On Sat, Mar 14, 2020 at 09:07 AM, Tony Fleming wrote:
First of all, there is no reason you cannot learn electronics after a 50+ hiatus. I keep learning electronics, some of it from this group, after 70++ years of existence. Instead being harder, as seniors we have more patience and perseverance.
I assume you have a good background in physics, electricity. To progress to "electronics" it is best to have some passion. Nothing inspires this passion better than the oscilloscope, the KING of the electronic instruments.
The oscilloscope is the only means to VISUALIZE the abstract electrical signals. This visualization stays with us all life long and makes electronics something CONCRETE and familiar.
So if you want to become expert in electronics, my advice is: BUILD AN OSCILLOSCOPE FROM SCRATCH (with some nice CRT tube, of course)
Right after college I did this for a couple of months, designing and building with an old 4 inch CRT an oscilloscope in the style of Tektronix. It was a dual-channel with all options, triggered with all options plus an X-Y display, and built 100% with transistors in 1971. With an 1800 V high-voltage supply running at 35 Khz, I designed and built the HV transformer and even the 50 Hz (in my country) transformer from their basic materials. All with little money, ha ha!
This launched my career of designer of analog electronics. At that time the progressive introduction of integrated circuits allowed me to learn the digital stuff, and I became a champion of designing WITH ECONOMY (minimum number of components). This economy stopped being an issue shortly thereafter, so I changed to optimum functionality no matter what, and the field of firmware, microprocessors and programmable LSI gave me a lust for complexity. Finally I became a software programmer, "software architect" and now... happily retired... I am finally back at tinkering with hardware and oscilloscopes.
There is a reason why some electrical engineers are attracted to a "TekScopes" grouop instead of "Power Distribution" or "High Voltage Transmission Lines" discussion groups.