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Hobbies for electrical engineering (ideas)

  1. May 28, 2013 #1
    I am studying to be an electrical engineer and want to use what I am learning in a hobby. If there is any engineers that have an electronic type hobby what is it and where did you get the idea from?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2013 #2

    psparky

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    Gold Member

    Off the top of my head, being an apprentice with someone (certified electrician) who is wiring basements to finish them off is a great way to learn what is going on in a practical manner. Wiring all the outlets and lights in paralell on different circuits, figuring how many lights or receptacles on one circuit, wiring three way switches, switching out breakers, landing homeruns (power is completely shut off for all this).

    And....you can get paid for something that you enjoy and you can get that great feeling of everything actually working when you flip that switch for the first time. Also great to have a skill to fall back on during tough recessions.

    Don't forget the grunt work involved, drilling all the holes thru studs, floor joists and or rafters. Then pulling all the wire (rough in, need inspection) After inspection passes, then acutally connecting all the wires (finish, need another inspection) is the fun part:)
     
  4. May 28, 2013 #3

    berkeman

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    It's easy to get your HAM radio license, and that opens up the door to all kinds of radio-related RF projects. Check out my signature for more information. :smile:
     
  5. May 28, 2013 #4
    I am not into this - but electric RC cars, or planes. You will/can deal with Control Signals, Radio, motor control, servo control, etc. Many people are embedding systems right into the vehicles, Bluetooth control, coding, video, GPS etc.
    Well - actually I did have a Tamiya Subu Brat in college - but it has been a while.
     
  6. May 28, 2013 #5
    I've been buying cheap televisions, microwaves, and other appliances from goodwill and taking them apart. I also go by HVAC companies and see if they will sell or give me old oil burners.

    Also, offering your services part time to an electrician is great, but so is offering to spend an hour with an actual electrical engineer. Shadowing him and helping out when and where you can (if able.) The experience you get would be worth more than any pay you miss out on.

    I mostly just take apart electrical things and use the parts I salvage to build other things, or repair appliances for friends.
     
  7. May 29, 2013 #6
    I have combined my interests in electronics and music. Building/modifying amplifiers, filters, loudspeakers, microphones.

    One fun thing, I think, is buying a bunch of secondhand loudspeakers, disassembling them and evaluating the different drivers with e.g. Soundcard Oscilloscope. And then building a custom loudspeaker by combining the best drivers, building a custom crossover filter for them and design and build a cabinet (but some knowledge about cabinet modelling is also needed).
     
  8. May 30, 2013 #7
    Thank you so much I will definitely try some of these ideas out and see where it takes me
     
  9. May 30, 2013 #8
    I am studying Electrical Engineering at Uni (I think they call this college in the US). In my spare time I am building my own electric skateboard from RC aircraft parts. It has been a really fun project so far - and if you want to make something that moves, or a fixed wing model plane, or a quadcopter I can give you lots of useful advice/tips (spent last summer on an internship in the UAV research group). There is a real difference between the engineering students who do the bare minimum, and those who develop real practical skills and do their own mini-projects.
     
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