Getting Started in Electronics

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Electronic Project Plan Step 1: Envision Your Electronic Project

Before you get lost in the details of designing and building your electronic project, you should step back and look at the big picture. First, you need to make sure you have a solid idea for your project [more…]

Electronic Project Plan Step 2: Design the Circuit

Once you have an idea for an electronic project, the next step is to design a circuit that meets the project's needs. At first, you'll find it very difficult to design your own circuits, so you can turn [more…]

Electronic Project Plan Step 3: Prototype Your Circuit

Before you commit your electronic circuit to a permanent circuit board, you will want to make sure it works. The easiest way to do that is to build the circuit on a [more…]

Electronic Project Plan Step 4: Construct Your Circuit

Once you've prototyped your electronic circuit and you are satisfied with its operation, you can build a permanent version of the circuit. Although there are several ways to do that, the most common is [more…]

Electronic Project Plan Step 5: Enclose Your Circuit

Once your electronic circuit board is finished, the final step of your project is to mount it in a plastic, metal, or wooden box. You can purchase boxes specifically designed for electronics projects from [more…]

How Solder Works in Electronics

Soldering is especially useful for electronics because not only does it create a strong physical connection between metals, but it also creates an excellent conductive path for electric current to flow [more…]

How to Buy a Soldering Iron for Your Electronics Projects

Soldering is useful for electronics to create a strong physical connection between metals. A soldering iron — also called a soldering pencil — is the basic tool for soldering. [more…]

How to Buy the Right Solder for Your Electronics Projects

Soldering is used in electronics to connect metals. Solder, the soft metal that's used to create solder joints, is an alloy of tin and lead. Most solders are 60 percent tin and 40 percent lead, but that [more…]

Everything You Need to Solder Electronics

Besides a soldering iron and solder, there are a few additional things you'll need to have on hand for successful soldering of your electronics projects. To wit: [more…]

Prepare to Solder Your Electronics Project

Before you start soldering to connect the wires on your electronics project, you should first prepare your soldering iron by cleaning and tinning it. Follow these steps: [more…]

How to Solder a Solid Joint on Your Electronics Project

The most common form of soldering when creating electronic projects is soldering component leads to copper pads on the back of a printed circuit board. If you can do that, you'll have no trouble with other [more…]

How to Check the Solder Joints on Your Electronics Project

After you've completed a solder joint, you should inspect it to make sure the joint is good. Look at it under a magnifying glass, and gently wiggle the component to see if the joint is stable. A good solder [more…]

How to Desolder an Electronics Joint

Desoldering refers to the process of undoing a soldered joint. You may have to do this if you discover that a solder joint is less than satisfactory, if a component fails, or if you connect your circuit [more…]

Electronics Measurements: What is a Multimeter?

Along with a good soldering iron, a good multimeter is the most important item in your electronics toolbox. Your electronic exploits will be much more fruitful, if you learn how to use it properly. [more…]

Electronics Measurements: What a Multimeter Can Measure

A meter is a device that measures electrical quantities in your electronics projects. A multimeter, therefore, is a combination of several different types of meters all in one box. At the minimum, a multimeter [more…]

How to Build a Simple Electronic Circuit

If you are interested in understanding electronic circuits, one of the best ways to learn about electronics is to build a simple circuit. This simple circuit consists of just three components: a 9 V battery [more…]

How to Measure Current on an Electronic Circuit

Electric current is measured in amperes, but actually in most electronics work, you'll measure current in milliamps, or mA. To measure current, you must connect the two leads of the ammeter in the circuit [more…]

How to Measure Voltage on an Electronic Circuit

To measure voltage on an electronic circuit, you don't have to insert the meter into the circuit. Instead, all you have to do is touch the leads of the multimeter to any two points in the circuit. When [more…]

How to Measure Resistance on an Electronic Circuit

Resistance on your electronic circuit is measured in ohms, represented by the Greek letter Omega (Ω). Measuring resistances is similar to measuring voltages, with a key difference: [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: Overview of the Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope displays a simple graph of an electric or electronic signal. This graph, called a trace, shows how voltage changes over time. The horizontal axis of this graph, reading from left to right [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: Waveforms Seen on an Oscilloscope

There are four basic types of waveforms that you'll run into over and over again as you work with electronic circuits. Waveforms are the characteristic patterns that oscilloscope traces usually take. These [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: How to Calibrate an Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope is an incredibly useful tool to have on your electronics workbench. Unfortunately, oscilloscopes are also expensive, costing at least a few hundred dollars. So most electronic hobbyists [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: How to Use an Oscilloscope

The basic procedure for testing an electronic circuit with an oscilloscope is to attach the ground connector of the scope's test lead to a ground point in the circuit, and then touch the tip of the probe [more…]

The Difference between Analog and Digital Electronics

All of electronics can be divided into two broad categories: analog and digital. One of the most common examples of the difference between analog and digital devices is a clock. On the analog clock, the [more…]

Digital Electronics: Numbering Systems

Most digital electronic circuits work with the binary number system. But what is a number system? A number system is simply a way of representing numeric values. Number systems use symbols called [more…]

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