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Friday
Aug312012

So you want to learn about electronics.

I receive lots of emails from visitors to this site asking about how they can learn about electronics.  Their goal is usually wanting to learn enough to work on their vintage audio equipment.

There are several schools of thought on how to about learn electronics, some believe that that you must start at the beginning and learn all of the basics then move forward to more complex topics.

Another way to learn electronics is to choose a topic that has an interest to you and learn about it.  Your curiosity will lead you to more topics and and more investigation and your education will bloom.

I think that either way will work and I have done both methods myself.  For the absolute beginner starting at the very beginning will be the easiest way to build up some knowledge before moving forward.

A very good book to buy and work through is Understanding Basic Electronics, by Walter Banzhaf.  This book will introduce your to the most basic concepts of electronics like AC and DC Circuits, Ohm's law, Energy and Power and Active and Passive Components.

Understanding electronics includes using math to calculate information, this book has simple formulas and easy math.

One thing you will notice when you begin working through the book is that it was written for the Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) student.  To be a licensed Ham Radio Operator you are required to have a basic understanding of electronics.  Because of this requirement the Ham Radio community does a lot of education in electronics.  Don't be concerned that you don't what to be a Ham, you will be able to use everything you learn from this book.

How much you learn about electroincs depends on exactly how much effort you put into your quest for knowledge.  Don't expect to troubleshooting dead amplifiers after the first month, education is a life long process and if you have curiosity you will always find that there is more to learn.

My high school electronics teacher used to have this quote on his classroom wall:

                                         "Enthusiasm is no substitute for knowledge"

Learn all that you can and remember, you always learn the most form your failures than you do from your successes.

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