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Electronics for Absolute Beginners

Electronics for Absolute Beginners

Quickly get up to speed in the exciting world of electronics.

You can buy the Electronics for Absolute Beginners book (as an eBook or paperback) from the following Amazon sites:

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Electronics Videos

All our videos are designed to be easy to follow, interesting (hopefully) and educational. Aimed at people new to electronics who want to learn the basics, but perhaps would rather watch a video than read a book.

Four Easy-to-build Breadboard Circuits

Quickly see how to you can use an NPN transistor to switch an LED on and off, charge and discharge a capacitor, build a night light, and also a day light.

Two versions of the daylight circuit are explained: one that uses a 9V battery as its power source, and a second that uses a small solar panel.

Measuring the Resistance of a Variable Resistor

Like all resistors, variable resistors (or rheostats) have a theoretical maximum and minimum resistance. See how you can easily use a multimeter to check the true values.

The video also explains how the resistance value of a variable resistor changes as you adjust a slider.

Charging and Discharging a Capacitor

This is two circuits in one: the first charges the capacitor, and the second discharges it. This is a great little circuit that is somehow quite satisfying to play with. You can easily change the capacitor to see what effect it has on the circuit.

When you increase the size of the capacitor, the time taken for it to charge increases, but the higher capacitance keeps the LED illumiinated for longer.

Measuring Current

Being able to measure the amount of current passing through various parts of your circuit can be really useful to know when you are analyzing how your circuit is working ... or perhaps not working! How much current is passing through a particular LED, for example.

The video explains how to set up your multimeter so that you are ready to take measurements, and shows you how to insert the multimeter's probes into the circuit to take a reading.

Measuring Voltage

What is the forward voltage drop across an LED? This video shows you how to easily measure the voltage drop (the amount of voltage lost) across different parts of your circuit.

The video shows you how to set up your multimeter and how to take measurements.

Measuring Resistance

As with voltage and current, you can use your multimeter to measure the resistance of components in your circuits. Unlike when you take voltage or current measurements though, you take resistance readings without any power being supplied to the circuit.

If you want to know what the true resistance value of a resistor is, this video will show you how.

Five Simple Breadboard Circuits

This video takes a look at five circuits that are really easy to build on a breadboard. The first circuit looks at what for many people is the first one they build on a breadboard when they are first starting out with electronics: the single LED ... classic! The second circuit shows how to add multiple LEDs in series, and the third shows how to add them in parallel. The fourth video shows how to use a variable resistor (rheostat) to control the speed of a DC motor, and the final video shows how to use wind power and a DC motor to generate enough electricity to illuminate an LED.

For each circuit, a schematic diagram, breadboard representation, and video showing the circuit in action are given. All of the circuits are covered more extensively in other videos.

Using Wind Power to Illuminate an LED

This video examines how to use wind power to generate an electric current to illuminate an LED. The circuit uses one LED, a 470 ohm resistor, a terminal block, a small DC motor and a fan blade. One of the things that the video explains is that DC motors can turn in either direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise) and can be easily controlled by inverting the polarity of the applied voltage.

If you can get the fan blade to spin fast enough by blowing on it, you can illuminate the LED.

Controlling the Speed of a DC Motor

If a wire is placed inside a magnetic field, and an electric current is passed through that wire, a turning force (torque) is produced. This causes the wire to turn (rotate) within the magnetic field. This is how an DC motor works. By using a variable resistor to vary how much current goes through the motor, you can adjust the speed of the motor.

The video also explains the importance of not running the DC motor for too long at a high voltage otherwise it runs the risk of being damaged.

Connecting Multiple LEDs in Parallel

Connecting Multiple LEDs in Series

Using Either an NPN or PNP Transistor

Using a Transistor to Switch on an LED

An Introduction to LEDs

Building an LED Circuit

Using a Breadboard

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