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Resources for Teaching Basic Electronics

Jun 8th 2012, 13:00


Joined: Sep 18th 2002, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
I teach Physics in High school. A number of my students have expressed a desire to learn electronics. However, these are (at this time) not that interested in becoming Hams.

Frankly, a great portion of the study material for Tech and to great extent that for General class is “appliance” oriented.

I am looking for a text or course which deals primarily with components, (resistors, inductors, capacitors, transformer, tubes, transistors, simple integrated circuits (AND, OR, NOR etc) devices).

When I first started (in 1952) I enrolled in an NRI correspondence course (National Radio Institute) out of Chicago, which if memory serves comprised of 120+/- lessons (booklets), and about 20 or so hands on experiments. The completion of which resulted in the construction of a 5 tube broadcast receiver.

I am looking for a textbook or a course such as I described above for use in this class I am attempting to set up.

Can you help me?

Thanks in advance.

Herman C. Belderok, WV0R
Jun 8th 2012, 13:03


Joined: Sep 18th 2002, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Hi Herman,

There are a couple of things I would suggest. First, have you looked at the resource pages of the ARRL web site? If you look here:

And go down to the Basic Electronics Course, you will find a program developed that we use during the teachers institute as a resource to help teachers do what you are wanting to do. This course is a collection of parts and a curriculum based on a power point that you can adopt to your students and your situation. You don’t have to buy the kit of parts, the PPT is downloadable off the web page.

You also might consider the ARRL's Understanding Basic Electronics book. I am not trying to sell you the book, I just want to say from my experience, this is a pretty fine book for teaching the basic content.

Another resource that I would recommend is the old Navy's NEETs course. You can probably find it on the web, but if you can't I know I have saved a downloaded copy of the pdfs here and I'd be happy to send you a copy. For some reason, I don't think the Navy uses that course any more (probably because they don't teach basic electronics anymore) but the course is well done and comprehensive. It doesn't have all the fancy colored pictures and stuff, just good basic information that in the hands of the right teacher will help students grasp the basics of electronics.

If you are looking for some more up to date and sexy material, I would also recommend the What is a Microcontroller course offered by Parallax. You can down load this text off their web page. This is an excellent course that includes some basic electronics concepts while it goes on to programming microcontrollers to manipulate the basic circuits in the computer world. This might be the bridge between basic electronics and computers that will inspire your students to dig deeper into electronics.

I don't think any single suggestion above is the panacea that you are looking for, but some part of each put together might meet your needs.

Hope this helps,
73 Mark Spencer WA8SME
ARRL Education & Technology Program Director

Jun 8th 2012, 16:55


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Another source of material is the old Heathkit electronics training courses: DC Electronics, AC Electronics, Semiconductor Devices, Digital Electronics, Electronic Circuits and Microprocessors. These courses came with a text book and experiments book. These were the basis for a post secondary electronics course I taught at a vocational-technical school. There were several other electronic books in the series. They might be a little hard to find but I have seen them offered on Ebay.

ARRL Technical Coordinator - Kansas Section
Jun 8th 2012, 23:40


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
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Total Posts: 0
The book that gave me the big initial push into electronics was Elements Of Radio by Marcus and Marcus. It's probably out of print, but it sure got me going.

What is unique about it is the way it is organized to grab and maintain the student's attention. The "boring" theory is presented only after the student is well into in the material. (By the time you get to the theory, the reader is eager to learn it, and it's presented beautifully. Having ADHD, it sure helped me. :-)

I still have the tube-type regenerative receiver that I built from that book. Maybe it would be a good addition to the materials suggested above.

It was first published in 1949, and the copy I have (4th edition) was printed in 1959. (There are newer editions.), etc. probably has them. And it's below college level; the Toledo, Ohio public school system used that book as a textbook well into the 1960's, perhaps even much later.

73, Mike
Jun 15th 2012, 20:34


Joined: Jan 31st 2008, 09:33
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
One of the best and available for free download is from the site. There appears to be 20 modules of the Navy electronics training manual. There are many other free documents to download.

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