Interesting essay. I still don’t know what to think about Tesla. I have read scattered bits about him, probably the same as most people who had any interest in him. But I have no reason to believe that financial dictators weren’t up to no good. We still see that going on today.
Possibly related, I have always thought that the whole confusion cloud in academia around electric charge and current must be the result of a concerted effort from long ago. It’s just way too fucked up to be anything else that I can tell. I don’t buy the line that it remains to be taught that way today because early works were written according to the wrong ideas. In real science, disproved theories are replaced with proven theories.
And by the way, diving into the electricity rabbit hole is a good time.
Oh for sure
I’ve been researching the ESP32 boards
You know about them?
Much smaller modern versions of Arduinos
But with built-in wifi, bluetooth, BLE and more
So you can make tiny devices with a long battery life connected to your pc/net
There’s an extension for VS Code called PlatformIO that’s pretty cool for coding them
C++ out of the box, + Python or Lua
[ https://youtu.be/JmvMvIphMnY?list=PLgiE9waqUrgVHQQ8xb0OmHUEur3iNubP3&t=810 ]
Here’s a simulation of one:
I have read a bit about ESP32 some years ago, back when the old forum was alive. Looks like some good fun. Are you thinking of diving into that stuff? Arduino is probably the best place to start with all that, just because of popularity and therefore so many available resources for Arduino. There is also Teensy. But any of them should be good as long as there are solid learning resources available, which might not be the case. I’m reminded here of my nephew taking a so-called programming class in high school a few years back and deciding that he might like to learn some real programming fundamentals using Python since that class was really just about syntax and using a couple of libraries, very light on basic programming concepts. I went looking for a beginner programming book for him that uses Python and didn’t turn up anything that was solid after looking at over a dozen of the highest recommended books. I don’t know what the situation might be for learning resources for the various microcontrollers.
Yeah I had a go at Arduino a few years back, still have the boards somewhere
I think the ESP32 looks more fun with the built-in wifi/BT
Less shit to attach to it, less shit to go wrong
Those Arduino’s chewed through batteries fast too, which sucked if you want to place it remote or outside
The ESP32 has a really low current deep sleep mode
And has a separate lite controller when the main cpu is sleeping
Something like that
There’s a few tuts out there and I downloaded Kogan’s book
Seems to be quite a few sample projects available, it’s getting some popularity now
Hey did you have a favourite basic electronics book?
My partner is pretty interested
Yea, low power use and being more of a complete system on a chip can be major benefits, application dependent of course. What sort of application is attracting you to lower power over higher performance?
LOL not paying constantly for batteries
I don’t know what I want to make
Something interesting and progressive
I feel like a really good book still hasn’t been written on basic electronics. As unbelievable as that might sound. I have looked over a bunch of them, but of course there are many more books available. The order of major topics usually goes: DC, AC, Electronic devices, Digital fundamentals, etc. Depending on what you are aiming to do, DC and a little AC might be enough. Basically, understanding how to use resistors, capacitors, and diodes (LED’s) in various configurations to support a microcontroller’s capabilities. Of course learning more could be very helpful. If I were hard pressed to recommend something, I would say that Allaboutcircuits is likely a better learning resource than any books I have looked over or read. https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/direct-current/ The hardest part in using any learning resource though might be in figuring out what to leave out, so that you aren’t trying to swallow too much when you really don’t need to. College instructors might cover half of the chapters in a textbook in a semester, for example. Also, figuring out what to practice along the way in order to embed concepts and facts into your longterm working memory, a bit like learning chords, scales, and arpeggios on guitar so that you don’t have to think about them too much when playing and writing music. I.e., they become familiar patterns that you don’t really have to think about when thinking about how you want your music to change directions. It’s the same sort of thing with electronics or anything else, embedding those necessary patterns into your brain so that you can focus on the higher level stuff.
Cool I’ll check that out
I have quite a few I got years back
My partner was going through them and spotted one a tech mate gave my by Floyd, Electronic Devices
She remembered you saying that his books were horrible
And yeah, I couldn’t believe the electron flow direction debacle either when I disovered it
That is so dumb and lazy
Fuck Floyd. Ha ha. I really hate his sloppy books. They might actually be good if they were proofread and edited. But it was hard to tell at the time when we were using them and being fucked over at every turn by those books. And not surprisingly, the internet will highly recommend Floyd’s books.
It’s the same situation for learning resources on other topics. Don’t trust the internet. For whatever reasons, popular internet suggestions for learning resources are way too often runarounds. I read one programmer describing this phenomenon on programming books saying that there must be intentional misleading going on, as well as people blindly repeating what they have already read about elsewhere. I have seen Knuth’s book recommended too many times to beginners for example, which is insanity.
One of the most highly recommended beginner books on the internet for basic electronics is The Art of Electronics. You better be strong in math through calculus for beginning into that one, and virtually no one will mention that there is a very necessary companion workbook available. And it’s just not written to be used outside of a classroom setting guided by an instructor. And it’s fast paced and skates through fundamentals.
By the way, most textbooks with ‘electronics’ in the title are about solid state devices (also often called electronics devices), which is not a good beginner point. DC and AC should come first. Taking a look again at some popular recco’s from the internet:
Grob’s electronics is drier than an old lady’s vagina and as much a tomb as a bible.
The Art of Electronics is meant to be used with an instructor guided course (like most textbooks).
Forest Mims is a hopscotch of topics with many holes and little explanation.
Practical Electronics for Inventors is a fucking mess.
Make Electronics is a lot like Python books in that it teaches some very simple basics and then jumps past so much to get right to higher level stuff.
Electronics Self-Teaching Guide is a mess.
One thought here. Learning any topic is as much about doing as it is about taking in information, so that the information becomes embedded. LTSpice will allow you to build basic circuits without building them from real components. It definitely has it’s cons compared to using real components, but it also will allow you to build up something of a library of fundamental circuits (like programming), build most everything that you read about, and experiment with things for zero cost. There are videos on youtube for learning the basics of getting around in LTSpice. And learning to use it is a quick learning experience.
Interesting series, humbling to think that he could build things in his imagination and run them for months. I read that he designed the entire electric grid concept in his head before committing anything to paper as well. Amazing mind.
One thing about all of this is the lack of replication. Surely somebody somewhere had the funds and the curiosity to replicate and it’s not as if there’s a barrier to publishing (of information) these days?
ESP32/ESP8256s are good, I’ve had a few over the years. I’ve got a couple with built in screens and a port for a rechargeable Li battery. It’s good putting a web server on one and serving up a website from such a tiny thing stashed away somewhere.
Want to play with LoRa at some point, amazing range for such a low power doo dah.
I havent seen those, do you have a link?
It’s this exact one:
Good comment from somebody having trouble with the pins, I copypastad that line when using that library:
U8G2_SSD1306_128X32_UNIVISION_F_HW_I2C u8g2(U8G2_R0, /* reset=/ 16, / clock=/ 5, / data=*/ 4); // pin remapping with ESP8266 HW I2C
@brainio what do you think of this textbook?
It starts with DC and AC
They teach it at Washington Uni, the 20 hour course is on youtube
( I found a free version of the book)
I’ve got a heap of books my girl can cross-reference, including the ones you mentioned
It’d be nice to find ONE book to do most of her work on tho
Thanks for this site again, I remember that from years back, it’s great
I also found this interactive book with embedded circuit sims from CircuitLab
[ https://ultimateelectronicsbook.com ]
[ Schematics & Simulations Tutorial | Ultimate Electronics Book ]
And this simulation site for the ESP32 posted earlier:
[ sketch.ino - Wokwi Arduino and ESP32 Simulator ]
Do all the ESP32 and ESP8266 boards let you use Lua?
I know some comments mentioned Lua
Not sure if it was board or editor specific
Maybe you have to use Expressif’s editor for that?
I’d prefer to use the PlatformIO extension just cause VSCode is like home for me
Cheers, yeah it looks like that specific one is unavailable but there should be copies out there.
I never did do Lua on it, although that was a reason for getting it too, I tried something and it didn’t work so just went to C++. With the uploading stage it’s not as if compile delay is a hassle, in fact it’s better to have type checking etc done locally to avoid typo bugs etc getting uploadeeeeeeed. uLua is sorting that out though.
PlatformIO is good, need to set it not to load and show the home page on start, it kind of takes over a little bit with that on.