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beginner-friendly electronics tutorials and projects


Discover the joy of understanding electronics!

Vintage computers and terminals from the 1980s

February 14, 2020 article

Nowadays we kind of take computers for granted. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, however, computers were something new and exciting. I have recently become interested in vintage computers from that time, and in this article I want to show you what I find the most appealing terminals and computers from around 1980. Keep reading.

  • vintage
  • 8-bit computers
  • dumb terminals
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • monochrome CRT

My electronics gear over the years

November 8, 2019 article

Over the last 15 years I have used many pieces of electric/electronic/mechanical tools and equipment (“gear”), and some of them are great and I still use them, and others turned out to be a bit of a downer. In this article I list those that come to mind right now, and add their advantages and disadvantages. Keep checking back, as I will continuously update this page! Keep reading.

  • power supply
  • bench multimeter
  • analog multimeter
  • digital multimeter
  • oscilloscope
  • digital storage oscilloscope
  • logic analyzer
  • microcontroller programmer
  • soldering station
  • solder fume extractor
  • desoldering pump
  • desoldering braid
  • tools

What is your favorite electronic display?

October 11, 2019 article

I have always found displays one of the most fascinating things about electronics. There are so many interesting and creative ways to visualize data! In this week's article we will take a look at a lot of different displays, just so see what's out there. Many of these display technologies are quite old and no longer in use. All the more reason to take a look! And who knows, maybe you will come across on of these displays :) Keep reading.

  • electronic display
  • seven-segment LED
  • LED matrix
  • flip dot
  • edge-lit
  • lightguide
  • IEE projection
  • LCD
  • VFD
  • Numitron
  • Nixie tube
  • Panaplex
  • CRT
  • NIMO tubes
  • thyratron

Where can you buy electronic components?

July 12, 2019 article

So you have decided to get a bit more into electronics. Great! But where should you buy the electronic components that are needed for a project? How do you find them? Where do you get the best deal? In this week's article, we will go through common resources for electronic components, and by the end of this article you will have a good idea where you should buy that last missing component for your next cool project! Keep reading.

  • Amazon
  • Ebay
  • Mouser Electronics
  • Digikey
  • AliExpress
  • Banggood
  • Adafruit
  • SparkFun

How to choose the right power supply?

June 28, 2019 article

As we build more and more circuits, and all of these circuits have to be powered, we have to ask ourselves: what is the best way to power an electronic circuit? With a power supply, of course. But there are many choices. In this article we will go through the major options out there and list their advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading.

  • power supply
  • linear power supply
  • switch mode power supply
  • voltage regulator
  • current regulator
  • galvanic isolation
  • short-circuit protection

What makes a microcontroller tick?

June 21, 2019 article

In the past projects and articles we have kind of glossed over this point: what makes a microcontroller tick? In this article we will fill that gap! We will focus on crystals, and crystal oscillators, and how they are used with microcontrollers to provide a stable timebase. Keep reading.

  • article
  • crystal
  • crystal oscillator
  • clock frequency
  • microcontroller
  • timebase
  • piezoelectric effect

Useful software in hobby electronics

April 5, 2019 article

The computer has long entered the stage of hobby electronics. Sometimes I think this is a good thing, and sometimes I kind of dislike the idea. I mean, back in the day before computers were around it was already possible to build amazing pieces of equipment. But in this post I want to look at computers not as a distraction but rather as a useful companion for anyone who wants to get stuff done in hobby electronics. Keep reading.

  • article
  • freeware
  • Sprint Layout
  • Eagle Layout editor
  • Fritzing
  • LTspice
  • MPLAB X IDE

Soldering vs. breadboard layouts

March 22, 2019 article

Wires are the veins of any circuit. Nowadays most circuits are built using printed circuit boards (PCBs), and what used to be wires has become lanes of copper on a carrier board. This technique is quite involved and rather complicated: the circuit has to be designed, then converted into a PCB layout, and then it is etched out of a copper sheet. In modern PCBs there can be multiple layers (2,4, or even more) and the size of PCBs ranges from a few mm2 to desk-size. It sure can be intimidating as an electronics enthusiast to see these works of art! Keep reading.

  • article
  • soldering
  • printed circuit boards
  • perf board
  • breadboard

5 things I wish I knew when I started learning electronics

March 15, 2019 article

You want to get started in electronics, and there are so many things to keep track of. When I got into the field many years ago, I had to try and figure out what works. In the following list I am trying to compile the five most important facts that I wish I had known back then, so you don't have to go through the same trouble that I did. I hope you find it helpful! Keep reading.

  • article
  • batteries
  • power supply
  • maker communities
  • datasheets

Hello world!

March 8, 2019 article

Yet another blog sees the light of day! But why? In today's overly saturated online world, full of electronic gimmicks and gadgets, is it really necessary to have yet another blog? I think yes! I feel that it becomes harder and harder to understand the pieces of electronics that surround us, and this is only partly due to the increasing level of technological achievement. Mostly, it seems by design: it is a lot easier if you cannot fix your own radio when it breaks. Then you have to buy a new one when it breaks, don't you? Keep reading.

  • electronics
  • joy of understanding
  • friendlywire.com

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