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How to Learn Electronics?

A simple circuit with a LED bulb is the common choice for a first experiment with electronics, it is easy to explain: 2 or 3 components are enough, and the result can be verified with the naked eye, without the need for a multimeter or other instruments.

My first circuit, in all the scarlet splendor of its red LED on, was built for a secondary physics course project, back in 2012. It was quite simple, but the experience (which was not limited to the assembly) illustrated to me several known concepts that I had never really practiced.

In fact, just like me, new people arrive in the fantastic world of electronics, every single day; they want to become developers, creators, or have recently fell from parachute on top of an important electronics project but have limited knowledge of hardware from a development standpoint. If this is your case, I dedicate this entry to you. Now, before we go out wanting to make our own Iron Man suit, we need to know what we are doing, and especially how we are doing it.

In the photo above, you can see an exact rendition of my long ago finished physics project. A a set of 4 1.5V batteries (connected with a battery holder, producing a voltage of 6V) whose red (positive) cable is connected (by means of a clamp) to a led, and whose other cable is connected to a 470O resistor, this time connected to the other leg of the same led. The circuit is closed, the led is on, I pass high school physics.

However, not every first project needs to be executed like mine; and even though cable clamping and taping procedures will indeed be part of your first effort towards learning electronics, there are much better, and more interesting, ways to take your first step into this field. Handy tools handy: we will start by clamping the following paragraphs to our brains.