How can I get started in electrical engineering?

Discussion in 'Computer Programming, Emulation, and Game Modding' started by Sop, May 30, 2013.

  1. Sop

    Sop groovy dude lmao

    Nov 14, 2010
    I already have an Arduino and have played around and made a few cool contraptions with it. But I don't want to use a prebuilt board, I want to learn how to make my own. Does anyone have absolute beginner tutorials for this kind of stuff?
  2. DCG

    DCG GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 1, 2010
    I would guess Hackedgadgets, instructibles etc would be good sites to start.
    But you'll need basics first. (I usually start by trying to copy things, then find out how it works)
  3. Sop

    Sop groovy dude lmao

    Nov 14, 2010
    I guess I learned some basics through the Arduino.
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

    Apr 21, 2008
    London, UK
    I found one good place to start learning is in reading circuit diagrams and learning to create your own circuit boards. The more you learn, the more you are able to create.

    Keyword: learn.
  5. grossaffe

    grossaffe GBAtemp Psycho!

    May 5, 2013
    United States
    Do you want to be an engineer or a hobbyist? If you want to be an engineer, then you need to hit the books and learn calculus, linear algebra, RLC circuits, linear electronics, digital logic, FPGAs, non-arduino microcontrollers, etc.

    If you're just looking to mess around with things, then learn by doing. Decide upon a project that you want to do that requires you to do things you do not know how to do and you'll learn in the process.
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom and (the former is a must, there are any number of things like the second).

    Also He will not teach you basic electronics from start to finish (that is what the first links are for) but it will cover lots of interesting concepts and practical applications of things and that will make or break you just as much as anything.

    "But I don't want to use a prebuilt board, I want to learn how to make my own"
    In some ways this is like saying "I do not want to use an existing programming language, I want to make my own" -- it might even teach you a lot but practically speaking it is not all that useful in the modern world.

    As Originality said diagrams are things you need to know and given they are the result of things needing to happen they also amount to a good way to learn things.
    If you just want a toy one (but one that is far nicer than some of the professional grade stuff when it comes to getting basics done) then will start you with a breadboard, allow you to move to a diagram and finally lay it all out on a PCB in the click of a few buttons.

    Buy a multimeter, if I suggested a cheap one I would probably get strung up on the nearest lamppost by a passing electrical engineer and it would not be without reason. That said get something. Finally you will have many old/dead devices around the house you can pull apart and have a look at (if you do not have any then wander around the streets or speak to people -- they will have something), you do not have to understand everything that goes but try to figure out what various components are, look up their datasheets, consider how you might improve something (simple things like making an external speaker port on a LCD TV is usually a nice one to start with).
    Until you understand what voltage and current truly is and how to recognise when it gets dangerous do not pull apart old CRT TVs/monitors (very slim exception if you have read lots, have someone nearby that knows what to do if someone gets electrocutes (hint - if they say just grab you and move you away they do not know) and want to make a poor man's oscilloscope), do not play with huge mains voltage motors (washing machines and tumbledryers typically house them), do not play with huge transformers, if by some miracle you have a very high voltage device (they tend not to give such things to consumers) do not play with it and learn to recognise large capacitors and avoid them. No doubt you will get a recharge at some point but your first time one that leaves you smiling and not one that leaves you smoking.
    There are plenty of things powered by an external transformer which pipes in a sane voltage that are quite safe to play with otherwise.
  7. Seraph

    Seraph GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Jan 6, 2007
    United States
    Yep, if you want to be an "engineer" go to school and get to learning and earning degrees. Otherwise, most of the DIY stuff you do at home are just things I'd call what hobbyists do, which isn't a bad thing to get in to.