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Beginning electronics

Thread starter #1
Ok so I am admittedly a total beginner when it comes to electronics. I have done some house electrical wiring but nothing electronic.

I have recently found an interest in LED automotive projects, turn signals, interior lighting, etc. Researching this I've found 555 circuits and various other circuitry. I'm also interested in woodworking and creating my own tools, so I've thought up some projects in this regards.

Now before I get the "use the search function" or "just Google it" I have looked at the Beginner FAQ and will continue to do so. I just want to understand how to know how to choose parts (resistors, voltage regulator, wire size, etc), how simple control circuits operate, etc.

Thanks!
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
#2
I just want to understand how to know how to choose parts (resistors, voltage regulator, wire size, etc), how simple control circuits operate, etc.
Hmmm, the answer to,
life, the universe and everything.

A few simple thoughts:
1 Understand voltage, current and resistance, and how they relate to each other.
2 Understand basic components, resistors, capacitors, inductors, and how they affect the voltage applied to them and the current flowing through them.
3 Understand the simple active components, diodes and transistors, then start on the simpler integrated circuits such as op-amps and timers (like the 555).

JimB
 

Mickster

Well-Known Member
#3
I have recently found an interest in LED automotive projects, turn signals, interior lighting, etc. Researching this I've found 555 circuits and various other circuitry. I'm also interested in woodworking and creating my own tools, so I've thought up some projects in this regards.
Please be aware that the automotive environment can be very harsh upon electronics, when compared to devices you may construct on the bench and have working flawlessly for ages using a bench PSU, batteries, or a wall wart. Load-dump transients may kill your unprotected project almost right away, or some short period of time down the road, when connected to an automotive vehicle. Below you can see a link to a TI article, which explains in much better detail than I can try to do here, but it is not all-encompassing:
http://www.ti.com/lit/an/snva681a/snva681a.pdf

Just a heads-up for you.
 

KJ6EAD

Active Member
#4

cowboybob

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#6
Welcome to ETO (if a bit late... ), PB balster83!

Interesting "Nom de Net", BTW. I use that stuff religiously :cool:.
 

audioguru

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
#7
You do not say where you are or how safe you want to be. Here in Canada it is illegal to tamper with vehicle lighting because many crashes have occurred when somebody made their car invisible at night with (ebay, etc) non-certified or non-original lighting.
LEDs can be much too dim, too bright or have a viewing angle so narrow that they cannot be seen a little to the side.
 

gophert

Active Member
#8
Ok so I am admittedly a total beginner when it comes to electronics. I have done some house electrical wiring but nothing electronic.

I have recently found an interest in LED automotive projects, turn signals, interior lighting, etc. Researching this I've found 555 circuits and various other circuitry. I'm also interested in woodworking and creating my own tools, so I've thought up some projects in this regards.

Now before I get the "use the search function" or "just Google it" I have looked at the Beginner FAQ and will continue to do so. I just want to understand how to know how to choose parts (resistors, voltage regulator, wire size, etc), how simple control circuits operate, etc.

Thanks!

Automotive lisghting is a very regulated part of your car - from bulb quality, stability of the base (to prevent flicker), angle of beam, direction of beam, min and max brightness, initial haze of plastics, maximum has after 3-years, ...
Check your insurance policy - you may not (will not) be covered for accidents resulting if you tamper with lighting.

Some states to have relaxed laws about supplemental lighting but not "regulated" lighting (headlights, turn signals, brake lights and tail lights). For example, Pennsylvania (USA) allows additional lighting on the side and bottom of motor cycles to increase visibility but it cannot interfere with front and rear lighting.
 

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