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How did you learn?

  1. Sep 8, 2010 #1
    So i want to know how did all you EE people here learn what you know. Did you teach your self, learn in school, Watch Videos, or just did it.
    I learned by watching videos and teaching my self. I didnt learn much in school only simple circuits like parallel and series.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2010 #2
    I fiddled with old TVs in the basement as a kid. Learned to do IC kind of electronics in order to build musical instruments. Got a job building exhibits at a science museum. Stumbled into C/UNIX programming because a housemate needed an extra pair of hands. And then started building robots, so back to hardware and embedded computers...

    Never studied any of it.

    Note that this is probably NOT the way to go about it these days.
  4. Sep 10, 2010 #3
    actually i dont you should study i think it is best to learn as you go along because if i study i over do it and think i know what i am doing.
  5. Sep 10, 2010 #4
    cmon i wanna hear ya stories people
  6. Sep 11, 2010 #5
    In the late 1940's and early 1950's, I attended a boarding (high) school where no one knew how to fix the old vacuum tube AM radios the students had. So I read the RCA vacuum tube manual and learned how to fix them. I also built a small AM transmitter (probably illegal). I also assembled vacuum tube HI-Fi amplifiers. I then worked at Hewlett Packard part time (on vacuum tube equipment) as a junior engineer while attending college. So I know all about heterodyne receivers and grounded-grid RF amplifiers. (By 1960, most new electronic equipment designs used transistors).

    Bob S
  7. Sep 11, 2010 #6
    no offense lol your old. But i like your story though.
  8. Sep 11, 2010 #7
    No matter what you learn, it will shortly become obsolete, like vacuum tubes. Be prepared to continuously learn new things, or you will become obsolete.
    Bob S
  9. Sep 11, 2010 #8
    thanks for that word of advice i will be sure to keep it in mind.
  10. Sep 11, 2010 #9


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    I learned via a combination of class, labs, hands-on work, and lots and lots of sparks, magic blue smoke, and scorched electronics.

    I'd have to say that a lot of what I did hands-on reinforced and really allowed me to understand what was taught in class. Every once in a while, the stuff that was taught in class allowed me to understand what the "old hands" gave me as pro tips.

    You're 15, don't sweat it.
  11. Sep 11, 2010 #10
    I acquired a training manual for television repair when I was probably about 5. I could barely read about then, but the thing was loaded with cartoon illustrations of electrons running around circuits (they had arms and legs). They also got rattled and bumped from a hot cathode and flew off into the space between the cathode, grid, and anode. A lot of their buddies hung around on the grid which seemed to disenchant them from flying by. However, if they did go by, boy howdy, they took off for the anode. Some smacked it so hard, they bounced right off...

    There were a lot of old transistor radios when I was a kid, and a surprising amount of information to be had between our encyclodias, an old collection of mechanix illustrated, and the actual schematics that were often printed on a sheet that was then glued to the inside of the radios. I had no tools of the trade. Rather I'd use oversized pliers, about any steel rod I could find, and awful solder from radio shack. The steel rod was my soldering iron. I'd put it into the fire of the gas-stove, until it was hot, and then quickly work with it. Boy, I got a LOT of burns. But I made a good many gadgets: Crystal radios, small amplifiers, variations on the blocking oscillator (which I thought I invented!), little transmitters.

    Before I got out of grade school, I came up with my first sound effects generator, which was salvaged from a transistor radio. Everything was then tucked inside the radio's case. Anyway, I took it to school and had it promptly taken away until the end of the year...
  12. Sep 11, 2010 #11
    lol wow you got quite a story their it seems many people learn from radios i think i should look into that.
  13. Sep 11, 2010 #12
    All those things were a product of environment. Some kids grew up with digital parts. Steve Jobs, founder of apple, was a digital geek. Personally, I think its best to start with the basic components and not touch the op amps and digital chips till you have a good feel of how to use transistors.
  14. Sep 12, 2010 #13
    i grew up in a engineering environment of digital electronics and some environments of broken electonic bits.
  15. Sep 12, 2010 #14
    I'm in the process of learning, never really built and fiddled with electronics when I was a kid but ever since I seen hackers when I was 11 I always wanted to do something cool like that.

    I didn't really care for school until about grade 11 when I started thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I decided to take a math course and a physics course cause I was leaning towards video game programmer but when I was learning physics I was pulling off 95%+ on every assignment/test so I wanted to get a job that would use physics and I didn't feel like programming full time.

    This profession seems to have a lot of math which I love and I can still learn to code but wouldn't have to do it all the time. I am finishing off my first year and I like the stuff so far and I have a really good grasp on the concepts. My school is about equal in the amount of time learning it in lecture and in the lab.

    I can't wait till I graduate and get into the work force :)
  16. Sep 12, 2010 #15
    what kinda of company do you hope to work for?
  17. Sep 13, 2010 #16
    Noww that I'm thinking it, it isnt the right thing to do, but ordering free samples and playing with those can give you quite a good knowledge, and fun evenings. Being active in electronics forums also seems to help.
  18. Sep 13, 2010 #17
    i love ordering from st i have gotten everything that i order from them
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