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Basic Electronics tutorial for the complete beginner

Started by DJPhil, January 03, 2011, 11:25:20 PM

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Sure, there are dozens of places to start learning electronics. Everyone has their favorites.

There's a series of interactive tutorials hosted by the University of Texas at Austin that really surprised me.

I stumbled on this one while looking for something that would appeal to a friend of mine who's very visual and hands on. It seems like a good intro just to get the terms and ideas rolling around in the mind. I think it'd be excellent for those without a strong math or science background, or perhaps those who work better through analogy than abstraction.

Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone found it useful. :)


Looks like an excellent link, thanks for sharing.

The first lesson is a bit rough, I would recommend starting with Lesson #2 and then come back to #1 later - it will make more sense that way.
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X


Quote from: PECO on June 20, 2011, 11:56:55 PM
I'm a total beginner and I can't understand much, well, I know it is a theory. But don't worry I'll try harder and think harder haven't finished lesson 1 yet.  ;D


A beginner might be better served by a very simple explanation of How an amplifier circuit works then those lessons will make a little more sense.

This might be really obvious to the Teck minded but to a novice they need a *concept*.
This helped me a great deal.

Without a concept you will likely get lost in the maze,, heck I did  :duh

Simply put;  Just *AC Volts riding on DC Volts*
An Amplifier is the AC wiggle of the guitar string (or any musical signal, the stuff you hear)
and it rides on the DC potential created (setup) by the DC Voltages of the amplifier circuit.
When looking at a schematic you are looking a *Two quite separate circuits*;

First you have to DC Bias the Active Elements so that the AC signal can pass through
and hopefully be Amplified by the Active elements without passing needless DC current
through the active device which will just be wasted and may even burn out the device.

So you need to set up the DC conditions of the amp (bias) then you tweak the stuff you actually hear, AC signal.
If all goes well the AC signal output will be bigger than the AC wiggle going in hence it *Amplifies the signal*
So straight up you NOW know you are looking at 2 circuit paths when viewing a schematic.

There is an AC path and a DC path.
Also there are DC currents and AC currents not just voltages.

When a big power Amp blows up it will usually be a DC related problem as these pass big DC
currents and if not biased correctly will burn out big transistors in spectacular fashion.

Try and stay away from all the Thevenin,Norton Equivalent stuff until you grasp some basic transistor circuits.
for the average joe who wishes to build a few pedals it's needless complexity.

Does that help?


If you say theory and practice don't agree you haven't applied enough theory.


hey guys. i started doing these lessons, and lessons 1&2 weren't to hard to understand. lesson 3 though kinda threw me off. so gonna spend a little more time on it. lol. i have a cool book you guys might be interested in picking up, How to Diagnose and Fix Everything Electronic by Michael Jay Geier.