Beginning Electronics Books

This is a discussion on Beginning Electronics Books within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hello, I've had a strange idea for the last couple of months to try and make an electronic circuit that ...

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    Beginning Electronics Books

    Hello,

    I've had a strange idea for the last couple of months to try and make an electronic circuit that can be controlled from the computer (parallel port being the easiest interface to work with), however the last time I did anything with a soldering iron was ten years ago in secondary/high school.

    My long-term objective is to rekindle my relationship with this.

    Can anyone recommend a book?

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    Banned master5001's Avatar
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    I personally have been trying to reunite with this myself. I just find time is such a precious commodity.

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> (parallel port being the easiest interface to work with)
    I dunno. I've used parallel port and serial port ... and the latter, I found, was far simpler to use, and takes up a lot less 'space', when you consider the bus orientation of the parallel port. With serial port I recommend using a MAX232 chip (does the voltage conversions from +-12V to 0-5V and vice versa via charge-pumping so you only need 5V, assuming you're gonna be on a 5V domain...). Then I suggest buying a PIC microcontroller and programmer. You can do all sorts of things with them. In fact, as far as I know, they're used to control timing (?) and fuel injection in some cars. Though they are normally programmed in assembly there are a number of ... interpreters available where you write C code and it translates it to ASM.

    A friend of mine used a USB FIFO (first in first out), with a PIC of some kind and it worked well (though that was with labview rather than with C), but methinks one can link to it with C too...

    I do recommend you do this, though. It's far more rewarding than regular programming, though far more frustrating too.

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    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    My all-time favorite electronics author is Forrest Mims. His website.

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    master5001, that's just... (sniff) so beautiful man! You'll get there some day.

    twomers: I have been looking at PICs, but they seem complicated. What I don't wanna do is get a load of complex ICs together, connect the pins up and think that I'm suddenly a master of electronics. I wanna begin by being able to e.g. light up an LED via a signal from the computer and go from there.

    The thing about the serial port is that data has to be demultiplexed in order to make sense, whereas parallel is more direct (assuming you only want a couple of bits bandwidth).

    Sebastiani: Mims doesn't appear to be widely published outside the US. I guess electronics books don't have the same reach as computer books. Hmm...

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Demultiplexing isn't such a problem with PICs cause a lot of 'em are built with RS232 drivers so you just wait and grab the register where the byte has been stored. though if you do want to physically make something it might be easier with the parallel port... but in reality you're not going to make anything useful without a uC. Though if it's for fun you should be fine.

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    Malum in se abachler's Avatar
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    Paynter is one of the standard texts for basic electronics, that should take you up through digital circuits, filters, and amplifiers.
    Until you can build a working general purpose reprogrammable computer out of basic components from radio shack, you are not fit to call yourself a programmer in my presence. This is cwhizard, signing off.

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