From zero to hero in electronics

Greetings readers,

The past couple of months, we formed a small team to support our technology research in electronics and R&D in Physical Computing. As many of you may know already, our R&D lab consists mainly developers and machinists, none of us owned a 300 in 1 electronics lab kit when we were young. In this blog, we will show you how some of us ramp up our EE knowledge and to compile a quick introduction to Electronics for our readers. It wont turn you into an overnight electronics engineer but hopefully, we will all learn something useful. So let’s get started.

Last updated 24 August 2012

Follow the links starting from the top. Starting with introduction, then move onto the basics and work your way down.


  • Come Afrotechmods : His simplified, to the point tutorials have helped us, in a short period of time gaining knowledge on electronic measuring equipment and components
  • Jumper One : Phil from has done great job providing good information for someone starting fresh. We like his approach in explaining electronics and its functions. Great Job!
  • Martin Lorton: Martin from always positions himself as learner, making you feel we are all learning together. We also find his experiments very logical and educational. Fantasic.
  • Moving on to more practical, theory and how tos. Visit the Electronics Club :

The basics that you need to know before going further

  • AC / DC
  • Voltage, Current, Resistance and Power
  • Resistors, Capacitors, Diode and Transformers
  • Op Amp, Inductor, Transistor and MOSFETs
  • Sensors and their associated Analog and Digital signals
  • How to use a multimeter, oscilloscope and soldering iron

The next stage

  • At the beginning we have no clue what electronics and components being mentioned, so we look them up using Wikipedia. About the same time, we learned about datasheet. Boy, those data sheets are hard to understand. No fear, just keep reading
  • We started building a new electronic experiment corner in our lab, read our previous blog on lab design. We acquired some professional measuring equipment, soldering station and started a collection of electronic components
  • We started searching for junk electronics, spare parts lay in our lab. Tear downs are pretty much a weekly routine
  • Check out all YouTube videos on buying Multimeter
  • Learn how to read electronic schematics

The basics that you need to have before going further

  • Multimeter(s), yes we mean more than one
  • Breadboard, wires, ICs and all sorts of electronic components

The further stage

  • After the basics and completed a few electronic projects, we quickly found ourselves limited by what just hardware can do. This is when we learned about Arduino. Start to learn about the basic micro-controller and take first step of physical computing from Arduino website:
  • Since Arduino involves a combination understanding of hardware and software, after reviewing some YouTube videos from Jeremy Blum, we are good to go!
  • EEVBlog videos provide tutorials, equipment review and tear downs at a higher level
  • Supplement knowledge by watch and learn all core basic electronics sessions by Prof. T.S.Natarajan
  • Getting more intense with Mike’s Electric Stuff:
  • Projects and reviews on a higher level from YourITronics
  • Check out all YouTube videos on buying Power Supply and Oscilloscopes
  • Start to draw your own schematics

The basics that you need to have before going further

  • Oscilloscope
  • Build your own lab power supply
  • Build your own lab electronic load
  • Draw electronic schematic on computer

Ask questions, support and discuss!

Keep up the your electronics knowledge in RC field?

  • Perform tear down and learn dead electronics (i.e. Broken servo, ECSs, Batter charger, Starter)
  • Identify good components from dead electronics, take them out for spare
  • Learn about the electronics used in your RC equipment (i.e. Transmitter and Receiver)
  • How radio control gimbal works? Digital encoders and the processing of radio signals. Telemetry
  • Battery charging circuit; Different types of battery charging
  • ECSs and BECs (regulators)
  • Closed loop feedback design of servos

Let us know what you think about our compilation by using the Contact form. Good luck.

Enjoy, Team BTF

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