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Start making electrical circuits

  1. Jun 20, 2008 #1

    I'm a CS student but I'm taking some EE courses. This semester I had my first two courses in EE: systems and control (basically analysis of electrical networks, discrete and continuous systems, basic control systems and introduction to signal analysis) and digital logic (combinatorial logic, sequential circuits and FSMD's). Those interested me a lot. I'm even planning on doing a master in CE instead of CS after my undergraduate.
    Now that I have taken those courses, I really want to apply things I've learned in practice. I don't have any labs so I'll have to learn it on my own. I think forthcoming summer would be a good opportunity for that. But I don't know where to start. I'm not really looking for electronic kits as I really want to understand everything I am doing. Plus, I really want to make stuff on my own. Does anyone have any ideas of simple circuits that I could make?
    Another problem is the material. What do you need to make a circuit? My father has an old soldering-machine so I could already use that. But I have no idea about the rest...

    Thank you,

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2008 #2


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    You could try looking through some copies of "Nuts and Volts Magazine".
    That has projects of varying level difficulty with construction details and some theory on how it works.
  4. Jun 20, 2008 #3


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    There is an enormous amount of information in this site, the more you look the more you find. For more simple things there are many sources on the net.

    http://www.4qd.co.uk/Map.html?Index=+M+a+p+ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  5. Jun 20, 2008 #4
    To start making electrical circuits, you need to take it step-by-step. Start with something simple at first.I can help you with it.

    You don't need soldering for it will be used if you made your circuit on a veroboard/PCB but for starters you can make your circuit on a bread board, which is VERY easy.

    Simply surf the web for some simple looking circuits, select a few candidates and finally know the parts required, go buy them and according to availability of the parts, select the simplest circuit and begin working.
  6. Jun 20, 2008 #5


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    Yes, solderless breadboards are definitely the way to go.
  7. Jun 20, 2008 #6
    Allright thanks. I already found a site with some circuit diagrams. I guess I'll just write down the components and go shopping :-).
  8. Jun 20, 2008 #7


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    You should also get a reasonable quality DMM. Radio Shack has them for less then $50. One of your first projects should be a DC power supply producing 5V and 12V. This can then be used to power further projects.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2008
  9. Jun 20, 2008 #8
    I think my dad still has a multimeter.
  10. Jun 20, 2008 #9
    I was going to say make a power supply as well but I think it'll be hard because he is not in a lab and since he is not experienced, it can be dangerous dealing with high voltage outlets.
  11. Jun 20, 2008 #10


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    If for example you want to learn about op-amps, application notes from the op-amp manufacturer is a good way to learn.
  12. Jun 20, 2008 #11


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    Agreed. When I built my first hobby power supply, I was between my Junior and Senior years of undergrad, and already had learned the basic Underwriters Labs rules for how you handle and hook up the AC Mains input to the step-down transformer. Things like power switch rules, and fuse rules, and what kind of connectors have to be used to strap greenwire ground to the metal chassis at the AC Mains input point....

    Better initial strategy is to either buy an inexpensive lab power supply, or use a simple DC wall transformer unit (like you use to charge stuff), or just use 9V batteries at first for power.

    I also googled tutorial building electronic circuits, and got lots of useful hits (from construction tips, to simple circuits to try building). Here's the hit list:


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