As many of you know there are a lot of peoples who come on this board because they've just discovered electronics. They usually found out this or that online tool that allows them to draw a circuit in a breadboard like fashion, like this. Some of these sites even offer some sort of simulator.

These kind of questions usually get downvotes because a breadboard drawing is not a schematic, and I strongly agree with that. What I think might be worth some brain time is: what do we do with these guys?

You could laugh at them but they'll probably get discouraged and stop fiddling, that is bad. On the other side one can not spend his whole stack time patiently chatting with a newbie explaining this and that.

Unfortunately (???) our hobby/job is best done with real things, but again that's not something you can ask to a person who's just discovering it. If one were to discover a new programming language (s)he can just download the compiler/interpreter and start poking around, but you can't download transistors (yet).

Main question coming: is there a community approved online resource were newbies can move their first steps, learn how to draw a schematic, see some example circuits, maybe make some simple DC or TRAN simulations and such, and then come here with some proper material for the stack? I am aware of circuitlab but I have not used it much so I don't know wheter it's valid or not.

I was also hoping that someone, or better the community, could think and write down the answer to the question: "I'm a total noob but I just love electronics, where should I start?".

Having some common ground on an online website would be a great start though, something like: "hey nice painting you did with leds wires and such, check out this site, that's great for fiddling around with components. Try to draw your circuit there and come back if you have questions"

Do you guys think that'd be worth the effort? Am I just missing something obvious?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Not entirely on topic, but it reminds me of this video. Many users (but not all) are just interested to use electronics as an application, they don't want to bother with the computers and operating systems. Yes, I am an IT guy and thus ... "Electronics as a Service" springs to mind as the 2015 most appropriate buzz word. (Everything in IT is called "... as a Service" since last one or two years). I think you are aiming at the people who are actually interested in understanding the actual details somewhere in future. \$\endgroup\$
    – jippie
    Jun 4, 2015 at 19:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been "helping out here" for a few months now, and can say that some of the questions are by newcomers with limited experience and knowledge, and others are way over my head. Of course, the latter I ignore. :) But by all means, I encourage newcomers. However, electronics is a vast area of study. It's not something that can be "learned" in a week. Or a semester. Or a year. I've found it prudent to identify those seeking quick answers over understanding (sometimes it takes a response or two) and just giving them links to intro texts and materials at their level. Perhaps a noob.elec.stackx? \$\endgroup\$
    – rdtsc
    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have actually been... sort-of writing a set of self-answered questions that address some if this. I would like to see some input for good resources though. Potentially, if I get my webshop system in order I could even supply the parts at farnell prices (making the profit from buying 500 sets at once) that I use in my tutorials, but I haven't worked out how to link that, without it becoming a commercial exercise, which I would absolutely not endorse here, let alone start. \$\endgroup\$
    – Asmyldof
    Jun 14, 2015 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since 90% or so of all errors on real breadboards come from contact problems, a virtual one seems like a great idea (always hated them, never used one since I learnt soldering). But preferably any such site needs to have a schematic connected to the layout. Because the main problem with the "breadboard fools" is that they don't have any drawing prepared before they start to fiddle around. They don't have to have a a proper schematic with the correct symbols etc at that stage, but at least they need to have some kind of informal drawing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Jun 15, 2015 at 7:05


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