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BEAM From the Ground Up is a BEAM Reference Library site.

The basics of electronics
Starting at square one

Learning electronics from the very beginning can be a daunting prospect. There are a number of things you'll need to know:

  • What kinds of electronic components are available

  • What each looks like

  • What the function of each is

  • What the schematic symbol for each is (and, at a higher level, how to read a schematic)

  • Component color codes, so you can "read" the values of various components

I'm planning on covering this material in more depth in the future; in the meantime, I've found a few good web sites that cover the basics -- John Adams' Basic Electronics, and "Professor V"'s Basic Electronics mini-course; there's also a Yahoo club (TRCY) that has some tutorial material here.

A British electronics club called 4QD has a writeup for beginners, comparing electricity to water. Meanwhile, Alex Pounds has an electronics tutorial site here.

If you're looking for a good book, and you live in the U.S., Radio Shack sells a book called "Getting Started in Electronics" by Forrest M. Mims. It is by far the best basic electronics book I've seen. Sad to say, it's not available over the web, only in stores.

Meanwhile, you can browse my basic descriptions (split into 3 sections -- one each for passive components, semiconductor components, and integrated circuits). This won't get you all the way there, but it's a start!


When you're comfortable with that, you can move on to learning about Nv neurons and microcores.

For more information...

If this doesn't do the job for you, I've got a whole list of links to electronic tutorials elsewhere.

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Page author: Eric Seale
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