Electronics > Beginners

What to expect when starting in electronic hobbies???

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doctorm:
a curious thought came to me last night that has kinda got me bugged a bit.

for months i have been reading my electronics books, watching the reviews and stuff on here, and so forth and been gitty about electronics and stuff.

but going back to last night, my mother reminded me of some of my other ventures that i tried that didnt turn out so well and i lost money on. now im kinda afraid of losing money on starting this hobby if all doesnt go well.

one thing is i want to have good equipment and stuff to do this stuff out right when i finally am ready to start. another thing is how much do i have to spend to continue doing projects and stuff. also im planning on going to medical college soon and i know ill be busy with that for a few years.

so my question is what is the expectation of keeping up with an electronics hobby? how much overall will it cost to start up and then maintain from then on? will technology get so advanced in the next few years that all my studying on all the basic parts will be for not?

sorry if some of this doesnt make sense. its hard to put my words on here from my head. kinda gets jumbled lol.

thanks for any help i get.

KTP:

--- Quote from: doctorm on July 13, 2010, 01:29:12 am ---
so my question is what is the expectation of keeping up with an electronics hobby? how much overall will it cost to start up and then maintain from then on? will technology get so advanced in the next few years that all my studying on all the basic parts will be for not?


--- End quote ---

The basic stuff hasn't changed for decades.  People still use bipolar transistors which have been around for over 50 years, and some crazy folks still make things out of vacuum tubes, which have been around for a century.  The more advanced parts do change quite often...certainly it is hard to keep up with the hottest new microcontroller, but even there the basic knowledge of how to program for a simple microcontroller will carry you a ways into learning new ones.

doctorm:
ok well that makes my feel better.

but what about my second question about cost? i mean i really cant work bc of college and stuff.....i mean i do have money to buy what i may need but im looking farther down the line.

EEVblog:

--- Quote from: KTP on July 13, 2010, 01:45:22 am ---
--- Quote from: doctorm on July 13, 2010, 01:29:12 am ---
so my question is what is the expectation of keeping up with an electronics hobby? how much overall will it cost to start up and then maintain from then on? will technology get so advanced in the next few years that all my studying on all the basic parts will be for not?

--- End quote ---

The basic stuff hasn't changed for decades.  People still use bipolar transistors which have been around for over 50 years, and some crazy folks still make things out of vacuum tubes, which have been around for a century.  The more advanced parts do change quite often...certainly it is hard to keep up with the hottest new microcontroller, but even there the basic knowledge of how to program for a simple microcontroller will carry you a ways into learning new ones.

--- End quote ---

I second that.
Very few things you learn will be "wasted" and outdated, the industry doesn't really work like that. It appears to on the surface with rapid change in certain areas, but the fundamental skills remain pretty constant throughout.
All the hype about super advanced technology like FPGA's taking over the world and hobby electronics would be dead etc turned into a complete fizzle. Hobby electronics is still alive and growing still using the same old basic technology, and will be for the foreseeable future. Witness TI's recognition of the importance of DIP packages for their new range of MSP430 microcontrollers for instance, still 20 years after DIP packages were supposed to go the way of the Dodo.

How much does it cost?
Basically, as much as you allow it.
A $50 2nd hand analog oscilloscope, a sub $50 multimeter, and a cheap brand sun $100 soldering station will get you a long way.

Dave.

doctorm:
ok. that was really helpful.

know any good places for alot of cheap components to get a stock pile going?

ive looked at electronicz express and they seem pretty cheap.....

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