Getting into electronics

Marc

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Hi all,

I have always had the desire to learn about electronics but never really had the time or opportunity to get into it. I can solder reasonably well, but don't understand the why's or the theory behind a lot of it. I went into Waterstones today hoping to leave with a stack of books, but was limited to a choice of two which led me up to building a bath sensor and not much more.

Can anyone suggest any good resources for learning electronics? Paid/free digital/print?

I have a Kada rework station being delivered and want to do interesting things with it!

Thanks in advance.
 

Zetr0

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@Wasagi

my friend, the best way to "learn" electronics and its theory is to actually do - I would suggest looking at anything with LED based kits -

this will build up a knowledge of circuits, capacitors, resistors and transistors - some very fundamental areas - theres lots of little LED kits that can do some impressive stuff - and its visual so you can see it working as why as you build the circuit.

theres plenty of little Micro-Controllers that can do some very clever things with a simple timming chip or circuit -

LED projects are a great way to get into electronics, but bewarned.... once you enter... its highly unlikely you will be able to leave my friend.
 

HonestFlames

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Creative electronics is like programming, but with danger.

I know only a little about the practical side... I've only a basic soldering iron.

I'm going to guess that your best bet would be to get down and dirty trawling through Amazon, cross-referencing book titles with external reviews (I wouldn't always trust Amazon customer reviews 100%). there are probably one or two 'bibles' which you absolutely must read from back to front 8 times each (Zetr0 will, I'm sure, be of further assistance here!).
 

abraXXious

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I would have to second the sentiments made by Zetr0 (and I like sucking up to the mods :)).

Dick Smith Electronics have heaps of electronics kits, some of which can have useful applications. I would recommend some of the simple robotics kits as they have everything from motors, capacitors, resistors, leds and rudimentary sensors. They are simple to build (come with a printed PCB), fun and you will learn a lot about the logic of circuitry. These kits start from just $15.95 aud.
 

commodorejohn

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Yeah, I've been thinking about this myself. I've got a decent handle on how the logic end of things works, but the actual "electrons bumping through a circuit" stuff has always been some sort of mysterious low-level thing I've never really understood and could stand to learn more about...
 

coze

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I would like to recommend sparkfun's tutorials, they are really fun to read and implement, really they get you going and you dont even realize whats going on :)

if you really want to get into the theory, and believe you're up for it, well then ...

MIT courseware
 

Merlin

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It's also worth getting an electronics kit for something that is likely to get used in your hackery later on. I bought a Vellermann K8048 PIC programmer kit from Maplin years ago, that gets used fairly often for programming 16F84s, for items such as home-made PS/2 adapters for Amiga mouse ports ;). They still sell them....

LINKY

(y)
 

cosmicfrog

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the only thing I remember is that V=MR
where
V = volts
M = Amps
R = Resistance

one formula you will learn like the back of your hand

next one to learn is wattS but cant remember that one, that is how much power your circuit will use or even a component

then simple timing formula something about caps* resistance , always nice to have a pulse 555 anyone

remember everything has resistance

oh and good luck
 

rkauer

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The formula (using international symbols) is I=U/R, where:
I for intensity (current in Amperes)
U for differential of tension (voltage in Volts)
R for resistance (in Ohms), this one can be replaced by Z when the circuit in in alternate current (impedance, also in Ohm)

P for power is calculated by multiplying current with tension and the result is in Watts.
 

Marc

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Thanks for all the advice, there is enough here to keep me busy!
 

cosmicfrog

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god knows where the M came from,M should be I, my excuse is I`ve got a cold
Tanks rkauer for the extra info and clarification
 

Marc

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My Kada 852 arrived today. Does anyone know if the hot air gun should start smoking at about 425 degrees?

---------- Post added at 18:05 ---------- Previous post was at 17:28 ----------

Seems it was just a 'being new' thing as its stopped now. This thing is great. Just removed about 10 resistors in no time. Will need a little practice to remove larger components.

In terms of inspection. Would you say a 10x or 15x loupe is best?
 

Zetr0

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@Wasagi

I use a 3x Mag-light and a hand 20x jewlers loupe - if you can get a 15x mag-light then you should go for it!

I will be upgrading mine in the near future to 10x or higher!


RE:Kada - rework station

if you have the 852D or the 852D+ then turn the unit upside down - you will see two small screws in the middle of the unit - these need to be removed or you could damage the pump.


Now this smoking you talk about - is this during the desoldering or after? - if its after then how are you turning off the unit - dont turn it off from the wall but from the unit as there should be an after cool feature whereby the element is turned off and the air-pumps out to cool the element so it doesnt burn itself away.


hope that helps.
 

Marc

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Its a Kada 852AD+ It doesnt have a pump, all the heating and blowing occurs in the handle.

Link to BIN ebay(http://cgi.ebay.com/SMD-Rework-Sold...ltDomain_2&hash=item230a29238e#ht_4322wt_1137)

Hope I didnt buy the wrong station!

There is no mention whatsoever in the manual or associated material about removing screws.

I leave the unit on to cool itself down using cold air as advised on the unit.



@Wasagi

I use a 3x Mag-light and a hand 20x jewlers loupe - if you can get a 15x mag-light then you should go for it!

I will be upgrading mine in the near future to 10x or higher!

the smoking has completely gone now

RE:Kada - rework station

if you have the 852D or the 852D+ then turn the unit upside down - you will see two small screws in the middle of the unit - these need to be removed or you could damage the pump.


Now this smoking you talk about - is this during the desoldering or after? - if its after then how are you turning off the unit - dont turn it off from the wall but from the unit as there should be an after cool feature whereby the element is turned off and the air-pumps out to cool the element so it doesnt burn itself away.


hope that helps.
 

Zetr0

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ahh no - dont worry - you certainly have a good station there!!

It uses a turbine mechanism in the hot-air gun for is air-flow

My friend Yorkie4 has a similar mech in his rework station - very nice indeed!

The smoke is quite likely nothing to worry about - but do keep an eye on it.
 

Marc

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The smoke has completely stopped, possibly some dust etc in the unit. Can anyone recommend some good tweezers? I'm using a real old pair that aren't very good for the smaller components. I also see some kind of suction cup device used to remove ICs. What are these called?

Can anyone recommend an inexpensive board/IC that I can practice some PGA soldering on?

Thanks!
 
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