Old Knowledge seeking advice

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I worked in avionics literally 30 years ago and I have forgotten everything I learned. I would like to get back into electronics, but I'm not sure where to start. I understand the difference between analog and digital as well as RF basics. Could you please recommend some projects and any equipment that would help to bring me up to speed?

Much appreciated!


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if you have the endurance to get into FPGA technology (no disrespect but the learning curve seems to throw most people off before they ever use one for something useful), the cheapest board can keep you busy for months, possibly more. You may actually realize at some point that the hardware isn't even that important except for motivation - it just tells you "sorry, this doesn't work" and then it comes down to simulation to figure out why... Some 7-segment displays, switches etc are nice, but in the end one single LED is enough (this worked at least for me, plus later UART to connect to PC, very few boards don't provide the required hardware).

You can download Vivado Web edition completely for free, and start all the fun, minus the hardware. Cost: $0.00

A Raspberry pi might be another thing to consider. Belongs into every household, as far as I am concerned 🙂 this thing is amazing.

Edited by xc6lx45
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Hi @Pelvart,

Welcome to the Forums.It depends on where you would like to start with electronics. For electronics in general I would suggest an Analog Discovery 2  which is a 100MS/s USB Oscilloscope, Logic Analyzer and Variable Power Supply. Here is an Analog Parts kit that would be useful with the Analog Discovery 2.   Boards like the Raspberry Pi, Arduino and our microcontrollers here  have an easier learning curve then FPGA's.  If you are wanting to learn more with digital design and FPGA's then we have Spartan 7, Artix-7 and Zynq FPGA boards with different components and cost here. What topics interest you?



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My turn to welcome you!

I only started getting seriously interested in FPGA's about 3 years ago.  My first board was a Digilent Basys3 board--a good beginner board with lots of peripherals.  While I found it a bit pricey at first, the cheaper boards don't have as many peripherals to play with.  A good example of a cheaper but (nearly) featureless board would be a TinyFPGA or perhaps even the MAX1000.  Digilent also tends to do a better job of supporting their boards, though, so you will probably enjoy the Basys3 more as a beginner.

If you are looking for FPGA resources, then I'd like to point you to some of my own favorites: asic-world.com, fpga4fun.com, nanland, and (my personal favorite, created by yours truly) zipcpu.com.  I'm also working on a draft Verilog tutorial, but sadly it remains far from complete.  You can watch this space though for further/future updates.


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These are all great suggestions.

I had to look up what FPGA means. I guess that tells you how out of date I am with this. The technology looks VERY cool!  I plan on doing some research and learning (or re-learning).

Thanks for all of the help and please keep any suggestions coming!


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Think of it as a wire wrap board the size of a basketball court that can reach 100..200 MHz.

Price includes an army of well-trained virtual wire wrapping monkeys, so well trained that many folks have no clue what they are doing.
This is where the learning curve gets steeper🙂

Edited by xc6lx45
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