Old WannaTinker Introduction

[[  Most recent Update:  28 September 2012.  ]]
[[  NOTE: This post first appeared on my WannaTinker web site several years ago.  That web site went into the bit bucket many months ago and no longer exists.  This post is placed here for reference only.  ]]

The two assumptions I have made are that the reader (You) have an interest in the technical aspects (the “guts”) of electronics, and that (for whatever reason) you want to build something electronic.

Other readers are certainly welcome.

I plan to “kick-off” this blog with tutorials about fundamentals for those who may need that sort of information. Readers who already know this stuff can “sing along” and keep me honest.

The main thrust here is learning (or reviewing) how to build relatively simple electronic circuits using readily available parts and materials. What, exactly, we (You and I) build here depends largely upon the feedback I receive in the form of comments to this blog and/or email

I should point out that my experience in electronics is (mostly) high frequency (HF) radio. Accordingly, the circuits and “projects” you find here will be mostly radio receiving and transmitting equipment, along with a few accessory devices and simple test gear. Also worth noting is the fact that I will be using, for the most part, “trailing edge” technology and components for the simple reason that I find them easier to work.

I confess . . .

. . . I was born with no knowledge whatsoever about electronics, so everything you see here came from somebody else at some time or the other. I try to give credit where credit is due, and if I know the source of the circuit I am using I will site the originator(s). I have kept notes and diagrams of circuits that have worked for me, and those notes, specification sheets from component manufacturers, and an occasional construction article from various electronics magazines are my main sources of inspiration.

Every circuit you find here is one that I have built, tested, and used.

Building electronic devices from “scratch” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for some, myself included, it is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. A “home brew” electronic project is just that, a p.r.o.j.e.c.t, a work in progress. I have never built anything that could not be improved upon. Most of my home brew stuff is, therefore, never quite finished. There are some things I have built and used, unchanged, for years. Sooner or later, however, I simply must take the covers off and “improve” the device. Some work better, some look better (or worse), some show little or no change in appearance or performance, some never recover from the “improvement” and end up being cannibalized for parts. Each and every one provides entertainment, education, and the satisfaction that comes from messing about with tools, components, and test equipment.

Speaking of building electronic stuff, can YOU do it?

Sure you can!

Even if you have little or no experience building electronic stuff, you can do it. The entries in this blog will lead you, step-by-step, through the whole process. This, of course, will take time and effort on your part. With patience, persistence, and the ability to use simple hand tools and a digital multimeter (DMM) you will succeed and have something that you built from “ground, up” (more about the importance of “ground”, later).

Building electronic circuits provides a vehicle for exploring electronic terminology & definitions as well as components, circuits, and applications, such as – – –

[] Diodes
[] Transistors
[] “Bread and Butter” Components
[] Switches
[] Radio Receiver(s)
[] Radio Transmitter(s)
[] Electronic test equipment

. . . and, other things that do not come to mind at the moment.

You will not find much theory here, but sometimes a little knowledge can be helpful. For example, if, after you have lovingly assembled your project, it just sits there and does nothing. Yes, this sometimes happens (unless you are very, very good and/or very, very lucky). That’s part of building electronic stuff. So, we (YOU and I) will get into a bit of theory from time to time to insure you know what’s going on. Don’t worry about the theory; I’m not talking hi-tech stuff here, just simple arithmetic along with some terminology and definitions.

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About w6bky

Retired 29 May 1987. Now do hobbies: blogging, ham radio, gardening, etc.
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