Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

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SixGunLover
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Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by SixGunLover »

I apologize if this has been answered 5000 times already - I've done some more general Googling and found a few things that might be helpful (a couple of old electronics books that were recommended in a few places), but I thought I'd ask here, closer to home, as we have a ton of very knowledgeable people here.

I'm quite keen to learn electronics with the goal of working towards being able to mod or even make my own pedals and eventually amplifiers. I assumed the fewer components and less lethal voltages in pedals would be a better place to start. As well as being another useful skill, at the moment for me time is more freely available than money so it seems like I could potentially save a few dollars.

Where would you recommend a complete beginner starts? Embarrassingly, I'm talking about someone who vaguely remembers having to do electronics for a year in high school (I'm now 34) and foolishly paying zero attention, who has never raised a soldering iron in anger.

Is there a book that would serve as my bible?
Is there a series of YouTube videos or channels that you've found helpful?
Should I do a course?
Would you recommend I climb the snowy peaks of Mt. Cook in search of a wise mentor who will instruct me in the mysterious ways of the circuit?

Cheers for the help. Any tips or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by sizzlingbadger »

This is widely considered the bible for anyone studying Electronics.

https://www.amazon.com/Art-Electronics- ... 0521809266

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by Miza »

I was in the same boat last year. Decided I wanted to build pedals, but didn't know where to start.

Did heaps of reading online, sites like this are very good by way of introduction:
https://www.instructables.com/Basic-Electronics/

There's an aussie guy on Youtube who has a great series of videos covering lots of areas for newbies:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DiyguitarpedalsAu

My suggestion, get yourself a soldering iron (see other threads on here for advice) and get a kit and just do one. Buying a kit gives you all the components you need in one package, and the build instructions are always really easy to follow.

Tayda Electronics is cheap for components, and the shipping from Thailand is surprisingly fast.

Building from PCBs is like painting by numbers. Almost anyone can do it, but in terms of the 'why' different components do different things, I'm still playing catch up. So I find diagnosing issues quite difficult. :oops:

Good luck, it's a fun hobby.
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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by quyet »

I sucked at soldering until I got good flux.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by FuzzMonkey »

I second what Miza said. Kits are a great way of starting out on your pedal building journey for all of the reasons he stated.

Everybody starts at the same place and understanding why different values of resistors or capacitors for example are used comes with time. I'd recommend joining https://www.freestompboxes.org if you haven't already as it is full of information and resources. And don't be afraid to ask questions. Nobody knows it all and I'm happy to help where ever I can.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by FuzzMonkey »

quyet wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:17 pm I sucked at soldering until I got good flux.
Flux is your friend!

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by Miza »

There's a million 'how to solder' videos on Youtube, but my favourite is this one from the 70s/80s that was share here a while ago:
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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by HackSaw »

quyet wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:17 pm I sucked at soldering until I got good flux.
What does this mean exactly? Because Despite watching countless videos on how to solder, I still suck!

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by jeremyb »

Just buy leaded solder, the other stuff is shit!
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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by NippleWrestler »

Electrosmash is a very helpful source and their breakdowns of circuit blocks helped me when designing some of my own units with Monarch. Beware though as electrosmash isn't always 100% correct which you'll learn as you learn more but for the most part it's a good resource.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by WellyBlues »

A timely thread. I had been thinking along the same lines. I'm going to go down the guitar setup route first though.
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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by Reg18 »

I started a little over a year ago and it’s been a great experience building my own pedals, still very much learning as I go. I’ve never been able to learn very well by books so I have a few failed experiments sitting on my bench but i learn something new about pedals every single week. Something no one tells you when learning to solder is how to keep the tip in good condition, I’ve bought a few tips only to realise if I’d looked after the tip properly it would have saved me money and frustration at some of my soldering mishaps. If it has oxidation even the good solder won’t flow properly.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by FuzzMonkey »

Reg18 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:44 pm I have a few failed experiments sitting on my bench but i learn something new about pedals every single week.
As do I; on both counts. Don't be afraid to try things and experiment. Ask questions and use your imagination.

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by WellyBlues »

this outfit have complete kits and components, looks quite good. Depends on your budget I guess. https://aionfx.com/

Anyone got experience with them?
Slowy wrote: Ultimately though, guitars are like women. On paper there's not much difference but only a few can make you happy.
Ray Wylie Hubbard wrote: And the days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations Well, I have really good days

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Re: Complete beginner to electronics - recommended resources

Post by FuzzMonkey »

WellyBlues wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:21 pm this outfit have complete kits and components, looks quite good. Depends on your budget I guess. https://aionfx.com/

Anyone got experience with them?
Not directly. But they are some of the best I've seen on the market. Definitely at the higher end of the market for sure.

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