Some things I have learned about electronics

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,088Member
- Amps are the number of electrons flowing

- Volts are the force with which electrons are flowing (a bit like tilting them down hill - a height difference)

- Resistance is created by a device designed to slow the passage of amps

- Resistors are used to protect other devices from too rapid a flow of amps, they are also used to control the charging or discharging rates of capacitors

- Earth can be to the negative terminal (common) of a cell or to an object more massive than the circuit like, well... the Earth !

- capacitors come in two types but both are used to store charge at a specified rate to be used as timers, smoothers (replenishing tanks) or blockers of DC. They will 'pass' AC but not really - the plates either side of a capacitor are actually separated by an insulator and the device relies on repulsion of charged particles to get any effect.
Capacitors resist voltage

- Inductors are coils of wire which store energy in a magnetic field - they resist change in current (up or down) They can be used similarly to capacitors

- Transistors are made of semi conductive material which means they can behave as switches or valves (amplifiers.) A three way wiring means that a low voltage base wire can control a larger voltage through a collector/emitter wire.

- Transistors combined with capacitors, variable resistors/capacitors and inductors (field generators) can create oscilators, which cause a vibrating signal which can be translated to air via a speaker cone.

There are other things like variable resistors, variable capacitors, various switches and diodes (one way gates) which can be used to refine a circuit, rectify AC, tune frequencies in or out.

I'm on to integrated circuitry next - decision making devices on silicon chips comprising much of the above in industry format.

I've looked at lots of equations - like Ohm's, Kirchoff's, Joule's ... reactance, capacitance, resistance, emf, series, parallel... some of them suspiciously interrelated and convenient.

Stuff which will help me to shape electricity.

I don't understand much of it and I'm sure some boffins here will correct me on what I've written above, but building a project and setting about it with a meter is immensely satisfying and it doesn't smell or create too much mess - plus (above all things) it's cheap !

I dislike having things like mobile phones and not being able to understand how they work otherwise it may as well be voodoo to me.


  • DaveBassDaveBass Posts: 3,311Member
    Some truths ... some half-truths ... !

    As I'm suffering from flu at the moment I don't feel up to going through it all.

    If it's any consolation, I taught electronics at university for 15 years but I have no idea myself how mobile phones work. Well, obviously they get their power from batteries and they communicate via base stations using radio, but that's about the limit of my understanding. I've no idea what 2G, 3G, 4G mean, or how a call gets routed from one phone to another, or what SIM cards really do. It's all a mystery.
  • BryBry Posts: 652Member
    It's all magnets, cats and voodoo.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 893Member
    The green and yellow wire on a mains plug is the gas supply! The brown is the earth and the blue is the water.

    I've got a GEC in electricity.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,088Member
    edited November 2017
    Dave - I know. My method for self teaching has always had as objective #1 Keep the momentum going. Get things wrong and go back and sort them out later. But keep going.

    And on that *keep going* get well soon !

    Bry - "It's all magnets, cats and voodoo" I dare not say the obvious. A family show.

    ES - You have a GEC in electricity and spikey hair too !
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 893Member
    Kevin, at my age there is no hair to spike (other than in my ears)!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,088Member
    ha ha !
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