Getting Started in Electronics

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What Is the Difference between Electronic and Electrical Devices?

When the field of electronics was invented in 1883, electrical devices had already been around for at least 100 years. For example: [more…]

Electronic Basics: Electrical Current

The current in electronic circuits is usually much smaller than current in electrical devices like light bulbs and hair dryers. Either way, current is what happens when the random exchange of electrons [more…]

Scientific Elements and Electronics

An element is a type of atom, defined by the number of protons in its nucleus. Copper — an element that is important in electronics — has 29 protons in its nucleus. On the other hand, hydrogen atoms have [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electric Charge

Before you can do much that's very interesting with electronics, you need to have a basic understanding of what electricity is and how it works. One of the basics of electricity — and therefore, electronics [more…]

Electronics Basics: Conductors and Insulators

Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology dealing with electrical circuits, so it helps to understand the principles of conduction and insulation, before delving into building electronic [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electrical Voltage

There are three things you have to know about electricity if you want to design and build electronic circuits: current, voltage, and power. This provides an overview of voltage from the perspective of [more…]

Electronics Basics: Fundamentals of Electricity

In order to understand even the simplest concepts of electronics, you must first understand what electricity is. After all, the whole purpose of electronics is to get electricity to do useful and interesting [more…]

Components of Electricity as Related to Electronics

Before delving in to the study of electronics, it helps to know a little about the components of electricity. Let’s start with three very basic concepts of electricity: namely, [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…]

Electronics Basics: Direct and Alternating Current

An electric current that flows continuously in a single direction is called a direct current, or DC.The electrons in a wire carrying direct current move slowly, but eventually they travel from one end [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electrical Power

The three key concepts you need to know before working with electronic circuits are current, voltage, and power. Current is the organized flow of electric charges through a conductor, and [more…]

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