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How do you feel about Beginners-Level content? Poll is created on Dec 23, 2020

  
  
  
  

[Sticky] Beginners Level Material - Your Opinion Please!

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DKTechGirl
(@dktechgirl)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 6
 

Yes please! I would love some more beginner level videos. Your style and formatting is great but a lot of your content still goes over my head.

I still get horribly confused dealing with something as "simple" as Ohm's Law, series, and parallel circuits. 

For instance finding an appropriate "wall wart" to run the beginner power supply project - if it looks like the voltage is right how do I know that it will have the proper amperage? 


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Will
 Will
(@will)
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Joined: 11 months ago
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Posted by: @dktechgirl

For instance finding an appropriate "wall wart" to run the beginner power supply project - if it looks like the voltage is right how do I know that it will have the proper amperage? 

 

If you look closely at it, it should say on the label or embossed on the plastic what voltage and amperage it provides. You just need to meet (or, preferably exceed) the amperage required by your circuitry.

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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DKTechGirl
(@dktechgirl)
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@will That's the problem - I don't know what amps I need. I'm that much of a newb 😉

LED - resistor - battery. That I can figure out. A buck converter through a wall wart to then power something else? You lost me at the bakery 


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Will
 Will
(@will)
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@dktechgirl 

Well, if you're starting off with "beginner" style Arduino projects, then use a 5 Volt 2 Amp power supply. That will be grossly overpowered for most beginner circuits and should last forever. Always try to get a power supply that provides more power than is absolutely required, they don't like to be over-driven.

If you buy kits or small projects, most of them will mention the power requirements on the box somewhere.

Once you progress to servos and/or stepper motors, you'll need to up the voltage to 12 Volts. Again, 12 Volts and 3 Amps will get you through most projects using up to 2 steppers.

If you get into LED strip lighting, then you'll need to read the seller's description about both voltage and current requirements.

Hopethat helps get you started.

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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Posted by: @dktechgirl

@will That's the problem - I don't know what amps I need. I'm that much of a newb 😉

LED - resistor - battery. That I can figure out. A buck converter through a wall wart to then power something else? You lost me at the bakery 

Post your project that uses a buck converter in the projects section and hopefully someone will give a beginner level explanation as to how it works in a way you can understand.

 

This post was modified 4 months ago by robotBuilder

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DKTechGirl
(@dktechgirl)
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Joined: 4 months ago
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@will and @robotBuilder thank you for the help and I do appreciate it. I think part of it is I'm having trouble explaining that this goes beyond a simple, specific project.

I guess fundamentally what I'm saying is I'm frustrated because I'm having difficulty grasping some basic electronics concepts. 

In my "day job" I deal with silicone a lot - both for mold-making and for casting and fabricating. Silicone has 4 or 5 core rules that, once you grasp them, you can play around with a lot. But I have to run tech support quite often for people who don't understand those concepts (or have not made the effort to learn them). I call them "red bowl people" because I quite often get situations akin to "Oh no! You're mixing your silicone in a blue bowl, but I only have a red bowl! Am I going to be able to do this?" Of course that is an exaggeration (a mild one - I could tell you stories) but it's because they don't understand what is an important variable (such as type of silicone, type of bowl etc) and what is a variable they can disregard (the colour of the bowl).

Right now I feel like a "Red Bowl Person" in regards to electronics. if I'm watching a tutorial (like building a bench power supply) and one thing changes (like I have an ATX I want to convert but I like the variable buck converter Bill put into the simplified power project) I'm kinda like "Ohhh is this still going to work?" Because I'm not grasping the basic rules. And I WANT to grasp the rules.

Like last night I was reading "Electronic Circuits For The Evil Genius" and I got confused over the way they were explaining transistors. So I searched on YouTube for a video about "How Transistors Work" and it cleared up the confusion because they explained things in a slightly different way than the book did. I had a "Ahhhh I GET IT" moment.

So LONG story short - since Bill _was_ asking if people would like some beginner vids I'm saying "Yes" because I like the way @dronebot-workshop structures his videos and I'm hoping that if he did a couple of vids on basic concepts they might "click" with me more. 😀


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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@dktechgirl 

I guess fundamentally what I'm saying is I'm frustrated because I'm having difficulty grasping some basic electronics concepts.

Being self taught in electronics using many books I get it 🙂  What one book didn't explain in a way I could understand another book did.  Bill's tutorials do assume an understanding of basic electronics.

 


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Inst-Tech
(@inst-tech)
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Joined: 6 months ago
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@dktechgirl 

Welcome to the Forum!  I'm impressed that you want to learn the "basics" becuse in the long run, the basics will get you through even the most complex electronics..But you must get a firm grasp on those basic concepts.. OHms law, Kirchhoff's Voltage Law, Thevenin Voltage, & Nortons current theorem are a good place to start. It will all seem very confusing at first, but in time, you'll begin to understand those rules, and how to apply them.. the lab projects will help you see the results of applying the basics.

Just hang in there, and we'll help you as much as you need.. but doing as much as you can, and having those Ah-Ha moments are what learning is all about..

Good luck, and have fun...

kind Regards,

LouisR

LouisR


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Will
 Will
(@will)
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Joined: 11 months ago
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Posted by: @dktechgirl

@will and @robotBuilder thank you for the help and I do appreciate it. I think part of it is I'm having trouble explaining that this goes beyond a simple, specific project.

I guess fundamentally what I'm saying is I'm frustrated because I'm having difficulty grasping some basic electronics concepts. 

Perhaps you're trying too hard. If you take LEDs as an example, it's not necessary to know how they work at a sub-atomic level. You just have to apply a voltage and current to get the effect you want (low light, medium light, high light and explosion). The voltage generally depends on the colour of the LED and the current determines the light level or explosive effect desired.

In my "day job" I deal with silicone a lot - both for mold-making and for casting and fabricating. Silicone has 4 or 5 core rules that, once you grasp them, you can play around with a lot. But I have to run tech support quite often for people who don't understand those concepts (or have not made the effort to learn them). I call them "red bowl people" because I quite often get situations akin to "Oh no! You're mixing your silicone in a blue bowl, but I only have a red bowl! Am I going to be able to do this?" Of course that is an exaggeration (a mild one - I could tell you stories) but it's because they don't understand what is an important variable (such as type of silicone, type of bowl etc) and what is a variable they can disregard (the colour of the bowl).

Silicone mold making isn't a good analogy for electronics. In electronics, there are a huge number of part A and part Bs to mix and often you'll have over a dozen parts plus programming to make them all play nicely together.

I'd suggest that you work your way through your books with examples using only a few parts. You'll soon get familiar with them and their interaction. After you get familiar with each, you should try to make your own small circuit to do something you want to do (but that isn't part of the example from the book).

I think you're looking for "The Force" where there's only familiarity with what bits and bobs do and how to read the data sheet for them.

Right now I feel like a "Red Bowl Person" in regards to electronics. if I'm watching a tutorial (like building a bench power supply) and one thing changes (like I have an ATX I want to convert but I like the variable buck converter Bill put into the simplified power project) I'm kinda like "Ohhh is this still going to work?" Because I'm not grasping the basic rules. And I WANT to grasp the rules.

If you read and understand the basic stuff that @inst-tech mentioned above, then you'll have all of the theoretical basics covered and again, it will just come down to practise.

Like last night I was reading "Electronic Circuits For The Evil Genius" and I got confused over the way they were explaining transistors. So I searched on YouTube for a video about "How Transistors Work" and it cleared up the confusion because they explained things in a slightly different way than the book did. I had a "Ahhhh I GET IT" moment.

Excellent, there are thousands of YouTube videos covering electronic topics and components, likely you'll find one that explains it in a way that fits your learning style. If not, ask your question(s) here 🙂

I was kidnapped by mimes.
They did unspeakable things to me.


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robotBuilder
(@robotbuilder)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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@inst-tech 

But you must get a firm grasp on those basic concepts.. OHms law, Kirchhoff's Voltage Law, Thevenin Voltage, & Nortons current theorem are a good place to start.

I never started there and indeed I don't even know those laws although I have heard of them. Instead I thought about it in terms of other things. Voltage is like water or air pressure, Current (which I confused with currents in a river) is in fact gallons per minute and, well, resistance is just that. A transformer is like gears or levers.  A capacitor is like a flexible rubber block in the pipe and inductors are like water wheels that take time to "get up to speed" to let the water through and keep pushing the water for a while when the pressure drops. A transistor is like a tap that controls the flow of water (electricity) and a diode is a one way valve as in a car tyre.

I started with a basic dc circuit. Battery and torch light bulb and switch. The battery is a constant source of electric pressure (measured in volts). The switch is a tap you can turn on or off. The amount of electricity flowing depends on the pressure and the resistance of the light bulb. Energy (watts) is the heat and light from the light bulb. Of course the model becomes more refined over time.  A battery is not entirely a constant voltage (pressure) source as it has internal resistance. An ideal constant voltage source in series with a resistance. And so on refining my understanding over time.

Digital electronics is even simpler. On/off switches.

One thing I noticed in McWhorters introduction was talk about the physics of a transistor.  Not really relevant in its use although maybe interesting to some. Understanding a transistor in a circuit is best by taking its extremes, saturation and cut-off, essentially a switch.

 

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by robotBuilder

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Codeslinger
(@codeslinger)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 22
 

@dktechgirl Try some of the videos on the learelectronics channel.  Most of the stuff that Paul does is geared toward teaching the basics.  You might want to start with his "LED Complete Basics for Beginners" video since you mentioned LEDs.


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DroneBot Workshop
(@dronebot-workshop)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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Posted by: @codeslinger

@dktechgirl Try some of the videos on the learelectronics channel.  Most of the stuff that Paul does is geared toward teaching the basics

Paul's Channel is great, I've been one of his Patreon supporters for a few years, and we've communicated a few times as we both hit 10K YouTube subscribers on the same day! I really admire what he does, and I agree that it is an excellent resource.

Another great channel, also by a fellow named "Paul", is Paul McWhorter's channel. He has a number of different video series that walk you through everything in great detail.

And, back to the subject of this thread, I've been working on something that should (hopefully) satisfy the need for beginners content without boring those who are more advanced. But I'm a couple of months away from having it ready, so in the meantime I'd encourage you to check out both of the "Paul's" channels.

😎

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


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YurkshireLad
(@yurkshirelad)
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There are a lot of YouTube channels that cover electronics at all levels. You could spend a lifetime watching them all! I certainly subscribed to far too many and will never find the itme to watch them. Good luck in your journey.


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SolusSeeke
(@solusseeke)
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Joined: 3 months ago
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Why not having a tread or something like categorized references link for *outstanding* material ? 

Got interest for doing so. If it interest the comm, who you gonna call ? 😉

 


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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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@dktechgirl I will be building the ATX supply soon, and will add a buck converter to give me 3.3V from the 5V supplied.

It is considered poor judgement to traverse a chasm in 2 leaps.


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