Electronics Starter Kit?

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BryanRabbit
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Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby BryanRabbit » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:30 am UTC

I'm curious about electrical engineering but have no idea where to start. I've taken a few things apart (and I'm actually surprised by what I learned), now I want to try building something. Is there such a thing as a "starter kit" you can use to teach yourself the basics? What kind of stores cater to hobbyists.

What would you recommend a newbie buy?

Edit: I apologize If this is the wrong forum for this

KnightExemplar
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Re: Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:58 am UTC

Its a little ambiguous what you want... so I'll just throw something out there and hope it sticks.

Maybe something like this? Comes with an Arduino microcontroller, wires, a battery, motors, and various sensors to play around with. Maybe throw down a 555 timer and an op-amp for old-school analog circuits and you can do quite a lot. (chances are, the arduino can do analog circuits both easier / faster... but I personally like toying with analog circuits)

More advanced stuff will obviously need a soldering set, an oscilloscope, FPGAs... but I guess for starters an Arduino is nice to play with.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

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jobriath
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Re: Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby jobriath » Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:21 am UTC

There are always kits like this, if you want to play with individual components and chips and things. I had something similar and enjoyed playing with it. There's a recipe book with 500 designs of various kinds so you'll be building things in short order. This is definitely a toy, in that the supplied microprocessor (mine didn't have this!) is 4-bit with very limited memory, but you could always buy extra bits and pieces as you require them.

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BryanRabbit
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Re: Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby BryanRabbit » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:12 am UTC

Thanks for the links, this is exactly the sort of thig I was looking for, pretty neat. They seem a big pricey, but I suppose it's worth it to get my foot in the door.

Maybe a starter kit isn't the way to go? I'm reading the components in these I can probably buy them individually, problem is I wouldn't know what I'm doing.

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Wnderer
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Re: Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby Wnderer » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:27 pm UTC

Electronics is a big subject and I'm not sure what you are looking for.

A good book is the Art of Electronics http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Electroni ... 0521370957

If you want to try your hand at soldering together some projects, Sparkfun has some. http://www.sparkfun.com/
You might want to ask questions in their forum.

If you want to get into ham radio, check out the American Radio Relay League. http://www.arrl.org/ ARRL has a good book also but it is more advanced and specialized.

If you want to play with analog components. Resistors, Capacitors, Inductors, Transistors and Op Amps. Spice simulation is good for experimenting with and LTspice is free. http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/

If you want to play with digital components. AND, OR, NAND, NOR etc. You can play with FPGA simulation software.
Altera has Quartus II https://www.altera.com/download/dnl-ind ... hp&k=pb1-0.

If you want to play with designing schematics and circuit boards there is gEDA http://www.delorie.com/pcb/geda-windows/ http://www.gpleda.org/

There is also software and embedded programming with Arduino, and MSP430 type boards.

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BryanRabbit
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Location: New York

Re: Electronics Starter Kit?

Postby BryanRabbit » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

Thanks, sorry if my request was vague, but I think I found what I was looking for, all this stuff is pretty cool (especially sparkfun!).

To be more specific I'm looking for anything that compliments the EE side of computer engineering; processors, circuit boards, etc. But I'm starting from the ground up so anything on the basics of EE is good.


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