Raspberry pi, python and robotics

Rob Gaddi rgaddi at technologyhighland.invalid
Tue Sep 2 18:30:58 CEST 2014

On Sat, 30 Aug 2014 23:39:01 -0700 (PDT)
Nicholas Cannon <nicholascannon1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I really enjoy engineering at school and we make like fighting robots and stuff(simple stuff of course) and i really enjoy it. I have got a raspberry pi and a decent understanding of python and i want to do make stuff like RC cars and drones and stuff. Also I like electronics. Is there any good places to learn all this stuff like down to the basics of electronics because I have looked around and all the books I have seen just throw some electronics together and say yep thats done. I would like to work on my own projects after I get a grip on the basics. Where could I find some good recourses on this stuff.

Learn electronics properly, then start thinking about interfacing one
to the other.  I say this as a professional circuit designer who spends
a whole mess of time automating things in Python.  If you don't have a
firm grasp of the underlying basics of electronics as its own thing,
trying to interface will eat you alive with problems that you don't
understand because you can't understand the circuitry.

The best teaching electronics resource I know, hands down, is Horowitz
and Hill's "The Art of Electronics". The second edition is ancient now,
but still will teach you everything you need to know.  Even used copies
are a bit expensive.  That's because it's an excellent book.  It's
worth the money.

Next, to learn electronics you need to do electronics. Theory talks the
walk, molten lead walks the walk. That means copper boards, and a
soldering iron, and parts, and a DVM, and an oscilloscope.  A function
generator is a great thing to have as well, but if desperately
necessary you can live without one. You're still in school, so you
hopefully have an EE lab there. Take advantage of it. If you don't,
find some local hackerspace with some gear, otherwise getting up and
running will cost you a solid $1200 just in gear. LTSpice is a great
free simulator, and the simulator can help you understand what you
should be seeing, but there's no substitute for getting your hands

Start by building the simple stuff: resistor dividers, RC low pass
filters, etc.  They're trivial, they're boring, and you already
understand what they should do.  Do them anyhow, you need to get lead
under your fingernails and a feel for how to make a decent solder joint
while you're still working the easy stuff because if your solder's crap
when you start trying to do the more complex stuff you'll never figure
it out.  Work your way through AofE.  Do the problems, build the
circuits.  Plan on it taking a solid year before you become "good" at
it; you're young and have it to spend.

Actually do all that and you'll understand as much about circuits as
anyone they're giving an EE degree to these days.  Then you can start.

Rob Gaddi, Highland Technology -- www.highlandtechnology.com
Email address domain is currently out of order.  See above to fix.

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