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Electrical engineering educational resources
edited February 2015
I feel lame that the only biohackery I'm capable of is shoving a magnet into my fingertip.
To the electronics prodigies here, how did you hack together a working knowledge? Are there resources on the Internet you can suggest?
altho i had electronics classes , i never learned anything there, at least nothing i would remember. best way is to get some fundamental understanding of what current and voltage is, and then get a battery, a few led's, a couple of resistors, a few transistors. those parts are so cheap you can buy like.. 100 for 2$, so it doesnt really matter if you blow up 50 or so.
there are also some neat simluation software packages which will let you tinker around with basic stuff. ktechlab does a great job for basic circuits. altho it greatly messes up at more complex stuff.
learning by doing.
: Learning by doing is the only method that works for me. This is perfect, thanks.
: The way I learned is simply taking electrical engineering classes at university. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. I'll even make a video demonstration if you ask.
edited January 2011
: Thank you for the offer, I'll be happy to take you up on it when I know enough to start asking.
I did find
Academic Earth list of videos on electrical engineering and
MIT OpenCourseware listing.
Disassembling existing devices is a good idea (though many devices are not very hackable, disassembling and reassembling even these is a good way to get a feel for the important bits). I also recommend doing some projects with a development board (the arduino, despite hype backlash, is a good starting point since it has a lot of good documentation, a good open-source toolchain behind it, an active community, and minimal cost and setup -- someone who is more comfortable with the software end will find microcontrollers on development boards to be a more pleasant introduction than fooling with analog discrete components). I would not recommend taking classes unless you are the class-taking type (most hackers aren't, and so unless you are looking to get a degree it's a waste of money), though the kind of class-oriented material that pops up in a google search is sometimes useful.
this Coursera class
? Granted, you need to know a bit of calculus as a prerequisite, and it seems to focus more (a bit much, IMHO) on the information-theoretic side of electrical engineering, but it doesn't assume any physics knowledge, and is probably a decent start, considering my experience with other Coursera lectures thus far.
Most of my experience regarding electronics design comes from before I took any university courses on the subject, but I will say that the university courses do help a lot with building up a more fundamental knowledge, and will enable you to work out the math behind your filter designs etc. It's important, although I agree that gaining experience by doing is even more important.
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