What should I be looking for?

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What should I be looking for?

Post by Neccross on Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:55 pm
([msg=50422]see What should I be looking for?[/msg])

I am somewhat confused about what exactly I should be looking for or learning. I want to be able to build, design, program, etc.. my own "device." First off I want to be able to build an electronic device/gadget w.e, using either parts from other devices or from scratch, w.e. Which also implies being able to take an already made device and being able to alter it (make it better, add more functions etc...) Okay so I figure this would be under Electronic engineer or electrical? Which would deal with a devices circuit components? To make the device work and so on. Programming, well its programming to make the device do what I want it to do, kind of a given. The design part well.. I don't know too much about that. overall, i think I'm looking at it from a wrong angle as I'm not too well informed. The more I look/read for it, the more confused I get... As an example I want to make my own portable gaming device with like simple games I can make or whatever, or to be able to take any device and tweak it, to make faster/efficient and so on. What exactly is it that I'm looking for? Can I get some insight on some of this please :)
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by Goatboy on Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:20 pm
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Engineering in real life is not like it is in videogames; you don't just take two unrelated electronic devices and make a functional third device from them. It involves a lot of planning, testing, refining, and technical know-how to really get into fabricating your own devices. You practically need your own little lab to do this, outfitted with plenty of tools, spare parts, and machinery (if you want to create custom housings, for example).

To get started though, take a look at beginner's electronics. There are tons of guides out there to teach you about current, basic components, and the likes.

Also, moving this to the Hardware forum.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by Neccross on Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:49 pm
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The "Cannot check website online status: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: hostname nor servname provided, or not known (0)" error thingy is getting annoying now lol... uhh thanks for moving the post to the right forum. Well I was just throwing out information since I was confused to begin with. I guess that sounds more realistic, so then what does it mean when a person "hacks" a device to do other things it wasn't intended for? That would fall under the software aspect of it? Hmm..
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by Assassian360 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:54 pm
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Neccross wrote:The "Cannot check website online status: php_network_getaddresses: getaddrinfo failed: hostname nor servname provided, or not known (0)" error thingy is getting annoying now lol... uhh thanks for moving the post to the right forum. Well I was just throwing out information since I was confused to begin with. I guess that sounds more realistic, so then what does it mean when a person "hacks" a device to do other things it wasn't intended for? That would fall under the software aspect of it? Hmm..


Well "hacking" a device can mean altering or exploiting something in the operating system or software on a device. It can also come under hardware. For example chipping of consoles would come under hardware. The adding of an additional part alters the functionality of the larger device. But to do exploits like this it takes a lot of knowledge to know what you are doing as Goatboy indicated.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by Vulpine on Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:10 pm
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Neccross wrote:...so then what does it mean when a person "hacks" a device to do other things it wasn't intended for?


You just answered your own question. In it's broader sense, hacking is the act of using or manipulating something in a manner that it was not originally intended for.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by neuromanta on Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:23 am
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Ok, just to clarify: do you want to really be able to build your own device, or you just want to do something, which is considered as a "hack" by others? The two is the same thing, but if you just want to learn that to brag about it to others, than you will never reach success.
That being said, my advice for you would be to (after learning a bit about basic electronics of course) learn about programming microcontrollers. I know it sounds a little too advanced for a beginner, but with a microcontroller, you can get some experience of success, which is very important while learning. I'd suggest learning about arduino, it's quite simple get a hang of it. Then, you should learn about LCD displays, those can be easily controlled with an arduino. Get a breadboard, and experiment. With an arduino and a decent sized LCD (and some buttons of course), you can make a very simple gaming device.
Of course the electronic field is not just about LCD-s and arduinos. There's A LOT to learn. It's a lot more complicated for example, to disassemble a device, understand it's inner workings and alter it on hardware level, than to build your own device.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by insomaniacal on Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:29 am
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neuromanta wrote:That being said, my advice for you would be to (after learning a bit about basic electronics of course) learn about programming microcontrollers. I know it sounds a little too advanced for a beginner, but with a microcontroller, you can get some experience of success, which is very important while learning. I'd suggest learning about arduino, it's quite simple get a hang of it.


This.

But make sure you learn a good amount about electronics and circuitry in general first, and can build some basic circuits without trouble. At least understanding how digital logic works is good to have as well. This is because in electronics, it's easy to do two things:

1:Over simplify your thinking
2:Over complicate your thinking
Learning more about the underlying principles can (sometimes) help you further along the road, and you certainly wont regret it.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by Neccross on Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:45 pm
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neuromanta wrote:Ok, just to clarify: do you want to really be able to build your own device, or you just want to do something, which is considered as a "hack" by others? The two is the same thing, but if you just want to learn that to brag about it to others, than you will never reach success.


No, i really want to be able to build my own device. I just wasn't sure what i exactly I was looking for. Like for example, a teacher told me once he had this friend who took one of those tickle me elmos and made the voice change to some demon voice, i thought it was funny but I mean is this software or hardware? I hear people who take already made devices, PDA, Ipod and mess around with it to make it better or to "customize it." Or like one of the articles on HTS that talks about "hacking" a psp to get emulators running on it, software or hardware based? I don't understand that either. It's mostly a personal thing for fun.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by neuromanta on Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:42 am
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One more advice, to get you started:
After you learnt about basic electronics (there are a bunch of tutorials on the net), here is a good tutorial on arduino for beginners:
http://www.ladyada.net/learn/arduino/lesson0.html
And if you have a problem with getting a good, stable 5V voltage source, just use a usb cable. See the pinout of USB, it has an 5V and a GND pin, so you can use a USB port on your computer, you don't have to buy an adapter.
Last edited by neuromanta on Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What should I be looking for?

Post by fashizzlepop on Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:50 am
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Neccross wrote:No, i really want to be able to build my own device. I just wasn't sure what i exactly I was looking for. Like for example, a teacher told me once he had this friend who took one of those tickle me elmos and made the voice change to some demon voice, i thought it was funny but I mean is this software or hardware?
Either, but most likely hardware by changing a modulator for the voice's pitch.

I hear people who take already made devices, PDA, Ipod and mess around with it to make it better or to "customize it." Or like one of the articles on HTS that talks about "hacking" a psp to get emulators running on it, software or hardware based? I don't understand that either. It's mostly a personal thing for fun.
Software, unless they are altering the hardware of a pda to add better wifi or something... that stuff is mostly seen in the movies and is very advanced in real life.
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