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EEVblog => EEVblog Specific => EEVblab => Topic started by: EEVblog on May 27, 2015, 07:18:48 am

Title: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: EEVblog on May 27, 2015, 07:18:48 am
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/ (http://www.reddit.com/r/TheAmpHour/comments/36evuq/i_am_confused_what_is_the_point_of_learning_basic/)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyuRcsM0gjI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyuRcsM0gjI)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Galenbo on May 27, 2015, 07:37:56 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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Isad on May 27, 2015, 07:46:00 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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: delmadord on May 27, 2015, 08:00:45 am
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? :)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Macbeth on May 27, 2015, 09:47:01 am
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
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: neversleep on May 27, 2015, 09:48:14 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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: gemby on May 27, 2015, 10:25:58 am
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: modrobert on May 27, 2015, 10:32:44 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...
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Slothie on May 27, 2015, 11:02:06 am
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: EEVblog on May 27, 2015, 11:15:58 am
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: kumichou on May 27, 2015, 12:18:09 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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: dentaku on May 27, 2015, 12:25:53 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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: apelly on May 27, 2015, 12:38:39 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?)

Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: hamdi.tn on May 27, 2015, 02:02:58 pm
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
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: German_EE on May 27, 2015, 02:03:30 pm
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: AF6LJ on May 27, 2015, 02:12:01 pm
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. :)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: hamdi.tn on May 27, 2015, 02:26:43 pm
This been said ... that's why eev fundamental video are important , we keep asking for more of them   ::)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: elgonzo on May 27, 2015, 02:51:52 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.

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
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: c4757p on May 27, 2015, 03:05:30 pm
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Isad on May 27, 2015, 03:12:09 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...

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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: elgonzo on May 27, 2015, 03:15:41 pm
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
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Tandy on May 27, 2015, 03:32:04 pm
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: zapta on May 27, 2015, 03:40:25 pm
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Refrigerator on May 27, 2015, 03:50:15 pm
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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Yansi on May 27, 2015, 04:01:21 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.

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.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: zapta on May 27, 2015, 04:38:27 pm
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.

One generation thinks that it's better than the next. What else is new?

(https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/history-cavemen-neanderthal-prehistoric-generation_gap-grumpy_old_men-bwhn550_low.jpg)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: free_electron on May 27, 2015, 04:54:27 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
Soyou needed something to blow hot air up your ass 😃
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: free_electron on May 27, 2015, 04:56:04 pm
Why learnbasic electronics ?
Who's going to make new shields if nobody knows the basics ?
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: calexanian on May 27, 2015, 06:27:45 pm
I don't think any of the new kids coming in should learn electronics. Then for ever can I claim that they don't know anything and they will think I am some kind of old wizard in the dark arts!

The most simple analogy I can come up with is that most pilots don't want to work in the airplane factory, but they should have a basic knowledge of how the plane works. If they also happen to know how to design and build aircraft they then are a more rounded individual.

Furthermore when talking to "Software" or "Developer" type people about their micro controller projects i find most of the problems they have to be of either a hardware nature, or lack of understanding of hardware, or some simple configuration for the device they are programming. Brown out config always gets them! Sometimes I have to explain to them that they need to set all the chip hardware and peripheral states on initialization is assembly so they can deterministically know whats what. I get lots of eye rolls and shut up old mans! Crazy kids and their C compilers!
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: JulietMikeBravo on May 27, 2015, 06:51:45 pm
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 ...

Not every Arduino/RPi/whatever owner is lazy and refuses to learn the basics. Also, not knowing the basics will cause a lot of frustration. Burning out leds due to missing resistors, not respecting the power/voltage ratings of components etc. etc. If someone chooses to ignore the basics they will eventually discover that they have to learn the basics or abandon their hobby.

I think it is quite elitist to complain about these mainstream microprocessor platforms. If certain people are correct I am not worthy of using these technologies because it makes it all too "easy".  :blah:
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: SeanB on May 27, 2015, 06:58:25 pm
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

Is it 1 to 2 jumbo rolls ( a half kilometer each) per woman per day? I doubt the bidet would survive our rather well built women here.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Negative-Bias on May 27, 2015, 07:10:47 pm
Yes Dave,Create something best words I've heard, an idea is created into a working devices every week in my workshop,fascination with test equipment does it for me.Failure,is the best,in the early days I had so many failures,I'd get a degree for it,these days I take the old failed projects and debug the buggers"winner".
I do have arduino Uno,which I still have to learn to use "Someday". I still have failures thank god,but now I know how to fix them. Great Video well done.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: AF6LJ on May 27, 2015, 07:33:08 pm
Good video, Dave hits a home run with this one.

Now back to that self cleaning litter box idea................
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: AG6QR on May 27, 2015, 08:24:19 pm
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.

Yep.  How many here mine all of the silicon that goes into their projects, and then refine it and process it all the way to the finished product?

You choose a level at which to work.  There are challenges at each level.  It's always good to have at least a basic understanding of and respect for what's going on at the levels above and below the one you're currently working on, but you'll never know all the details of all the other levels, just as most of the people at other levels don't really understand everything you do.  At my job, I know I've got many brilliant people doing amazing things to provide me with the tools and components I use, and the output of my work is being used by many other brilliant people doing amazing things that I don't know how to do.

But yeah, if you're going to "do electronics", there are certain fundamentals that keep showing up, and you'd do well to be acquainted with them.  Ohm's law.  Complex impedance.  Fourier analysis.  Heat transfer.  Transmission line theory.  Feedback networks.  Amplifiers and oscillators (and how one becomes the other, whether intentionally or accidentally).

Sometimes, you can ignore some of these issues.  A big part of the art of engineering is knowing how to produce a simplified model of what you're doing, so you can eliminate irrelevant complications.  But when you do that, you need to be aware of the complicating factors and at least understand them well enough to dismiss them for your situation.  Otherwise, you'll get bitten.  When you're bitten by a familiar foe, you can quickly understand the situation and take appropriate action.  But when you're bitten by a foe that you don't have the background to understand, you'll be thrashing about for a very long while.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: R_G_B_ on May 27, 2015, 08:27:05 pm
Here you go David L Jones a new slogan for a T-shirt:

READ IT WHEN YOU NEED IT!


R_G_B_
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: hamdi.tn on May 27, 2015, 09:21:31 pm
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 ...

Not every Arduino/RPi/whatever owner is lazy and refuses to learn the basics. Also, not knowing the basics will cause a lot of frustration. Burning out leds due to missing resistors, not respecting the power/voltage ratings of components etc. etc. If someone chooses to ignore the basics they will eventually discover that they have to learn the basics or abandon their hobby.

I think it is quite elitist to complain about these mainstream microprocessor platforms. If certain people are correct I am not worthy of using these technologies because it makes it all too "easy".  :blah:

that's not the point, i don't say they refuse to learn i said they ignore why they should learn it first , the person asking the question is a prove of that. and yes i hate it because meant to be popular tool but not efficient learning tool (of electronics).

they don't have to abandon their hobby too because i see what arduino users do (robotics, wireless ...) and they do pretty good job they just not "Electronic" hobbyist ... they don't DO electronics.

it's not elitist ... i don't represent any categories of elite ppl  :P they don't make it easy coding and writing software can be enough challenging on it's own ... it's just misleading in my opinion , ppl using platform think they do electronic ... they don't .. that's the whole story.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Grapsus on May 27, 2015, 10:18:35 pm
Good video !

The original question is so stupid. There is no such thing as basic electronics. What he opposes to basic electronics is writing instructions that will be executed sequentially by a machine made by someone else, which is by definition programming. So his question really is: what is the point of learning electronics as an electronics hobbyist if I can do programming instead ?  :palm:
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: N2IXK on May 27, 2015, 10:42:37 pm
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 ?

Neither.

I would use a $1 flashing LED and a series resistor, and be done before the 555 or Arduino approaches get started.  8)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: edy on May 28, 2015, 12:59:36 am
Who is going to invent the next RaspBerry Pi and Arduino and C.H.I.P. ?  Certainly not the person who just learns to code software. You need real hardware electronics skills. But even if you don't want to invent anything and just use a micro/PC....

If you want to control anything using a RasPi or Arduino or CHIP.... motors, lights, etc...  or sensing from any sensors, you need basic electronics to hook things up so you don't short or blow your fancy-shmangled micro/PC. Once again, basic electronics skills. No amount of code knowledge will help you "bridge" your software code into interacting with the real physical world via motors/lights and sensors.

So, unless all you want to do is play inside the Arduino, RasPi and C.H.I.P. and never interface with real world hardware, then sure learn only to code. But if you need to ever build something more... like a robot, 3D printer, or any other system of some kind... you will need to know electronics.

I have to give credit though to these little processor boards... RasPi, Arduino and CHIP are helping a lot of people enter the hobby in a way that does force them to learn basic electronics and not just programming. The biggest advantage of all of these platforms is the digital and analog I/O header/pins that finally made control and sensing of external objects more accessible to the average hobbyist. Before that, it was not as easy to (A) program a micro-controller, (B) get your computer to control or sense from external electronics, (C) do it in an affordable way with a huge community of open-knowledge. So you have to credit these for pushing people in the right direction....

As to what "order" to learn in, I don't think it matters. You learn as you go and as your needs take you. If you don't know something, you learn about it, and if you make a mistake you learn even more. If people first learn to code Arduino or Python and then out of necessity have to learn about basic electronics so they don't blow their little program board apart, fine. One way or the other you learn.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: CatalinaWOW on May 28, 2015, 03:11:36 am
There are those who take the same route to work each day, and those who try to do something different each time.  Both have their place in the world, neither is intrinsically better than the other.  Those who try new things will learn basic electronics sooner or later because something will go wrong on their newest path.  At that point they will either quit or learn something.  It is all good.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: smadge1 on May 28, 2015, 03:50:57 am
To be honest (And I just signed up right now to say this) I'm not at all interested in "pure" electronics engineering.  Yes, knowing what components, schematics, semiconductors, etc are, and how electricity works is important, even if you are only going to be interfacing with Arduino/Pi type boards.

I am not an EE, I have a basic knowledge of how electronics "work".  But in the past few months, I've decided to take my hobby seriously, and obtained an Arduino (or two) and a Raspberry Pi.  I have some ideas, and I want to see what I can do.  I don't want to do an EE degree, I just want to tinker, experiment and prototype.

I want to design an internet controlled lamp.  Yes, those things are a dime a dozen these days, with IoT.  But I've never been able to find one that suits me.  I can take a lot of building blocks that already exist, and put them together the way I want and get the satisfaction of knowing I designed something, built it, then used it. I don't want to sell it.

I plan to learn along the way, where many people have already gone, I have a lot of guidance from the multitude of online communities, and I think I'll probably spend a lot of time here.

I want to buy some Off-The-Shelf DMX RGB lights, and use an Arduino (Yun or similar) to control them, taking input from an online service such as Electric Imp, and the interface will exist on my phone, allowing me to control the lights with my mobile device, the power, the colour, the brightness, and even chase and strobe effects.

All these technologies have already been invented, and at the end of the day, I may not even need to know too much about electronics, and simply learn to code it instead, but where's the fun in that?

I have rediscovered the joy of tinkering, pulling things apart, and re-purposing them.  I have spent a lot of time in the past few weeks building circuits on a breadboard, and used switch or sensor inputs, with or without a micro-controller, to figure out how different components work together.  I'll probably kill a few along the way, but I don't consider that a bad thing.

Thanks Dave for bringing up this topic, as that's what finally got me to sign up here.

EDIT: Having re-read the thread, I can see a lot of hostility for Arduino and RaspPi communities.  Arduino and RaspPi are designed to bridge the gap between the software and the hardware, there are users who will be more interested in one side more than the other, and maybe they don't want or need to deal with the other side.

I'm only finding my own way right now, I've dabbled in electronics, and I've dabbled in coding, I know that I like the flexibility of working in both spheres.  I've been teaching myself to code for Arduino, and I often find myself building 5v circuits on a breadboard with switches, wires and LEDs (and some basic logic ICs) just to see how it all works.  I'm yet to purchase a Soldering Iron, it's on the to-buy list, but for now, I'm simply happy to tinker on a breadboard.

On Sunday, I purchased some 7-Segment Displays (Common Anode and Cathode), and figured out how to use them with a 74HC595 Shift-Register and the code required for an Arduino.  Last night I purchased some 8-way DIP switches and some BCD/Hex encoded rotary switches and a "4511" BCD decoder to do the heavy lifting of driving the 7-Segment Display, and after I wired it all up, I couldn't get it to work.  I've been thinking all morning about it, and I've come to the conclusion that it didn't work, simply because I forgot to put some pull-down resistors on the inputs, thus the "4511" was unable to determine the LOW state of the inputs.

I'll go home tonight and wire it up again with a few 10K resistors, and see if that fixes it.

And that's what I do.  That's what I enjoy, you can only read and watch so much, but actually getting your hands-on is where the fun it.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: casper.bang on May 28, 2015, 04:59:31 am
I think Dave is being a bit too black and white about the subject (as he's known to be in general), one does not exclude the other.

When I found my way back into electronics some 2-3 years ago, I was messing with all the classic IC's (555, CMOS gates, regulators and op-amps) but the stuff I build would require a surprising amount of parts and thus be expensive and consume a lot of power. Then I started playing with ATtiny stuff and all of a sudden, the stuff I built cost ½ as much because I could do button de-bounce in software (rather than Schmitt trigger), dim LED's using PWM (rather than resistors), measure ambient light using analog input of existing LED etc. etc. Does this mean I don't need to know about ohms law, parallel couping, serial coupling etc.? Of course not, it's all relevant, it's just that you got another abstraction layer to work on when it makes sense.

So to me, it's all electronics - electrons flowing through wires which you want to control.  :-//
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: modrobert on May 28, 2015, 06:06:29 am
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.

One generation thinks that it's better than the next. What else is new?

(https://s3.amazonaws.com/lowres.cartoonstock.com/history-cavemen-neanderthal-prehistoric-generation_gap-grumpy_old_men-bwhn550_low.jpg)

Hehe, great image (and I agree with the grumpy old guy).

The difference here is that you need electronics to design the Arduino device in the first place, to use the comic as metaphor, it would be more like the old neanderthal created the fire, and the young ignorant one only used the fire to cook food (without ever knowing how to actually start a fire).
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: bitwelder on May 28, 2015, 06:22:43 am
Why learnbasic electronics ?
Who's going to make new shields if nobody knows the basics ?
That only warrants that at least somebody must know about electronics to make shields, etc.
And that opens the opportunity to start selling them to suckers^Wwannabe-makers who cannot make them.
So yeah, it is worth to learn electronics  :D

BTW: isn't that basically Adafruit's Ladyada history?
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: smadge1 on May 28, 2015, 06:49:52 am
Some people learn by reverse engineering. I fully intend to create my own Arduino on a breadboard very soon, I know it's not difficult, but it's just another step.

My biggest problem at the moment is taking Ohms Law to heart, I still have difficulty figuring it all out.

Kinda like when I try to read sheet music, I know the mnemonics, the notes, the durations, all the technical stuff, but it is a frustrating and slow process to turn it into something resembling music.

So, just like a good musician, I need to practice this stuff, and build something new every day.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: hikariuk on May 28, 2015, 07:10:25 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 ?

Neither.

I would use a  flashing LED and a series resistor, and be done before the 555 or Arduino approaches get started.  8)

Although if you then go with the follow up of "what if you need to flash 100 of them?" that approach doesn't work so well because you just massively inflated the cost of your BOM.

I guess it also depends on your requirements; self flashing LEDs are fixed rate within a tolerance, iirc.  555 would let you set the rate you wanted.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: igendel on May 28, 2015, 08:11:57 am
Due to internet pipe plumbing issues, I'm joining this discussion a bit late.

 This is a topic that's really close to my heart, being someone who started with Arduino and zero electronics knowledge some three years ago (but with reasonable command of programming, from the days programmers had to be aware how much RAM their machine have  ;) ).

First, the "connect the black boxes" attitude is definitely not limited to the electronics part. Far too many makers treat code libraries the same way, have only a vague notion of coding, and when something goes wrong (or needs adjusting) have no idea how to approach it.

Second, the industry is all too happy with this situation, because it means selling more stuff to "lazy" makers. It's a vicious cycle actually: the more modules are available, the less incentive makers have to learn (provided that they are willing to continue to play in this designated sandpit), and they will seek more modules...

Granted, building with blocks can be a fun activity in itself, not everyone has to be an expert in everything, if the job gets done etc. etc. What's really bothering, to me at least, is that Arduino et al. presented such a great opportunity for getting people into electronics and programming, but became a new type of Lego instead.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: N2IXK on May 28, 2015, 10:50:31 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 ?

Neither.

I would use a  flashing LED and a series resistor, and be done before the 555 or Arduino approaches get started.  8)

Although if you then go with the follow up of "what if you need to flash 100 of them?" that approach doesn't work so well because you just massively inflated the cost of your BOM.

I guess it also depends on your requirements; self flashing LEDs are fixed rate within a tolerance, iirc.  555 would let you set the rate you wanted.

Of course.  But within the constraints stated ("flashing one LED is all you need to do"), the flashing LED seems the way to go.  That's another part of "knowing electronics"--a familiarity with what kinds of components are available, and when a specialty part will do the job faster/cheaper/better than cobbling together a solution from other components.

And you CAN use a flashing LED to flash multiple LEDs placed  in series with it.  8)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Yansi on May 28, 2015, 10:55:11 am
You also can use CAN to flash multiple LEDs in series.  :-DD
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: SL4P on May 28, 2015, 12:32:43 pm
What is normal? And why aspire towards it? I've always wondered...
The Kardashians and their friends have redefined a new low-water mark for normal.
It isn't hard to rise above that!
Just don't lose sight of social relevance.  it's no use developing the best thing in their world if it doesn't fit current community expectations or goals.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Galenbo on May 28, 2015, 02:08:46 pm
Just don't lose sight of social relevance.  it's no use developing the best thing in their world if it doesn't fit current community expectations or goals.

And now get specific and implemented with your own sentence.
Define the current "community expectations", define the community, their world, the goals, define fitting.
And don't come up with the current situation, what currently exists, because you want to do something that makes a little change.

Your kind of sentences are easyly used afterwards from the sideway, passively confirming what has already happened.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: AF6LJ on May 28, 2015, 02:25:13 pm
What is normal? And why aspire towards it? I've always wondered...
The Kardashians and their friends have redefined a new low-water mark for normal.
It isn't hard to rise above that!
Just don't lose sight of social relevance.  it's no use developing the best thing in their world if it doesn't fit current community expectations or goals.

Normal?
NO
They are Abnormal, dysfunctional and freaky.
{and I don't mean that in a good way}
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: SL4P on May 28, 2015, 04:34:56 pm
Just don't lose sight of social relevance.  it's no use developing the best thing in their world if it doesn't fit current community expectations or goals.

And now get specific and implemented with your own sentence.
Define the current "community expectations", define the community, their world, the goals, define fitting.
And don't come up with the current situation, what currently exists, because you want to do something that makes a little change.

Your kind of sentences are easyly used afterwards from the sideway, passively confirming what has already happened.
Community values and expectations change over time...
The Stanley auto company were a success for several years, but disappeared as market forces changed.
But look again - maybe steam powered vehicles could come back in vogue with modern environmental consciousness.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: N2IXK on May 28, 2015, 04:57:47 pm
But look again - maybe steam powered vehicles could come back in vogue with modern environmental consciousness.

Water vapor is already the most abundant greenhouse gas in our atmosphere....
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: CatalinaWOW on May 28, 2015, 05:26:31 pm
I think Dave is being a bit too black and white about the subject (as he's known to be in general), one does not exclude the other.

When I found my way back into electronics some 2-3 years ago, I was messing with all the classic IC's (555, CMOS gates, regulators and op-amps) but the stuff I build would require a surprising amount of parts and thus be expensive and consume a lot of power. Then I started playing with ATtiny stuff and all of a sudden, the stuff I built cost ½ as much because I could do button de-bounce in software (rather than Schmitt trigger), dim LED's using PWM (rather than resistors), measure ambient light using analog input of existing LED etc. etc. Does this mean I don't need to know about ohms law, parallel couping, serial coupling etc.? Of course not, it's all relevant, it's just that you got another abstraction layer to work on when it makes sense.

So to me, it's all electronics - electrons flowing through wires which you want to control.  :-//

I agree, it is all electronics.  You didn't feel the need to go back to basics when you started because you had modules like op-amps and 555 timers available.  I bet you didn't decide to use Philbrick (room heater) op-amps.  Today the modules are generally more flexible and better.  You still need to understand what you are trying to do and what the pieces can do to put it together into something useful.  Simple things like the effect of a 10 bit A/D on resolution and noise come into play quickly.  As I said above, those who want to go somewhere different will learn what they need to learn. 

There is a similar, but backward process for us old-timers.  How much new stuff will we learn beyond the basics we have had in the toolbox for decades.  How good a coding wiz do we want to become?  Is OOP really necessary to implement that SW based radio?  Will we lean on the Arduino code base, or go to our own custom design (even though we know both will get the functional results we are looking for, just possibly a little better or more elegant with the custom design)?  How much will we learn to get where we are going?  Some will never dip their toe in the new waters.  Others will become quite proficient.  And the majority will learn enough to get the latest project working.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: miguelvp on May 28, 2015, 06:53:16 pm
Everybody started with black boxes hooking things together, before it was those electronic kits then graduated to Z80 6502 6809 or if you had a ton of money 68000, that plus TTL 7400 series or CMOS 4000 series.

I don't see why Arduino/Pi/Beaglebone/Launchpa etc would be any different. You just start playing with things and eventually you need to dig deeper.

Maybe some forgot their 1st steps?
Or maybe I'm totally off and it really doesn't compare.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: igendel on May 28, 2015, 07:58:17 pm
I don't see why Arduino/Pi/Beaglebone/Launchpa etc would be any different. You just start playing with things and eventually you need to dig deeper.

In principle you are correct. My impression, though, is that the variety and scale of things you can do with "black boxes" (hardware and code) today are much greater than in the past. This causes a serious "withdrawal syndrome" when you do start to dig deeper - you have to step down from, say, driving  a robot car with your smartphone to calculating the resistor values for some voltage divider. Arduino has such a great comfort zone, most hobbyists just don't want to leave.

About the Beaglebone I disagree. I have a BBB and everything I know about Linux I learned from trying to get the little mutt to work  ;D
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Philbywhizz on May 29, 2015, 12:25:35 am
I don't see why Arduino/Pi/Beaglebone/Launchpa etc would be any different. You just start playing with things and eventually you need to dig deeper.

Exactly! This is how I have gotten bitten by the electronics bug. I'm an IT/software guy by 'trade' and playing around with Arduino and blinking a few lights is fine to start with. But I wanted to know how it works and what can I do to extend it further (not at the software level, but at the hardware).

Right now I'm currently building my own 8x8 led matrix with a Max7219 chip to control it, and hooking 2 of them up (so I have a 16x8 'screen'). Sure I could by a pre-built on on ebay, but where is the fun and learning in that!

I'm even moving off the micro off the main Arduino board and running it stand-alone (and programming the chip with my own programmer I built). Sure many of the designs I've taken from online (like the programmer), but I've learnt so much. Doing pre-made kits are good but eventually you crave for more!

I've even made a circuit using no microcontroller, from a schematic to a manufactured pcb (just a 555 timer) and learnt so much along the way (mistakes are GOOD at learning).

My wife even caught me watching Edx EE videos the other night as well! (I might need help).

I've learnt all this in the space of about 12 months. I'm far from an expert (I still struggle with capacitors and inductance and analog stuff). If I didn't dig deeper and want to learn the basics then I wouldn't be having so much fun.

I blame Dave for my new addiction. :)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: miguelvp on May 29, 2015, 12:33:43 am
My wife even caught me watching Edx EE videos the other night as well! (I might need help).
They do have nice courses and they are getting more all the time.

I'm far from an expert (I still struggle with capacitors and inductance and analog stuff).

Maybe these videos by fellow forum member w2aew might help:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykgmKOVkyW0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykgmKOVkyW0)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqhV50852jA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqhV50852jA)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi24SpKYYoQ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vi24SpKYYoQ)

I blame Dave for my new addiction. :)

Yeah Dave, what about that? ;)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Smokey on May 29, 2015, 02:08:48 am
As an EE I'm totally on board with learning fundamentals.... but...

Why does the 555 timer always seem to come up as an important beginning build block component?  I don't get it.  It's kind of a specialty IC that really isn't used much these days.  It's kind of like saying that if you don't use the LTC1563 Butterworth Low pass IC that you are really missing out.  Which is actually true, but only in the rare case that you actually need that chip.  Same with the 555.  If you were to buy one-hundred 555 chips to keep in your stock without a clear use for them, you will probably still have 99+ after 10 years.  Not that it means anything, but I've never personally used a 555 in any design or actually seen one in any real product I've taken apart.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: c4757p on May 29, 2015, 02:12:23 am
555 in 2015 is a gimmick chip. Look at me, I can blink LEDs... except you could to that with two bloody transistors... Nobody uses the thing anymore, let's leave it back in the 80s where it belongs...
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Smokey on May 29, 2015, 02:46:41 am
next EEVBlab...... "Why so much 555 hate?"
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: djacobow on May 29, 2015, 02:53:03 am
Why learn anything that you do not need to learn in order to do what you want?

Because it is interesting?
Because it enriches your life?
Because your just *like* to understand how things work?
Because the more you know about how the world works, the more you see connections?

I almost think that if you have to ask the question, you don't get it.

 Learning is a joy unto itself. Electricity is weird and mysterious and wonderful, and no matter how much you know, you never completely master it. What's not to love about that?

And yes, *practically* learning EE has bennies, too, because your projects will be more likely to work, more likely to come under in under budget, and you'll be free of the constraints of what others are willing to do for you.

So says this curmudgeonly old EE.

-- dave
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: casper.bang on May 29, 2015, 04:09:18 am
bloody transistor... Nobody uses the thing anymore, let's leave it back in the 90s where it belongs...

Ser what I just did there? :p
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Maister on May 29, 2015, 06:50:22 am
I don't know why to discuss about this so extensively.

You just cannot build everything with your Arduino or R-Pi, because this is only (mostly) the low power, digital stuff.

For example: I am currently building my own electric bike out of a regular bike and an electric Motor that I got out of a vacuum cleaner. I need to step up my battery voltage for that and supply hundrets of watts. Sure there is also a µC involved in my design for some sensing and controlling purpose,  but you simply cannot get a shield for why I am doing here. There are so large currents involved, that you even cannot manage this with "basic electronics knowledge", because these large currents are causing a lot of EMI issues when not layouted properly.


Cheers!
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Galenbo on May 29, 2015, 12:21:12 pm
Why does the 555 timer always seem to come up as an important beginning build block component?  I don't get it.  ... but I've never personally used a 555 in any design or actually seen one in any real product I've taken apart.

Neiter me, but 20 years ago I found it very interesting to study its internals and working modes.
It came after stabilisation, transistors and filters, like the first realword use of all the concepts we learnt.

Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Circlotron on May 29, 2015, 01:29:50 pm
Understanding the really basic fundamentals of electronics is useful even when you are about to build someone else's circuit design. Out on the Interweb there are good, bad and plenty of really ugly circuits. With a bit of experience you can tell at a glance whether an particular circuit is going to do what you want, or even work as claimed for that matter. Free Energy websites are a good example of this kind of thing.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Fungus on May 31, 2015, 12:11:08 pm
You don't have to know what it is that's killing your Arduinos/components?

PS: Fluke 27FM!
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: vk6zgo on June 05, 2015, 07:42:20 am
This is a microcosm of a problem with many people:

They don't really understand how the real world works.

Most urban people 50 years ago could give you a reasonable idea of what happens when you turn on a light switch.
They mightn't know anything about Ohm's or Kirchoff's Laws,but they had enough imagination to visualise
current flowing in the wires,etc.
People knew how Internal Combustion Engines worked,or a Vacuum Cleaner.

There are fires every year,because people don't understand anything about candles.
They forget to pay the Electricity bill (Probably spent all their money on Crystal Meth),so they use the candles for light.
They then wander off & leave the naked flames unattended close to curtains,drapes,etc.---Hey presto! another house fire.


How many Gen Y's does it take to change a lightbulb?

600--One to find the App,& 599 to say "What's a lightbulb?

Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: hamster_nz on June 05, 2015, 08:22:10 am
But maybe they don't need to know those things anymore.

I don't know much about grinding wheat, or raising cattle, or digging a well or breaking in horses, or how to change a spark plug (well actually I do know that one, but prefer to have somebody else to it....).

I can actually knit (my mum taught me because I was interested) but I have never knitted anything other than a couple of hats to prove that I could. I can actually sew too, but never do so. Why would I when i can get clothes off the shelf for zero effort?

And in some ways hobby  electronics is like that too. I don't need to make my own amplifers or speakers - i can buy better for less. I don't need to wire my own cables or fiddle with microcontrollers - everything I want to build is out there somewhere on the internet for purchase. When a friend break their gadgets I can fix them and spend my time saving their money, I guess.....

I do it because I find it interesting and it is far more satisfying than watching TV or drinking beer.

So if somebody likes baking or kniting or making homebrewed beer, or like my wife has a stash of unused sewing fabric then who am I to qurstion it? Hobby electronics isn't more worthy - after all I spend a lot of my disposable income on little PCBs and parts I will most probably never get around to using.....

Oh the postman has just delivered me my four uSD card boards for a home-made RAID controller I am making for the fun of it.... Sorry I must go and fiddle!
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: miguelvp on June 05, 2015, 02:29:13 pm
I do it because I find it interesting and it is far more satisfying than watching TV or drinking beer.

This!

And it's actually cheaper than going out just to get a hangover next day.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: vk6zgo on June 06, 2015, 02:03:28 am
I do it because I find it interesting and it is far more satisfying than watching TV or drinking beer.

This!

And it's actually cheaper than going out just to get a hangover next day.

Did you notice the _nz after his nickname?
Maybe that means he is drinking New Zealand beer & watching New Zealand TV---hence the lack of satisfaction! ;D
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: miguelvp on June 06, 2015, 02:43:04 am
I know who Mike is and where he is from.

American shows are no better, at least for me. It drives my wife crazy that I don't watch TV with her and instead I'm tinkering.

A movie I can do, I just wont commit myself to watch episode after episode and most of the times get boring but you must watch it all to know what is going on, not my thing.

Same as going out, we do go out but not on a regular basis. Going out for dinner yes, going to the bar to drink and engage in mindless conversations, not my thing but I still do it once in a blue moon (edit: more to appease her than my need to go out just to drink)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Syncopator on June 08, 2015, 08:41:33 pm
There has been a great response to the basic question. 

Rather than offer an answer, I would like to relate an incident which happened to me many decades ago.

I was, for a while, a Radio Officer (fancy name isn't it?) in the British Merchant Navy.  Somebody on board had acquired some low power electrical device which needed a 110Vac supply, and they wanted to use it on board.  The ship's supply was 220Vac.  I calculated the value of a series resistor which could be used, and the power it would need to dissipate.

Our next port of call was a very small town, the name of which escapes me, on the southern bank of the St. Lawrence river.  I went ashore to try to acquire the desired resistor.  The first place I saw where I thought help might be available was a television repair shop. 

Having not taken proper advantage of my long-suffering French teacher's efforts at school, I had some difficulty in conveying what I sought, and why,  to the couple of technicians in the shop.  I got there in the end. 

It came as a great surprise that they had obviously forgotten, if they even knew in the first place, Ohm's Law, and struggled trying to verify the results of my (virtually mental) arithmetic to arrive at the numbers. 

Why learn the basics?  Hmmm .....
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: boston617 on June 10, 2015, 01:24:52 am
555 in 2015 is a gimmick chip. Look at me, I can blink LEDs... except you could to that with two bloody transistors... Nobody uses the thing anymore, let's leave it back in the 80s where it belongs...

I set up a VU meter kit that I had just finished for a project, and had to set the level adjustments. I used a 555, among a few other parts, on a pcb to make a basic adjustable square wave generator for a signal input.

The VU kit is a Velleman K4306 (http://www.vellemanusa.com/products/view/?country=us&lang=enu&id=350545) and the square wave gen is based on the 'dead bug' one here (http://www.rmcybernetics.com/projects/DIY_Devices/homemade_signal_generator.htm)
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: uoowuo on June 17, 2015, 11:05:43 am
Man this is hilarious! I'm a week-old electronics "hobbyist" with my arduinos and stuff, and even I understand that it is just a toy and a road to the actual real hardware.

"Makers" ahahaha

But seriously, these suckers will be the first I'll be selling hardware toys to. Because it's not fun if it can't finance itself. They seem to be willing to pay many times the price for unassembled kits, too.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: JackP on June 17, 2015, 04:24:21 pm
BTW, not trying to start a flame war, but a 555 can have uses beyond an LED. Heck, a few threads back I read about someone using it as a fail safe for a sprinkler system. Even Dave used one to create a board to control the Mantis LED lighting. If you understand the internals (watch blog #555), you can do great things with it, and go beyond standard circuits. Back in the Z80 and 6502 days they were used for reset circuits. The 555 didn't change from the '80s, people did, and it has since become a beginner LED project, instead of a serious component with a (yes, very flexible) function. A cheap-ass source of PWM, a single shot pulse, even a crappy triggered timebase. watch the blog, and understand just what the discharge pin does.
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Negative-Bias on July 26, 2015, 08:30:41 am
I guess we all have our ow views on the subject,which is good I love building everything ,some times I build a circuit from start to finish, sometimes I add a Nano if I think it's easier. The 555, still lots of uses for it I use NE555 & TS555cn,the latter makes a lovely simple square gen with a variable pulse,I also use them for timing a chime, on equipment I don't want to leave on,they also make a nice ramp generator. I personally find lots of uses for them & have a good supply  approx 60 ish.
So I say just enjoy the hobby,whether your  hobbyists, purists, or someone who walks around with their head up their own arse. :-DD
Title: Re: eevBLAB #10 - Why Learn Basic Electronics?
Post by: Connoiseur on September 04, 2015, 03:10:50 am
If you wanna design your own stuff or want an employment, then obviously you need to learn basic electronics. I never thought it can be so tricky until I got stuck with building my class AB transistor amplifier.
Digital electronics can be handled quite well with just over a month of hard work but analog electronics is really tough. Even after working with analog electronics for six years, I don't think I have learnt enough. If anyone feels the way I do, here are two playlists that I think should be helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ybxGhhkr20&list=PL4E1A7D28A90C9B41 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ybxGhhkr20&list=PL4E1A7D28A90C9B41)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sULPYRgc8&list=PL80DBC78FA0498727 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5sULPYRgc8&list=PL80DBC78FA0498727)

(you might wanna skip the initial 1 min in every video)