Make me Handy!
January 27, 2012 1:32 PM Subscribe
I'd like to get better at fixing things and diagnosing problems--particularly electronics and household stuff. Where should I start?
posted by tchemgrrl to Technology (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I work in a science lab, and a significant percentage of my job involves diagnosing problems with delicate instrumentation. I'm okay on figuring things out from the scientific end, but one area I think I could improve would be with understanding what's happening with the electronic components. I can do some *very* basic things like identify a popped capacitor or change out a fuse, but I'd love to get a better intuitive sense of what's going on when I look at a circuitry diagram, learn my way around a soldering iron, splicing a frayed wire, etc.
Related to this would be getting better at fixing things around the house. We've got a dead outlet that I'm sure I could figure out with a little more confidence, for example.
The people I know who are good at these things seem to have mostly picked it up very young by following handy family members around, or by going to a trade school. Neither option is likely to happen at this point in my life, at least not full-time. Are there any other ways you've picked up these skills?
Possibly relevant details: I work at a university and can take an occasional class in just about any department you name, so if you tell me there's a CS or EE class that typically covers this with a minimum of prereqs and irrelevant stuff, I'd be happy to do that. I'd just really like to cram in as much practical info as possible--I already took E&M as an undergrad, so I'm fine, though rusty, with the theory. I've got a lot of tools and access to people that can tell me if I'm doing something dumb, if there's a project book out there that'd help.