with Arduino or Raspberry PI, and even if blinkers are all you going to do, one day you will need to power dozens, and sometimes hundreds of LED-s, relays, motors, transistors....without basic electronic knowledge, you are doomed. Yes, off course that you will find examples online, but still, some electronic knowledge is essential. To connect single LED to arduino right way, you need basic electronic knowledge.
 

Offline modrobert

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2015, 08:32:44 pm »
Wery nice video Dave.
I have been wanteing to ask in this forum for
somthing in a long time but never got the chance since idk
were to put it.
My problem is i have been doing electronics since 14 yunger then that but i will take 14.
Now i am 17 year old each day for the last 3 years i have had somthing to do with electronic
but this year i have been not really into them really probably worked on 2 major project and
1 didnt want to work and i left that and worked on the other one wich is still siting in my bench.
Ok so by not doing any electronic i have started to play quite a lot of games wich are time consuming
but idk what to do i have school and that get a bit of time then games and then there is that time were i have
nothing to do and i dont have any project to do.I love electronics dont get me wrong.
So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?


This might not even be a place to post this so i am sorry.
Btw sry if my English is messed up.

What is normal? And why aspire towards it? I've always wondered...

In an attempt to answer your question, I recognize the behaviour you describe in my own life and projects, don't worry, electronics is one of those things you always circle back to in my experience (so don't sell your gear).


Regarding topic; I think reliability and instant functionality are key arguments for me, there are times when you want to avoid messing up your design with code (eg. MCU, CPU, whatever) when it can be solved elegantly using electronics. Remember the days when you pushed a button and something actually happened instantly (without lag)? IMO, the embedded future is a nightmare in some ways...
 

Offline Slothie

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2015, 09:02:06 pm »
In essence, without basic electronic skills you will only be able to reproduce what others have already done or thought of by the person that designed that sensor board your using. If you want to connect your arduino to your car to measure voltages or switches, with electronics knowledge you'll be able to do so safely without damaging your arduino or your car. Without it? Well you'll be spending a lot of money on a "interface board" that may not even exist or if it does may only do half of what you want it to do.

Any knowledge gained in any field is "useful" in the long term - it will lead your thoughts in directions you hadn't considered before, and possibly others have never considered.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2015, 09:15:58 pm »
So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?

I didn't do much electronics at all for a few quite a few years in my late teens, was more interested in computers and programming.
 

Offline kumichou

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2015, 10:18:09 pm »
I agree with Slothie. For years I've been able to connect ready made boards together via I2C/SPI/UART but ask me to build something from scratch & there would be no way I could do it. Now, I'm spending my time learning everything I can about electronics & electrical engineering in my spare time in hopes that I will get enough understanding to be able to know why I need certain parts in certain places, or how to determine/troubleshoot problems with circuits. The barrier to entry is much lower than it was 25+ years ago when I first dabbled in electronics and had a really hard time learning the basics without the kind of resources we have now on the Internet.
 

Offline dentaku

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2015, 10:25:53 pm »
I didn't bother getting a microcontroller for about 2 years and just messed with analog stuff because I knew that if I got an Arduino right away I would probably not bother learning anything about basic electronics, which usually means learning how NOT to blow stuff up and what all those basic passive components you see every day do. I still don't know much about electrical (mains voltage stuff) though. I guess I've been avoiding it and sticking with things that can be powered by DC wallwarts and batteries.

It also helps to just work with salvaged parts at first because if you simply keep ordering new stuff you're just being a consumer again. Finding a project online and ordering everything in the BOM then slapping it together isn't terribly creative, you're just an assembler at that point.
 

Offline apelly

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2015, 10:38:39 pm »
So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?

I didn't do much electronics at all for a few quite a few years in my late teens, was more interested in computers and programming.
Most of my late teens were spent with beer and women. The rest I wasted. (misquote of W.C. Fields or G. Best?)

I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2015, 12:02:58 am »
THANK YOU DAVE FOR THIS VIDEO  :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+ :-+ This question resume exactly why i hate those arduino and raspberry things, they make it so granted, everyone now think basics are not useful to learn any more ... am doing electronic for 12 years now, i started with basics analogue and logic circuit and i still think am total noob when i have some fundamental problem ... i almost read about those basic and build circuit every damn day ... and i hate it when someone just by ignoring how much physics, knowledge, effort of thousand ppl just to build this knowledge that everyone use in daily basis and say " it's basic" it's "everything" it's the whole deal ... you don't have this you have none ...  :rant:

i have college student (EE obviously) come to me from time to time so i teach them one or two things ... and i was shocked when one of them took a capacitor and asked me " what's this little barrel "  :palm: OMG ... and i have anoth example like this one to fill up 1000 blog post ... make me sad even to think about it
 

Online German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2015, 12:03:30 am »
Bolting together an Arduino and a couple of shields then writing the code isn't electronics, it's LEGO with some programming thrown in to hold it all together. Everyone still needs to learn the basics of electronics or bad things will happen when you stretch the limits. Some examples:

1) A post on the PICAXE forum, my 7805 regulator gets very hot when I power it from a 12V wall wart, what a I doing wrong?

2) I want to generate a frequency which is three times the capability of the Arduino, how do I do this?

3) When I take a flash picture of my Raspberry Pi project the board crashes, what's going on?

All of these problems need a knowledge of basic electronics engineering, not just slot PCB A into connector F.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline AF6LJ

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2015, 12:12:01 am »
I haven't watched the video yet; with that said the fundamentals are important, especially when something appears to be going wrong.

It seems there is always a segment of any group that wants to skip the basics and go on to he more complex projects / activities..
They are easy to spot, when things are not going right and they need help.

Please, Please, Please; take the time to learn the fundamentals knowledge is empowering.

Oh and during lunch I plan on watching the video. :)
Sue AF6LJ
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Offline hamdi.tn

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2015, 12:26:43 am »
This been said ... that's why eev fundamental video are important , we keep asking for more of them   ::)
 

Offline elgonzo

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2015, 12:51:52 am »
There's a difference between being a taxi driver and a taxi customer. Both "drive" a taxi.

The same in technics. Choose what side you will be.
There's also the cash side: Choose if you spend or earn money in a specific field.

Much is decided by the personal definition of "hobby". Making pictures of PCB's is a hobby too.

Absolutely this!

If you are a hobbyist, it depends on what you want do as part of your hobby.

Your hobbies should be something you enjoy. If all you want is plugging some shields onto an Arduino and program some code in the Arduino IDE, no need to worry about the basics of electronics -- just don't make the mistake of calling yourself an electronics hobbyist then... ;)

Don't listen to the internet voices that tell you: "But if you slap some Arduino or RaspPi stuff together, you should really know about the basics of electronics". Erm, no, not necessarily... Since ages people assemble and troubleshoot PCs without knowing the basics of electronics -- pretty much like slapping a hat onto a Rasp-Pi. Imagine someone telling PC enthusiasts that they should need to know the basics of electronics if they are going to assemble an PC with purchased 'ready-to-work' components... Silly, isn't it?

Most likely for a hobbyist the answer is already written in the sky before finishing articulating the question "Do i need to learn basics of electronics?". If you are curious and you desire to know about or build and poke around some electronic circuits (like building a shield or hat by yourself) then in all likelihood you will learn about the basics of electronics voluntarily without even thinking about that question. There is no "you need" and no "you must" involved. If you don't like to learn about it, don't do it. Fill your free time with something you enjoy. That said, learning something is never a waste. Whether you want to learn basics about electronics, or some basics about programming, something about both or something entirely else is your choice -- there is no right choice and no wrong choice.

If your desire to make a career in whatever field of interest you like (such as something related to electronics perhaps), then ofcourse there is a need for you to know the basics of that particular field. But then we are not talking about a hobby anymore.

On the other hand, since this is an EE forum: Whatever the case, of course you need to learn about the basics of electronics  >:D
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 01:08:54 am by elgonzo »
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2015, 01:05:30 am »
Most likely for a hobbyist the answer is already written in the sky before finishing articulating the question "Do i need to learn basics of electronics?". If you are curious and you desire to know about or build and poke around some electronic circuits, then in all likelihood you will learn about the basics of electronics voluntarily without even thinking about that question. There is no "you need" and no "you must" involved. If you don't like to learn about it, don't do it. Fill your free time with something you enjoy. That said, learning something is never a waste. Whether you want to learn basics about electronics, or some basics about programming, something about both or something entirely else is your choice -- there is no right choice and no wrong choice.

Bah, what's with this not wanting to learn stuff that people do? :P People who aren't curious about the things they use are boring.
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Offline Isad

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2015, 01:12:09 am »
Wery nice video Dave.
I have been wanteing to ask in this forum for
somthing in a long time but never got the chance since idk
were to put it.
My problem is i have been doing electronics since 14 yunger then that but i will take 14.
Now i am 17 year old each day for the last 3 years i have had somthing to do with electronic
but this year i have been not really into them really probably worked on 2 major project and
1 didnt want to work and i left that and worked on the other one wich is still siting in my bench.
Ok so by not doing any electronic i have started to play quite a lot of games wich are time consuming
but idk what to do i have school and that get a bit of time then games and then there is that time were i have
nothing to do and i dont have any project to do.I love electronics dont get me wrong.
So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?


This might not even be a place to post this so i am sorry.
Btw sry if my English is messed up.

What is normal? And why aspire towards it? I've always wondered...

In an attempt to answer your question, I recognize the behaviour you describe in my own life and projects, don't worry, electronics is one of those things you always circle back to in my experience (so don't sell your gear).


Regarding topic; I think reliability and instant functionality are key arguments for me, there are times when you want to avoid messing up your design with code (eg. MCU, CPU, whatever) when it can be solved elegantly using electronics. Remember the days when you pushed a button and something actually happened instantly (without lag)? IMO, the embedded future is a nightmare in some ways...

Ok thanks for that.
Gear what gear u mean i only have a rigol Ds1074z and some stuff i have
created by m self.The good old day of no lag lol.

So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?

I didn't do much electronics at all for a few quite a few years in my late teens, was more interested in computers and programming.

Oh so i am not alone.I am kinda learning programming but evry video
i see about coding is just not fun i cant watch for 20 min then i get distrackted by somthing
els.Tho your videos are interesting and i really watch 50-60min of a video if its anything interesting for me. ^-^

So my question is is this normal or am i just not interested in electronics any more?

I didn't do much electronics at all for a few quite a few years in my late teens, was more interested in computers and programming.
Most of my late teens were spent with beer and women. The rest I wasted. (misquote of W.C. Fields or G. Best?)



Lol that 1 one happend 1 time never doing it agian  :=\ the second one i am allways down.
Lifes to Short Make the Most of It

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Offline elgonzo

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2015, 01:15:41 am »
Bah, what's with this not wanting to learn stuff that people do? :P People who aren't curious about the things they use are boring.
I am reading this while sitting on the loo...  :palm:  ;D
 

Offline Tandy

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2015, 01:32:04 am »
It is the way things go with most things.

Most people don't make their own greetings cards, build a shed from individual pieces of wood or sew their own clothes. However there are plenty of people out there who do these things and get great satisfaction out of doing it. Buying the materials and tools to do it costs more than buying ready made stuff but economics is not the reason they do it, it is the satisfaction of doing it that is more important than the finished item.

For me I like to do things myself whenever I can because I enjoy the learning experience and get great satisfaction from feeling I understand something. This is not just technical things either, recently I bought a house and rather than pay a conveyancing solicitor to manage the transfer I spent time learning about the conveyancing process and did it myself. Not because I want to be a solicitor but just because I wanted to see if I could do it myself.
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Offline zapta

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2015, 01:40:25 am »
Most people don't make their own greetings cards, build a shed from individual pieces of wood or sew their own clothes.

... or design their own op amps.

That's how our technology stack works, you get components at level N and build added level widgets at level N+1.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline Refrigerator

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2015, 01:50:15 am »
Also regarding the flashing LED, what if flashing one LED is all that you need to do ? woould you spend 10 bucks for an arduino to flash the led or spend 50 cents and 20 minutes of your time to do it with a 555 timer ?
Sometimes doing stuff with those modules is quite impractical.
Just started a blog at http://brimmingideas.blogspot.com/ . Not much in it as of now but more is sure to come :)
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2015, 02:01:21 am »
Hi Dave,

You are right. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are all development platforms to get beginners into something real fast!!! This may switch on couple of leds... In short, it refers to programming/coding (Computer Science) rather than Electronics side of thing.  For example, Arduino Uno library is used only on ATMEL ATMega328  microcontroller... If any other ATMEL chip like ATTINY range or ATXMega series, then you are stuffed because there are no libraries specifically written on them. You may have to re-tune the library on ATMega328 into other ATTiny, ATMega or ATXMega chips.

Cheers,
Steve.

It probably refers more to "crap-coding", "hacking stuff", "slaping together things(shit)"; nothing in common with engineering, nor electronics hobby, as it was until now. I'm glad I was born before this damned evil stuff.
The "arduino" started a whole new industry, community, marketing ... of whole dumb generation of people.

I am really sorry for my blab, but I couldn't help myself. I've just came across one of our local electornics forum, where some dumb idiot is trying to connect quite beefy 40Watt motor to arduino, asking so dumb questions that it almost hurts to read.
And more will come. Neither he's first, nor last. I hate this stuff. Not because of the stuff (there's nothing wrong with atmega328 or so), but because of the typical people using it, with utterly no willingnes to learn anything right.
 


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