Is CE Hardware vs Circuit Design Courses? (or both)


#1

I’m not sure if CE is the right place for me, and for some reason it isn’t super obvious from the websites content.

I don’t have much trouble finding tutorials to help me build arduino based projects with various sensors, wifi and power configurations. But I currently use mostly breakout boards from china, and follow working examples.

I see from Chris’s videos that there is a focus on using Kicad and the manufacturing and assembling of PCBs.

What I’m curious about is, does CE teach circuit design? eg Will I learn why I’m using a 480ohm resistor? or will I just know I need one for assembly? Will I learn how to choose from various components or ICs, or will I just know how to create a PCB/schematic from a bill of materials?

Thanks for any info
Robert


#2

From my perspective, the short answer is “Yes!”.

I came into CE knowing some electronics but not enough to be confident to think that I could create my own devices, though I dealy wanted to. CE has given me enough background knowledge and skills that makes this possible. The videos usually emphasise the focus on the data sheet when considering a design along with shopping for parts and at some point some layout considerations. I tend to think, It is not about the device to be built in a project so much, but about the means to get the job done and what needs to be considered along the way.
As I say, just my perspective.


#3

Steve, thanks so much for you reply.

As I think about you words, that might be a better way to think about it. I’m thinking of old gadgets that I used to tear apart, full of individual resistors and capacitors to make individual amps and gates. In today’s world, I probably don’t need to create my own circuit, I need to be able to find the the IC that is the proper tool for my needs and how to hook it up.

Thanks again
Robert


#4

Here at CE we try and teach circuit design as needed. This was borne out of frustration of traditional education forcing you to stop and learn all the math first…and THEN get to the basics of circuit design…and THEN finally start building something (maybe). The idea like Steve explained is to go off of the datasheets and guidelines to get something put together and then try to apply theory when the device is in front of you. There are arguments against this method, of course, but we like it this way.

If you run into a circuit you don’t understand…let’s dig into it! Being able to probe a circuit on the bench while learning the theory behind it is a powerful thing.