Online Electronics Training

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by steyr_scout308, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    I have applied for a job for which I have some background. I've interviewed for a similar position before, and I think my total lack of any electronics training hindered me.

    I'm a 42-year-old traveling contractor, and I am guaranteed to have to pick up and leave home for 2-8 weeks during any class.

    My solution, so as to be able to tell the interviews that I've at least looked into the subject, is online training.

    A simple google search yields everything and nothing at the same time, so I'm asking here to see if anyone has any hands-on experience, good or bad, with a particular program.

    Thanks!
    #1
  2. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    This might be overkill, but I have just started going though this: https://6002x.mitx.mit.edu/

    "6.002x (Circuits and Electronics) is designed to serve as a first course in an undergraduate electrical engineering (EE), or electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) curriculum. At MIT, 6.002 is in the core of department subjects required for all undergraduates in EECS."

    Eric
    #2
  3. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    It might be. The requirements are a little stiff as well. The only college-level physics I've had was a Radiation Health Physics class about 11 years ago. My last exposure to calculus was over twenty years ago and, ahem, less than successful. It is so cool that MIT is doing this stuff. If I had the time and the means to take another run at Calculus, I think I could do it. From helping my kids with their math homework, it seems to be taught a lot differently now, though.

    In that last fateful interview, I was asked "have you ever soldered anything?" Asking if copper pipe counted was not the answer. So, I need something that includes some hands-on exercises, as some of the courses I googled up do.
    #3
  4. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    A way of getting a basic intro would be to get your amateur radio license. It is pretty easy to do either by self study or by taking a class.

    Afterwards you can build a cheap little morse code transceiver, then if you are ever asked again if you have soldered stuff you can tell them you are a ham operator and have built your own radio. You don't need to tell them anything more, like your kit was less that $10 and took about an hour to build:

    http://halted.com/ccp13844--pixie-2--qrp-cw-transceiver-basic-kit-w-o-crysta-pixie2-kit240.htm
    #4
  5. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    I like that. I've been intrigued by radios and know some local HAMS.
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  6. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Calculus is just the practical application of Algebra. :evil

    Believe it or not electronics experiment lab kits sold as educational toys teach a lot of the basic principals and give you hands on practice with creating circuits and devices. You can even take it with you to "play with".

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Practical and Calculus in the same sentence? Talk about an oxymoron.......
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  8. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    Depends on what your definition of "practical" is...[​IMG]
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  9. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Ironically, I did live fire missile testing for about 9 years in the Military before I became a lab rat.....very little calculus going on for the most part (and yes, I've run the Linear Algerbra through Diff EQ gauntlet).

    For basic electronics, calculus isn't required, its not even useful, on the tech end you aren't worried about co-valences and capacitive reactions, basic algebra and Ohms law will get you a LONG LONG way.


    Actually for the Op, what do you mean by electronics applicationwise? Do you mean like low-voltage electrical, High Potential (Power systems) or gizmos and gadets, they are kind of different monsters?
    #9
  10. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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  11. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    ugh.



    ...I just had an UGLY flashback to being 20 I had to work about 3/4 of those damn things out (they have tests in them)
    God hope you are ready to be desperately bored. There are 24-27 (I forget now) of those damn things and they get into nitty gritty..
    #11
  12. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    I went through them myself at about that age but it was while attending Navy schools....it would definitely take some serious self discipline to do it on your own....but I did learn what I needed on the job
    #12
  13. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Likely Lost.

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    Why do you think I was doing them, they were part of the class work.

    As my chief put I make two kinds of sailors, Fire Controlmen and Boatswains Mates. I had NO desire to be a deck monkey.


    .....on a related note the NEETS may bite you later, I got into a LONG drawn out argument with a professor about current flow and electron flow, the military is about the ONLY institution that still matches current and electron travel, so for all of my circuits classes I had to do everything backwards. Its damn strange trying to think of the current going with the arrows on solid state components.
    #13
  14. JamesG

    JamesG Rabid Poster

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    That is because all of the maths had been done for you and you were just a button pusher and part swapper.
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  15. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    I got beaten out of the gauntlet somewhere just past trig. In my current career of NDT, some vague, fuzzy recollection of plane geometry has helped, as well as knowing about curves and what inputs will affect them.

    Like you guys' experience, the math is generally not needed on the practical application side.

    As far as the kits, yes it would be great to be able to positively and truthfully answer the interview questions, but being able to document those experiences would be even better.

    So far the HAM exam (I need another expensive hobby anyway) looks great, but I'm still going to exercise some more google-fu and try and settle on an online course with some practical exercises.
    #15
  16. Big-O

    Big-O Been here awhile

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    Hey Tripped1, you were an FT!? Me too, I was an FTG, now its just FT's but anyway, that was way back in the 70's, 75-81. Man I loved that rate and everyone especially the gubber mates GMG's hated us because we had the air conditioned spaces and they were usually greasy from screwing around in the mount 51 bilge. I loved blowing shit up, what a gooood time. Were you ever to PI....Subic bay? I was gold!
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  17. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    Bump. Good advice and discussion so far, but I'd still like to hear from someone who has taken one of these online "certificate" classes. Whether the experience was good or bad, and whether or not an employer found it acceptable.
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  18. GreaseMonkey

    GreaseMonkey Preshrunk & Cottony

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    As an employer, if someone claims to have a certificate in something I'm going to quiz him about it and he'd better have the right answers or justly or not he'll be getting a "bullshitter" label from me.

    Large organizations tend to like papers, but smaller ones want someone to help them make money and if that is your job market then I'd suggest finding a specific training program that targets the equipment your company either uses or sells.

    Otherwise, as I mentioned earlier I'd suggest getting an amateur radio license and building some equipment, which will also start giving you a foundation for understanding electronics and electricity.
    #18
  19. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    On the complete other end of what I posted earlier, see https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials

    I have been ordering some stuff from them and their online tutorials are pretty good.

    Eric
    #19
  20. steyr_scout308

    steyr_scout308 Adventurer

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    Studying for the next HAM license exam in my area as we speak. This is a large organization, and they do like paper. They will probably train me for 6 months before I ever set foot in the plant. My experience in the industry is what got me this far in the hiring process. Thanks.
    #20