This question was put on hold, citing the fact that any answer would be based on opinion. I can't really argue that point, but I do believe that in this case the point is irrelevant. I am asking for basic information, where to start from. Because different people started from different locations the answers will be based on opinion.
However, I feel that the "primarily based on opinion" rule exists to discourage trolls and avoid arguments. Neither of those points are the case here. The answer to my question is advice; it is opinion. Not to be overly dramatic, but putting this question on hold, without suggesting another source for the information, is stifling the search for knowledge. It is essentially saying that "you need to already know how things work" to participate.
I have been a programmer since the early days of the PC. I have now decided that isn't nerdy enough, so I am teaching myself circuit design.
I have picked up a few kits, and have gotten pretty good at soldering, following directions and reading a schematic. But, I'm not picking up basics I need to be able to design my own circuits. I have hit both Google and YouTube looking for starter tutorials but they miss the sweet spot. They are either assuming complete ignorance describe what the basic components do, and spend no time describing how they work together. Or, they assume you already grok the topic and start soldering things, again, without any description of how and why.
I am aware of "The Art of Electronics" and it is on my list to pick up when the new edition hits hater this year. Collin Cunningham did a great little series in YouTube for make magazine. Unfortunately he only did a couple of dozen videos and they mostly stopped short of explaining how things worked together. In addition to sound references such as TAoE I am also on the hunt for a video channel to pick up where Collin left off.
The goal is to be able to sit down and design a circuit that brings my idea to life the same way that I can sit down with a compiler and write a program that brings my ideas to life.
Here is what I think I need:
- i need to understand how the components interact. Book, video channel or website, any source of info would be good. However since this isn't my day gig, a video channel would be ideal. I need to know when you add a LED to a circuit how do you know what resister you need to use to keep from blowing it out (this is asking a deeper question then pointing me at a website with a LED calculator). How do you know when you need a capacitor, transistor, resistor, diode, or any other component. I need the basics, but not the very basics. I know what the components do, just not how they dance together.
- Parts. Where do I get cheap parts en-mass, what would be a good selection to start out with, and does anyone sell a kit like that (hundreds to start, not dozens). I know ebay is a good source, but what should I pick up as a good starting selection?