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Help really needed
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Help really needed

by I_am_bad_at_this on Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:05 am

well, im 12 years old, and tryin to get used tto electronics. Ive been experimenting with arduino. well thats about all i know about electronics (the transistor, microcontroller {very little on programming a microcontroller}, diodes, resistors, capacitors {but no knowledge on how and when to use a capacitor}, and very little c programming {arduino}). If anyone knows of any guides that aren't as long as the dictionary, but cover the newbie stuff i need to know? also just thinking, a bunch of people, including lady ada, have a lot of skill with this stuff, howd u learn?

thx in advance
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by A. Square on Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:42 pm

First of all, good for you for getting started early on! Be patient and persistent, and your hard work will be rewarded.

Now, I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but the way that most people get to have a lot of skill with this stuff, as you say, is to read those guides that are as long as the dictionary (I don't know how ladyada got started, but she did do a masters degree in electrical engineering at MIT, and I'm pretty sure she didn't manage to do it without a bit of reading).

The nice thing, however, is that you don't need to read them start to finish. When you don't understand something, or need to learn something, look it up and read that section. That way, you learn as you go along. Lessons in Electric Circuits is a fantastic free E-book that covers a lot of things, and I highly recommend it. High school physics and shop classes are also a place where a lot of people get started.
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Re: Help really needed

by mauvehead on Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:45 pm

I_am_bad_at_this wrote:well, im 12 years old, and tryin to get used tto electronics. Ive been experimenting with arduino. well thats about all i know about electronics (the transistor, microcontroller {very little on programming a microcontroller}, diodes, resistors, capacitors {but no knowledge on how and when to use a capacitor}, and very little c programming {arduino}). If anyone knows of any guides that aren't as long as the dictionary, but cover the newbie stuff i need to know? also just thinking, a bunch of people, including lady ada, have a lot of skill with this stuff, howd u learn?

thx in advance


I'm 24 and only now starting electronics. But when I was your age I got into computers. I spent all day doing various odd jobs. I wanted to learn Linux, I want to learn how to run a webserver, an eggdrop, ircd, etc.. Over time (5 years later) I was still doing the same basic thing. Projects, ideas, research, having fun. Just stick with it! I know it seems so daunting but as long as you're having some fun it will fly by. I didn't go to school, I don't have a degree and 12 years later I'm a full time Linux/Solaris admin and I spend my free time trying to learn electronics. YOU CAN DO IT! I highly believe you are on the right path.

Find what works best for you. It may be classes, it may be home learning. My approach is hands on. Right now I'm reading some basic electronic guides and I'm working on some small projects. This fall I plan to start some EE courses at my local Community college just to help have a guided course. But ultimately I learn best by DOING. In time I will move into Arduino's once I am ready to focus on programming. But for right now I'm starting the basics of electricity.

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by I_am_bad_at_this on Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:33 pm

wow, thanks so much. I really like using the really long electronics book when i dont understand something, and i also love hands on expeirience. The arduino was great for hands on expeirence.

Thanks!!
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by justadude on Mon May 19, 2008 1:24 pm

I got started by building guitar effects pedals and PAIA kits. I read the Art of Electronics but you also must sit down and study circuits, bread board everything and understand how it works. If you read about capacitave reactances and dv/dt and all that you will go mad but if you build simple circuits and watch them with a meter and scope it starts making more sense. If you play guitar or keyboards or any electronic music it is great because most guitar effects circuits are pretty simple, use 9v batteries, and can be bread boarded AND they are mostly easy to figure out how they work AND you get a cool noise box to play with too.
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by macegr on Mon May 19, 2008 5:41 pm

I started by taking apart electronic devices, sorting components, and building circuits from books and magazines. Forest Mims books from Radio Shack are actually good (probably the second most useful thing Radio Shack sells).

Then, I went to college and forgot everything.
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by I_am_bad_at_this on Mon May 19, 2008 7:51 pm

cool, thanks! ya right nom im trying to get an ATTiny85 to turn an led on lol, basically the definition of begginer XD
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by The_Don125 on Mon May 19, 2008 8:21 pm

If you are just trying to change the state of an LED, you can check out this code. It blinks all of the pins of a Tiny85 at a 1HZ rate.
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by I_am_bad_at_this on Tue May 20, 2008 8:23 pm

Oh My Gosh, thank you so much!

Also, im gettin really confused with c. i feel like im learning irrelevent things, is there a more specific tut of c for AVR?
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by The_Don125 on Tue May 20, 2008 9:53 pm

I wish there was a single great online AVR C tutorial, but unfortunately, the code I put up is actually the product of multiple tutorials that I've read, plus the AVR datasheets, plus some experimentation of my own.
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by koolkat on Tue May 20, 2008 9:58 pm

thats how you learn :D
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by I_am_bad_at_this on Wed May 21, 2008 10:37 pm

device- ATtiny85
ok i have a problem! i got my led blinking, just not at the right rate (i put a 200 microsecond delay and the led blinks with a 1000 microsecond delay) i messed with the time and put 50 microseconds in, and it would blink twice to once a second (like a 400 microsecond delay). i set my fuses so there was an external 8 mhz crystal with the 65micros delay, and im using an 8mhz oscilator. i thought it mite be the oscilator so i set the fuse to the internal one and got the same results. also, while resetting the fuse i noticed i made a mistake the first time i entered them, the first character of the low fuse was an &.

heres the code im using

#include <avr/io.h>
#include <util/delay.h>
int main(void)
{
// Set Port B pins 0, 1, 2 as all outputs
DDRB = 0x07;
for ( ; 1==1 ; )
{

// Set all Port B pins 0, 1, 2 as HIGH
PORTB = 0x07;
_delay_ms(200); //delay while pins are high
PORTB = 0x00; // turn of port B pins
_delay_ms(200); // delay while off
}

return 1;
}

the fuses were low=7F, high =DE
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by The_Don125 on Wed May 21, 2008 10:48 pm

Are you compensating for the fact that you have the clock divider fuse set? Maybe try lfuse=FF
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by I_am_bad_at_this on Thu May 22, 2008 9:57 pm

THANKS SO MUCH FOR THAT! although it didnt work, i apreciate the help!

i feel like its because i screwed up the fuse the first time, because it definatly has some sense of time, just a really wrong one. i think ill try a different chip
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.