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Old 4th May 2011, 03:46 AM   #1
MinesJA is offline MinesJA  United States
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Default Where to start?

Hey Guys,

I'm pretty new to electronics and this forum (though I think I've written this same intro in this forum like 10 times by now) but am really interested in electronics especially in regards to audio. I've started picking up a couple books on it and working my way through some stuff online but was wondering what people thought was the best place to start. How did most of you who didn't go to school for electrical engineering get started in the audiophile world? What's the best place to start? Any projects you would suggest? Sites? Books? Videos? At this point, anything'll help.

Thanks!

Jonathan
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Old 4th May 2011, 10:20 AM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Where are you starting from? Complete ignorance of all things technical and scientific, or a PhD in something other than physics/EE? I guess somewhere between those two extremes. How is your maths, how far along the arithmetic-algebra-calculus scale have you got?

Horowitz and Hill is a good electronics textbook; very practical and not much maths. To understand audio you first have to understand electronics. The alternative is to scrape by using luck, false assertions, fashion following and guru quoting.
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Old 4th May 2011, 03:08 PM   #3
MinesJA is offline MinesJA  United States
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I did pick up the Horowitz and Hill book but have been working through a pretty goofy self-teaching guide that starts with Ohms law and goes on from there. That's been helpful and I plan to switch over to the Horowtiz and Hill book to see what I can glean from that.

But, in terms of current knowledge, that's about it besides some basic algebra and arithmetic and some basic physics. As I work through the Horowitz and Hill book, I was just wondering if there were basic electronics projects I could do while I read the book so I can solidy to the concepts I learn in it.

I've been working through a cheap stereo receiver I picked up, trying to fix it, and while I haven't gotten it functioning yet, it's been a really great learning experience, especially as I investigate all the components and learn as much about them and how they work as I can. But I feel like the knowledge I'm getting is pretty fragmented and was wondering if there were other projects I should start with so I learn foundational knowledge, cement it, and then build on that as opposed to coming in the middle.
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Old 4th May 2011, 03:19 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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In parallel with reading H&H, you could build a few kits. Start with something simple, to build confidence and develop techniques such as soldering. Audio amp, TRF radio?
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Old 4th May 2011, 03:33 PM   #5
MinesJA is offline MinesJA  United States
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Awesome, that sounds good. Thanks!
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Old 4th May 2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
As I work through the Horowitz and Hill book, I was just wondering if there were basic electronics projects I could do while I read the book so I can solidy to the concepts I learn in it.
There is a Student Manual for The Art of Electronics, written by Thomas Hayes and Paul Horowitz.
I don't know what you mean by "goofy", but if you don't like the book get a different one. Get a different one or two or three anyway. There's a plethora of electronics foundations books and textbooks. Same with circuit project cookbooks of various levels.
Begin/Continue accumulating parts and tools. A couple dollars worth of parts bought new or pulled from old equipment will allow you to build 1 and 2 transistor audio amplifiers. Patiently progress from there. Everyone here is still learning.
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Old 4th May 2011, 05:27 PM   #7
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I'd start with "safe" project, something like a battery powered cmoy headphone amp to learn the basics of split supplies, then maybe some buffers and preamps, as the parts and enclosure costs are less and that makes it easier to finish a project off.
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Old 4th May 2011, 05:43 PM   #8
MinesJA is offline MinesJA  United States
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Quote:
I don't know what you mean by "goofy"
I mean, it literally said "Shock yourself with what you can learn about electronics!" Not to say it hasn't been helpful, it's been great. It's just funny.

I've been picking up tools here and there, been fiddling around with an old receiver that's bust, using a multimeter to check out various components, seeing what people on this forum have to say about it, and reading tons of books and online material. I was just wondering where most people on this forum started getting into electronics. Wanted to make sure I wasn't the only guy who doesn't have or is in the process of getting an electrical engineering degree.

Quote:
I'd start with "safe" project, something like a battery powered cmoy headphone amp to learn the basics of split supplies, then maybe some buffers and preamps, as the parts and enclosure costs are less and that makes it easier to finish a project off.
Sounds good. I'll definitely look into that. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 4th May 2011, 06:07 PM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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People on here cover the whole range of understanding and experience from 'not a lot' to 'active professional'. Ask a sensible question at any level and you are likely to get a sensible answer, although I can't guarantee you won't get some silly answers too.
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Old 4th May 2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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For the basics here is a good web-site to take a look at - and I have about a dozen more - but I think it's best to start out with just one as to much info at a time can lead to overload and confusion. Basic Car Audio Electronics

Also - for some basic kits and electronics lab kits take a look at this site. A basic lab kit can help for those just starting out - and you won't need to worry about dangerous voltages until later on when you know a bit more about electrical safety. Electronic Kits, Electronic Hobby Kits, Electronic Kit

The 1st thing to learn and observe is electrical safety.

You will also be around some chemicals (Adhesives - cleaning solvents - paints - soldering stuff, etc.) and will need to take a bit of care there.

I hope that you find the information helpful - and fell free to PM me if you need some help.
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