News:
September 26, 2022, 07:37:22 PM

Author Topic: Best process to learn how to read schematics  (Read 90 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline larcenasb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Best process to learn how to read schematics
« on: September 12, 2022, 04:50:29 AM »
For any electronics engineers, like the title says, what would you recommend a total beginner do? I'm really curious to learn, but got a little overwhelmed watching a couple YouTube videos on it. I think it would be fun to understand circuit designs better and maybe try putting it to use by making the pretty simple Millett Starving Student headphone amp. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Lowell B.

Offline Paul Birkeland

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17338
Re: Best process to learn how to read schematics
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2022, 08:47:50 AM »
Understanding circuit design is completely separate from being able to read a schematic, which is also somewhat separate from creating a layout off a schematic. 

I would suggest you try to build the starving student on a piece of plywood with inexpensive components just to get the hang of things.  There are a lot of mistakes to make along the way and doing that with a prototype mock-up is less painful than reworking something you've put a lot of time and money into.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline larcenasb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Re: Best process to learn how to read schematics
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2022, 09:04:45 AM »
Thanks, PB! That sounds like a good, sensible first step before the final build. I hope to work on this during weekends. Thanks again!
Lowell B.

Offline BenjaminSmith

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 15
    • Cadence
Re: Best process to learn how to read schematics
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2022, 09:19:20 AM »
If I understand you correctly I am currently doing exactly this process. As a mechanical engineer who doesn't recall his 38 years-ago EE classes so well it's been an arduous journey. I'm in the final throes of completing my first project, a CX-371a preamp. I would recommend buying and reading two excellent books: Valve Amplifiers by Morgan Jones and Merlin Blencowe's Designing High-Fidelity Tube Preamps. Skip Rozenblit's Tubes and Circuits. Understanding the building blocks of schematics (resistors, FETS, etc) is paramount to understanding how they all fit together. Then, as Paul said, build a kit. And build some more kits. Let others do the heavy lifting of design and spec'ing parts, just build to familiarize yourself with the processes. Then pull a reasonable schematic off the web and be prepared for a couple months of pain trying to implement it and sort it out :)

Best luck!
Toys in no particular order:
1975 BMW 2002
Sony A7RIII
Martin Logan SL3/Meridian transport/Bel Canto DAC & power
Cain&Cain Abbys S/Ns 001 and 002

Offline larcenasb

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 93
Re: Best process to learn how to read schematics
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2022, 09:40:02 AM »
Thanks, Benjamin!

I've heard of that Morgan Jones book somewhere before, seems to be highly regarded. Looks like my local public library has an eBook version available! Okay, I'm really excited to do some reading and studying now. :) First though, I'm going to finish watching this video on YouTube by Blueglow Electronics called "Understanding Vacuum Tube Amplifier Schematics - Basics - Part 1".

After going through both of these resources, I'll try Paul's suggestion of a low-cost Starving Student build on plywood. I feel good about this plan! Thanks again, PB and Benjamin. I really only have weekends to focus on this, but hopefully I can report back and update you.

Good luck to you, Benjamin, on that CX-371a preamp! If there are any gold nuggets of info you've learned during this learning process, please don't hesitate to share! Cheers!

- Lowell
Lowell B.