1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Where/when did you start in electronics?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Splodgeness, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Location:
    North Shore, Mass.
    Funny, and awesome, how common some of these experiences are. Nice too, as a relatively new parent.

    I was a very young kid in the early 80s as the last of the steel mills (and secondary/tertiary things: foundries and heat treating facilities) were closed. For a handful of years it seemed like everybody's dad was out of work. Mine took the opportunity to take some electronics courses, and I have good early memories playing with HP test kits, building and testing circuits, that kind of thing. Also got introduced to soldering very early... in hindsight, way earlier than I'd feel good about as a parent. Thanks, dad!

    After a couple aimless years of college I did four more in the USAF and parlayed that experience in an entry level IT job when I was done. Also good experience but I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of my working years driving or on the Acela, sweating in other peoples' network closets. Used my GI Bill and still work in tech, but as the management now.

    As new generations enter the workforce I can see that they're further and further removed from some of the abstract/fundamental understandings some of us were lucky to have: Basic circuits, troubleshooting principles; Data flow, basic topology and protocol-level transactions in the IT realm. A lot of that stuff has served me really well even in functions that are superficially unrelated. For that matter, so have Econ I/II and some of the other Gen Eds that people love to ***** about. It's good to be well-rounded if you can help it; Don't let ITT counselors tell you otherwise.
     
  2. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    229
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Location:
    North Shore, Mass.
    Also, in a much narrower sense, this. This manual is just about the perfect mix of theoretical/practical instruction as far as I'm concerned. Really comprehensive and introduces all the electrical theory upfront in a way that's understandable by average enlisted personnel. Should be the target audience for all technical writing, really.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    2,133
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    North Avenue Trade School, Atlanta GA
     
  4. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,513
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    Where/when did you start in electronics?

    In the 2nd grade. My mom came in from hanging out the laundry and found me at the kitchen table with a screwdriver and the toaster in 20 pieces. She was not happy.

    But I thank her every day for not beating my butt with a wooden spoon because if she had, I would not have continued my quest to chase electrons around, and I would not have the skills I have today.

    Thanks mom!

    Miss you terribly!

    The book to get (as you get smarter on this stuff) is The Art of Electronics. Not cheap, but WAY worth the cost.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
    Digital Larry likes this.
  5. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    2,133
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Location:
    USA
    If you don’t mind using an ereader, the pdf version of TAOE is now free online. It’s actually kind of nice because you can search the text for key words if needed.
     
    Peegoo likes this.
  6. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Posts:
    3,882
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I was fortunate to be able to wangle a free copy of H&H via my last job. I had to buy the X Chapters myself. Still working my way through both. None better.
     
  7. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,349
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    MV, CA
    They used to have these electronic project kits advertised in poplular mechanics. You paid for the set and each month they sent you a new project. The first project was a battery based shock box i.e. a nail plunger dropped when you picked up the box and it gave you a shock. The box was covered with aluminum. Such a laughter experience when you are 9 years old and try it out on relatives and friends.

    The projects got increasingly complex until you built a radio crystal set which had a very weak signal. You learned how to solder as well. Later in college my reel to reel and guitar amp stopped working and I hit some electronic books to figure out how to repair them. Some of the books above i.e. basic electronic books got me to read schematics. From there it opened a whole new world. Although I only do occasional projects now, that's how it began.
     
  8. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,277
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    Snellman MN
    Built a crystal or two as a kid in the 70s but that didn't really spark an interest in electronics. That happened in the early 90s when I stopped using solid state Peaveys and got a Twin Reverb. Hauled the thing to a tech or two in Fargo and paid them to not fix it. Always a DIY type guy I figured I could not fix it myself and save money.
    That turned into an obsession really fast! Buying smelly old books from the golden age of vacuum tubes and every old broken amp I could find.
    Any idea of saving money went right out the window. :)
     
  9. 1293

    1293 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,008
    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    My dad worked on avionics for the Flying Tigers in WWII. He built amps and speakers. There were always soldering irons and components around when I was little. I subscribed to Radio Electronics as a kid and majored in physics/EE. I did metrology, instrumentation and controls and software validation and compliance in pharma (started out as an analytical development chemist and had methods in the USP). I've made several guitar amps.


    DSC01646-1-1.jpg
     
  10. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,513
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2019
    Location:
    Between the Raindrops
    There's a company that sells simple electronics kits named Velleman that offers a bunch of different through-hole-PCB kits that range from tiny transistor-driven LED flashers to larger more complex things like digital clocks and Arduino-based controllers. Even little robots.

    Do a Web search for 'Velleman Electronics Kit' and you'll get a bunch of hits because there are lots of vendors that sell 'em. Shop around among The Usual Scumbags for best price.

    I mention this because I've used the inexpensive little kits to get kids started in electronics, and several have jumped into EE careers because of it. Even the little simple kits are fun for adults that already know this stuff because it requires attention to detail and it sharpens one's skills. And you can give it to a chillun' that'll have ful playing with it.

    Company Website: https://www.velleman.eu
     
    tubegeek likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.