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Technological Terror For the discussion of items of technology such as motors, controllers, motion sensors, audio boards etc. Also to discuss how to hack commercial electronic props.



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Old 04-15-2012
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Spooky Dave Spooky Dave is offline
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Default Good beginners text/manual on circuit-building?

Hi all,

I find myself leaning more and more toward wanting to do cool stuff with electronics. I can do a fair amount with regard to wiring up LED's or even basic circuits (like triggering a PICAXE chip), but I really want to learn much more.

I'm just not experienced enough with circuitry.

For example, I bought all the parts to the Scary Terry audio circuit board, then looked at the schematic and couldn't figure it out. I can follow a very basic circuit, but that one is Greek to me.

What's a good textbook or manual out there to give me a good start to finish education on how to build circuits, how to read schematics, all that jazz?

I realize I can just buy the audio board, and yes, that certainly saves time. But I want to be able to build my own, to understand it, so I can then take that understanding to other projects. The geeky side of haunting really sounds enticing to me.

Only trouble is, I have such limited background with anything like this. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, guys and gals!

Dave
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Old 04-15-2012
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Here is an on-line MIT lecture course on this topic. Not sure how helpful this will be for you...

http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrica...ideo-lectures/
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Old 04-15-2012
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Here's a good place to learn about LM555 timing circuits:
http://home.cogeco.ca/~rpaisley4/LM555.html

This site will give you some insight on many types of circuits. Very helpful when starting to use transistors:
http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/

This place gets a bit more technical, but there's a lot of good info in the forums. No charge to join (and no spam):
http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/

If you Google "electronics forums", you'll find a ton of places that discuss circuits and how to build them.
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Old 04-16-2012
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A good book that will give you a pretty rounded background is Make: Electronics.

A good description and a PDF sample is available on Make's website: http://www.makershed.com/product_p/9780596153748.htm
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Old 04-16-2012
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Hey, thanks everybody. I'll definitely check out those sources. Appreciate it!
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Old 04-16-2012
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This is the best beginners book that I have ever read - It will give you a solid foundation for the more advanced stuff. All of his notebooks are great as well.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3433933

AS for building the sound board or any other complicated circuit, I realize it is cool to want to build it yourself and you should do it at least once. The amount of time it will take you to build it and the cost of the parts may not be that much of a difference. you might be better off starting with an already etched PC board for your project. Although there is not one available (to my knowledge) for the scary terry board there are plenty of people who sell pre-made boards for projects and controllers and they are just as much fun to build. Please do not get me wrong I do not want to dissuade you from making your own scary terry board but as you said it is a complicated circuit and I would hate to see spend hours building it only to have it not work because you may have missed something and get frustrated and give it up. This is a fun Hobby but do not get too ambitious too quickly is what I am trying to say.
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Old 04-16-2012
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D'oh! I had a brain freeze, of course you should get Forrest Mims' book. Easily available at any Radio Shack.
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Old 04-17-2012
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This is good information thats going to help a lot of haunters. Thanks for posting this.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Mims books are the best but you should also have a good supply of Magic Blue Smoke to replace any you should lose in your ventures.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10622

Smoke testing is an art when it comes to electronics design and building.
We should all do our part to preserve the precious Blue Smoke that's left.
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Old 04-17-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeyDaClown View Post
Mims books are the best but you should also have a good supply of Magic Blue Smoke to replace any you should lose in your ventures.

http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10622

Smoke testing is an art when it comes to electronics design and building.
We should all do our part to preserve the precious Blue Smoke that's left.
...too bad for me that they didn't sell it in bulk - I'm thinking maybe a 55 gallon drum full would have been a good start...
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