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Dr-David-Banner

Why Aren't There More Aspies Into Electronics?

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Dr-David-Banner

I was stunned to discover Tesla had almost Nazi ideological views at least during his later life. He believed in Eugenics and predicted humans wouldn't be allowed to reproduce unless they were "up to scratch", putting it one way. I found that disappointing as Einstein seemed to be a much kinder and warmer character. However, Tesla was supposedly "strange" and maybe even bipolar.

Yes, when you work you don't have the time to stay up late and study electronics. I guess for me it comes at a price as I put a lot of work in but don't make much money since there is really no economic advantage to what I'm learning. True, I might be able to gradually repair old equipment but it's not major money.

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antago

I've always been big into electronics; game design, software design, web development. I'm actually coincidentally building a community specifically to attract said autistic members; my signature has a link, and you should come join if you're looking for a niche community that isn't all about socializing as much as it is expanding your development sources. I'll be there and I have a long history in game development, and am actually quite famous for it as a passion, so if nothing else I'd love to discuss this more with you.

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MrGrey

Ohhh... the electronics...

 

As a kid, I would break toys to take the components apart and try to figure out what they did.  A few batteries, a voltmeter and a broken RC Car would entertain me for days.

 

High school... I devoured my science books for everything I thought that could have an use on electronics.  I once spent about a month reading my HS chemistry book, looking for the perfect material to make electrodes for electrolysis... and I determined gold would be freaking ideal... for pretty much the same reasons it is now the material of choice for CPU contact pins.

 

Early 20's, I would read books and make my own programming boards, and code assembly on my beloved PIC 16f84 microcontrollers... flashing leds and stuffs, without any formal education.  Actual engineering students (coworkers at my job) would come to me for help with their lab projects for college.

 

College... OMG I aced that "Logic Circuit" class... perfect score!

 

At one point I used to solve karnaugh map as a pastime... just like some people solve crossword puzzles or trivias.

 

In recent years, I've tone it down due to real life BS I've had to deal with... I ended up doing logic gates and flip flops with "redstone" in Minecraft.  Still pretty geeky.

 

I'm still much of a noob when it comes to analog electronics.  And radio frequency (other than knowing the basics), is like an alien language.  I wish I had the time to study, experiment and learn more.

 

The thing with my passion for electronics, as with most of my special interests, is the frustration with people criticizing... "why are you working so hard on that? are you making any money out of it? no? you are wasting your time then!"... OMG NTs and their love for money can be so annoying. 

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TheWizardofCalculus

Of course, I may be wrong here. Maybe there are a few people into electronics (I know quite a few here are good at maths).

However, I can't help but pick up that, these days, the population as a whole is alienated from electronics. I guess this is because most of the laptops, TV sets and appliances are made in South East Asia with micro-chips and it's hard to know where to begin. Most of the old service engineers have all been made redundant as today people just buy and then throw way.

However, you'd be surprised how interesting it can get if you become involved in engineering electronics. Myself I tend to use text books written as far back as The Forties and you get a far better grasp of theory that way because, back then, stuff was engineered and could be serviced and repaired.

Employment-wise, maybe it's risky. A lot of the stuff that interests me about electronics isn't what you'd call a money earner. Basically I take old radio equipment and try and fix it all up again so I can tune in all over the globe to Moscow or Madrid or wherever. On the days where I feel too lazy to do any actual work I may just work through maths and circuits.

 

I am not really all that interested in it.  I can play around with circuits, build them, and I know my way around them at a mild enthusiast level because physics requires you to have some basic understanding, but it's just not really my cup of tea.

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Dr-David-Banner

You'd maybe need an aspect of it you can relate to. For example, for me, Forties and Fifties radio receivers are ideal because I can relate it to all electric theory. That is, transformers, capacitors, different rectifier designs, Ohms Law, magnetic fields, watts, voltamps and so on. Such is the obsession at the moment I even dream in mathematics which is very weird. I mean, while asleep I'll be calculating something.

I've realised I'm kind of flawed at the physical side of engineering as I'm kind of lazy and slow at working but, on the other hand, I will think over theory in much detail. I decided it was sort of futile only to be able to do theory so I forced myself to learn to solder and with lots of effort I can basically do some construction and repair. It's just I really like my late nights drinking coffee and doing theory and maths.

I've been having major issues with N.T.'s who do electronics. They really don't seem to understand me at all and arguments break out. It's weird as somehow they don't understand the way I analyse and communicate. I guess it's because I look at electronics from within and not collectively or through any teaching system.

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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TheWizardofCalculus

You'd maybe need an aspect of it you can relate to. For example, for me, Forties and Fifties radio receivers are ideal because I can relate it to all electric theory. That is, transformers, capacitors, different rectifier designs, Ohms Law, magnetic fields, watts, voltamps and so on. Such is the obsession at the moment I even dream in mathematics which is very weird. I mean, while asleep I'll be calculating something.

 

I'm much more interested in how E&M is a U(1) gauge theory and how that relates to Special Relativity, or how the structure of E&M is predicted by Quantum Field Theory from S-matrix properties of massless spin-1 fields.  =P

 

In other words, I'm a theorist, I don't derive that much pleasure in tinkering with physical objects.  It's fun sometimes, but I'm much more interested in why the laws of physics work because of physical principles, not so much in why objects work because of the laws of physics.

 

 

I've realised I'm kind of flawed at the physical side of engineering as I'm kind of lazy and slow at working but, on the other hand, I will think over theory in much detail. I decided it was sort of futile only to be able to do theory so I forced myself to learn to solder and with lots of effort I can basically do some construction and repair. It's just I really like my late nights drinking coffee and doing theory and maths

 

 

Always fun.  =P

 

 

I've been having major issues with N.T.'s who do electronics. They really don't seem to understand me at all and arguments break out. It's weird as somehow they don't understand the way I analyse and communicate. I guess it's because I look at electronics from within and not collectively or through any teaching system.

 

I have had this problem, to be honest.  Although, I may be in the opposite direction. I tend to use very, very formal language which confuses people.  But I use formal language because it's precise and elegant, so long as you know the definitions.

 

But either way, I explain things apparently very bizarrely sometimes.  It's best when I'm explaining something to someone who's never heard it before --there's no biases, so they tend to take what I say at face value.

Edited by TheWizardofCalculus

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Dr-David-Banner

I'm interested in physics a lot more as a result of the electronics. I tend to look at physics very simply by observation of natural phenomena. I think this is a good way to teach a total beginner how electrical energy works. Not you or myself but someone who may be reading this and might find it interesting.

For example, everyone has probably noticed that, if you're in a house, where there's heating in one room, the room is the warmest one in the house. Then, if you suddenly open a door to another room which is very cold something simple happens: Warm air is attracted to the atmosphere in the cold room while cold air will flow into the warm room. Should the two rooms have a 50 per cent difference of diameter and space, eventually they will equalise in temperature. I tend to notice these things as electrical engineers tend to make a big deal out of Ohms Law as if it were unique. Whereas, in reality, you can see the same thing with specific gravity of sea water, for example. That's how I explain electrical energy. The energy itself is really just a process of equalisation to a status quo at a given speed. With a D.C. battery this can be over a period of many hours till a potential difference is exhausted to virtual equalisation. With alternating current, I spend a fair bit of time calculating the energy derived over milliseconds and microseconds.

To beginners from the very start I think it's important to understand electrons are carriers of negative charge because I don't like the term "positive current" as used in many books. I always like to take into account the flow of electrons at points of a circuit for some reason. Anyway for any beginners reading this, if one plate in a battery (A) has a lot of electrons and the other plate ( B) has hardly any (or even none), you will have a potential energy to light up a bulb, drive a small motor or whatever. All that happens is like cold air going to a warm room, the electrons flow from "A" to the circuit and back to "B".

So, yes, I do a bit of physics but not at advanced level as you do, just observation of nature.

I do very much like Einstein, especially with regard to his views on education and learning. I'm also fascinated by Tesla, especially his theory of "thought" being an evolutionary product of stimulae similar to electrical energy. However, I disliked Tesla's neo Nazi ethics and eugenics ideas.

Edited by Dr-David-Banner

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Dr-David-Banner

Well, the odd things, is I seem to confuse, upset and destabilise electronics engineers on engineering websites to the point I've had to call it quits. I've never quite understood what it is that upsets them but sometimes it seems it may be connected to my use of language and communication, so I'm misunderstood. It got so bad, I decided not to take part in any more electronic websites forums and now I carry on by myself.

To give an example, once I made a modern rectifier for a Fifties tube radio that had a missing rectifier tube (and these can be very expensive). I bought two very inexpensive, high voltage silicon diodes (as used by all modern engineers). So, instead of a huge vacuum tube, I'd be using two simple diodes and doing things the modern way with an appropriate schematic. I used a resistor too in series. There was a need to insulate the wire in this area as it carried about 280 volts D.C. +. After some thought I winded up with heat-shrink. This is a very high temp insulation. Finally all hell broke loose. The people on the forum were claiming the heat shrink was dangerous and the resistor would set it on fire. I was actually ridiculed and virtually jeered. I decided then to simply do a few actual experiments and see for myself. First I tried wrapping heat shrink around the shaft of a soldering iron and switched on. This got very hot, not that far off solder temps. The heat shrink was fine. It did contract obviously but no burning or smoke or smoulder. I next tested the temps of the 7 watt 220 ohm resistor over minutes and hours. It's actual temp was about the same a lukewarm water after 2 hours of the radio being on. In fact, a resistor shouldn't get hugely hot unless there is excessive current in a circuit due to a fault. So, now I'm very sceptical of electronics forums.

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Dr-David-Banner

It's a strange situation. I know someone who did a degree in electronics T.V. repair and he can't find a job. He tried to go self-employed and tells me people still just chuck the old unit away and buy a new one. I'd say this is now definitely an era of fast, factory production is South East Asia with units being built to last no more than 2 - 12 years max.

One thing I have noticed is the decline is audio and manufacturing quality since the Fifties. That is, when I rebuild and reboot an old tube radio I notice the audio quality is much better than any modern unit. The speakers are quite huge and the output is around 280 volts. There is less bass and deeper tone and more clarity. The German sets also were the best and in their own class. As printed circuit boards weren't used, repair is made much easier and there is no degrading of connections and circuits.

Of course, the snag is it's hard to see how you could make money out of being good at electronics. Maybe the best bet would be analogue audio service and repair and also setting up analogue recording studios (The one at Abbey Road is legendary).

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Dr-David-Banner

I'm currently revamping a 1939 TRF radio receiver, originally powered on 120 VDC. I've gotten better with practice and managed today to snip out a very cramped in capacitor and I've managed to free up the reverse of the waveband switch so I can solder all new wire. I try to do the very best I can and to keep improving in soldering and so on. Not sure if the radio will work or not but I can give it my very best shot. You should see some of the dust that was behind the chassis in awkward spots. After all it was decades before I was born so this is a very old set that may have been not working for many years. It would be a real kick to see it run again.

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