ad: NI4L-2

Where to start? - Books? Courses? Online? Kits?

Discussion in 'Homebrew and Kit Projects' started by KI7MDI, Apr 8, 2017.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Subscribe
ad: l-assoc
  1. WB0MPB

    WB0MPB Subscriber QRZ Page

    This may seem kind of juvenile to some of the high tech guys on here but if you don't have a handle on electronics even as an adult you can learn a lot from having one of these. It is just the first one I found looking for a picture but there a lot of different ones out there. I got my start with learning electronics many years ago using one of these. So if you get one of these not thinking it is just a toy for kids but a learning tool for any age you can learn a lot from them. Some brands come with good books that explain the circuit very well. I found one for someone but did not book mark it that had a really good companion book you could get for it that didn't just tells what parts to put where but then explained the circuit in detail so he would completely understand what each part did and why and how it worked. Start building simple circuits and study them until you know why they work and why each component is there. My son used one and he has one for my grand kids to learn on. They are not just toys if you take them serious and don't just look at them as a toy.
    So if someone knows very little about electronics they can be a very good learning lab. Don't just build something and then tearing it apart but build something and then study it till you understand the circuit.
    Just me 2 cents worth of thought.
    electronics kit.jpg
    John, WB0MPB
    KA0KA, AI3V, KG4MSR and 2 others like this.
  2. VK4FFAB

    VK4FFAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are also a bunch of small startups selling electronics kits designed to teach electronics. One i saw was a monthly subscription type thing, you got a kit in the mail every month and each kit was 20 something experiments in one. Really well documented and explained all the fundamentals of the circuits. i think it was. There are others also especially from India selling kits for under 1000rs, about 15usd. And then there is Contextual Electronics, who teach electronics, board design, layout and manufacture. An afternoon on google will yield tons of results.
    KI7MDI likes this.
  3. KI7MDI

    KI7MDI Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ned, I appreciate the offer. I would be honored to take what you have to offer. I have to, at least, pay for shipping. As for what would be appropriate, I guess whatever is geared towards beginner or intermediate electronics. I have very little experience in electronics. I dabbled a little (one kit) in the early 80's. I have taken physics & chemistry in college in the 90's (I remember some of it).

    John, I think someone else mentioned the Elanco kit. I've already got it on my wishlist at Amazon. As soon as I pass the General, I am going to order it.

    Robert, I will definitely check out those sites! Thanks for letting me know. I am copying almost all the links from this thread and saving them.
    VK4FFAB likes this.
  4. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great book, but I would probably suggest something more basic for someone just starting out.

    I actually think the Make! Electronics book is an excellent practical introduction to electronics and is very practically-oriented. You can even get pre-collected parts kits for the labs.
  5. K7ELP

    K7ELP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Randall, I will be out of town for a few days, and then I will get some of the books shipped to you. I would like to make a agreement with you, that you only pay the shipping on the books you like. Some books will ship via media mail, those that have advertisements in them will have to be shipped regular shipping cost.
    Media mail can take a longer shipping but it is cheaper. Please send me an email to autoivins@sunrivertoday .com and let me know if your address is good on this web site.
    It is my pleasure to help a fellow ham.
    Ned K7ELP
  6. AF7XI

    AF7XI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Congrats on getting your license Randy! Enjoy the hobby!
  7. KG4MSR

    KG4MSR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome Randy!

    Definitely get an electronics trainer as John, WB0MPB mentioned.

    I second all the other recommendations here as well but would like to add that you can also learn a lot from servicing and troubleshooting equipment too – and since you want to get into CW, look into getting a Heathkit HW-8. They're relatively easy to find for under $200 in working condition and are a joy to operate. Make sure you get the assembly manual for it... in there you will see the step by step instructions on how it was put together and pretty thorough alignment and troubleshooting procedures, as well as brief explanations of what each portion of the radio does. You don't need a bench full of test equipment either. I have rebuilt a total of 4 HW-8s in the past couple years and have found that you can pretty much find most deficient parts or sections to begin troubleshooting if you go through the alignment procedures step by step. Parts for the HW-8 are NOT unobtainium. Some substitutions are required for modern equivalent parts but they're available. Plus there are a bunch of folks in forums like this who would be more than happy to help you troubleshoot any issues.

    You should be warned though that the radio has an analogue dial, might drift a bit and has it's quirks, but my point is you will learn the basics of operating the simplest of equipment (and therefore appreciate all the bells and whistle modern equipment has to offer down the road), and learn to maintain your own equipment while getting an understanding of how the basic blocks all interact. There's no greater feeling in the world then getting a radio back in tip-top shape. Even if it's antiquated technology. SDRs and modern microprocessor controlled rigs are nice (I own several) but in my opinion, if you truly want to know what all those electrons are doing under the cover, start with an older rig that can be easily maintained and repaired.
    KI7MDI likes this.
  8. KH2G

    KH2G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back of the old handbooks was info on setting up a shop as in tools etc test equipment etc. I suggest for a good understanding think in block diagram / signal format. Poweer supply is one of first things to understand as about everything you'll build will need power and there is much to learn. in block form of course will be power in - rectifier - filter - regulator etc. Understand how each section works as there are multiple ways of approaching each.
    Anyway welcome to probably one of the most fascinating hobbies to be found with no end of possibilities. Enjoy! Dick KH2G ( first call kn6clf 1953)
    VK4FFAB and KI7MDI like this.
  9. VK4FFAB

    VK4FFAB Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good advice OM. PSU one of the most forgotten or overlooked aspects of a homebrewers tool kit. Whether one builds or buys, make sure its nice and clean. Nothing makes a perfectly good circuit look like its broken than dirty rippely power.
  10. VE3LYX

    VE3LYX Ham Member QRZ Page

    So I am curious. Have U built a crystal set yet?
    That should be step one.

Share This Page