So you want to learn electronics?
There are many ways to Rome, but some are more fun than others =)
When I started out, I started with asking my dad questions like “How can I make a light flash?”. He always had a simple explanation. Then I went down in our basement and tried to make the circuits he drew for me. After a quick intro to soldering I was able to build circuits right away.
Learn How To Solder
An important skill in electronics is soldering. A good way to start soldering is to buy an electronics kits. It will give you all the components you need, a circuit board, and instructions.
Borrow or buy a soldering iron and some solder, follow the instructions and get that sense of accomplishment when your circuit actually works!
Arduino was made to enable people with little or no technical skills to make interactive gadgets. Arduino is a small circuit with inputs and outputs that are easy to program. You write some code on your computer, plug-in the Arduino and upload the code to it.
Knowing Arduino enables you to do sooo much with very little electronics experience. Buy a starter kit and maybe a book and start making really cool projects.
Check out my interview with Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi.
Learn How To Read Schematics
We use schematic diagrams (or circuit diagrams) all the time. If you want to learn electronics, you really need to learn to read schematics.
Learn Electronics Through Building Circuits
Start building circuits. Find a schematic diagram you like and build it. It’s the best way to learn.
A good way to start building circuits is using breadboards. With these boards you can just push the components into holes and easily connect them.
If you want to make something a bit more permanent, you can use stripboards.
Also, check out my eBook Getting Started With Electronics for a simple guide on how to get started building circuits.
Learn Some Theory
Some electronics theory can really come in handy. Especially when you are debugging a circuit or if you want to design something that you don’t have a circuit diagram for.
The most important theory to know is Ohm’s law.
But I would also recommend looking into Thevenin’s theorem, Kirchhoff’s current law and Kirchhoff’s voltage law.
Find a Cool Project
When you have some basic knowledge, the best way to learn electronics is to find a project you really like and just do it. When you meet roadblocks on the way, you’ll figure it out by reading up on the topic. So find a project that you are really, really passionate about. And you will find that learning electronics is insanely fun!