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I want to learn .... were do i start?

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Newbie level 3
Oct 26, 2007
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Hi All.

My names James, im from Birmingham UK, im 23 (just turned :))

I have always had an interest in electronics, the first time i can recall was when me and a few mates purchased an FM oscillator transmitter, we was running a pirate radio station (back in my hay days). I took it apart one day and inside was an absolute mess and it look like a kid had put it together .... but it worked, and he charged us £500 for it, i tryed to recreate it, but failed :(

From about 18 i got into web development and worked for a company for a while then began freelancing. From there i got into languages such as PHP and MySQL. Im now attending college in preperation for my Software Engineering degree and im currently learning C++ and Assembly. (Sorry for the long profile)

I don't have many hobbies, i sit on a computer 16 hours a day either learning about software or studying or working.

I started collecting the Elektor magazines, here in the UK. I didn't understand a word of it when i first purchased, but im reading, and picking things up, and im amazed at electronics.

Now i understand software engineering is an important role in hardware and electronic development, especially machine code, so to have a hobby in electronics would go hand in hand with my profession.

The question ..........

I want to start understanding electronics, understanding the symbols, how to read diagrams, working up to actually putting things together and developing software for whatever it is i create.

Where is the best place to start? Im a n00b to electronics.

I dont get much money to spend on things, im a student :p but my girlfriend has gave me money for christmas and would like to spend it on something useful. Whats the first things i should buy? Books? Tools (Soldering kits ect.)?

Thanks for any advice, much appreciated. I will hang round the forums and gain knowledge and ask questions.

hi dear

for getting knowledge about every thing you must know the basics I suggest you read basic electronics written by grob you got all basic electronics from it if you want from web for that you know the names of components and all other inforamtion you got from if you need any thing mmore feel free to contact me

Im going to get that book, its in the waterstones in Birmingham, just phoned them. Thanks alot :)

I have seen a good few reviews on this book

How about Computer hardware
for example cpu architecture.........
and Microprocessors or ....
you can also try HDLs..........
if you want to understand electronic and also electrical related papers maybe these topic be necessary:
Circuit Theory/for most of electrical fields
Electromagnetism/maybe you don't need it if you aren't interested in Power/Machinery/antenna ,....
Signal & Systems/ it's principal of Communication systems DSP ,.....
Digital Circuit/maybe you know about it it's necessary for Digital also Digital Electronic.

it's depend of your interest
wikipedia is good for general knowledge about electronic
and there are many universities with free online course
try it's some how good.
and the best is Google. :)

Funny enough i was just reading ocw from MIT.

I don't actually know what im interested in at this stage, i'd like to learn the foundations of electronics.

Maybe in years to come after working in the field of software development for a while i will move on to study electronic engineering, its certainly not out of the question in the distant future. Forgot to mention that im also going to be doing Maths and Physics so that would also help with electronics.

For the time being i will take it as a hobby.

Although, im still interested to learn how FM transmitters work and possibly one day try to construct one.
I heard that the oscillator transmitters are dangerous and you can end doing damage to yourself due to radioactiviy if you fuck things up. Not sure how true that is.

Thanks for the help though.

Added after 22 seconds:

oh yeah, and computer hardware i am interested in.

JJ07, Even if u take the electronics as a hobbiest the books Basic Electronics By Bernard Grob and then Electronics Principle by Albert Paul Malvino will help.


Don't forget to read some book about electronic instrumentation and measurement too.
It will help to gain some information about "real" world.

But, for becoming truly master, mit curriculum seem good to follow.


i read all your presentation and problem
although principles of electronics by malvino is an excellent book for the basic and the technical stuff, i think you need "the practical electronics for inventors".
it's a 14 chapters books on everything in electronics
it's a good start

you can search for it on the site web or contact me for more information

SHould have got a college training on engineering.

JJ07, I'am studying in electronic engineering course but most of my time spend around Computer and I'm also interested in Physics and Math.........
spread interesting fields with not enough focus.........

Start with going through popular magazines.

you will need a bit back ground in math and physics.

Basic Electronics by Grob is a good book to start the fundamendals

Hey bas is there an online book what u have mentioned above if so,can u provide a link for the "practical electronics for the inventors"

b_manohar said:
Hey bas is there an online book what u have mentioned above if so,can u provide a link for the "practical electronics for the inventors"

See your PM, I have sent the link.


basic electronics by gorb is a good book to start.......and you can go for advanced electronics by reading the art of electronics by paul horowitz.......:D

**broken link removed**. It takes you through digital systems step by step.

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