Author Topic: A resource for learning the basics of digital?  (Read 4901 times)

earthtonesaudio

A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« on: February 18, 2009, 08:09:45 AM »
i.e. the next step beyond Wikipedia?  The things I'm interested in learning are ADC/DAC methods, as well as getting bits into and out of RAM memories.  This will be for a digital building-block approach to short time delays as in this topic: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=74254.0

There just seems to be an information gap between what the datasheets expect you to already know, and what resources like Wiki only generally hint at.  So frustrating!


Thanks in advance!
-Alex

David

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2009, 08:31:21 AM »
i.e. the next step beyond Wikipedia?  The things I'm interested in learning are ADC/DAC methods, as well as getting bits into and out of RAM memories.  This will be for a digital building-block approach to short time delays as in this topic: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=74254.0

There just seems to be an information gap between what the datasheets expect you to already know, and what resources like Wiki only generally hint at.  So frustrating!


Thanks in advance!
-Alex

Wikipedia will teach you next to NOTHING.  Instead, try:

Data and tutorials posted here
The PIC list
Myke Predko's books
Spark Fun Electronics
Reynolds Electronics
www.ucapps.de

Read like hell.  Build circuits like hell.  Code like hell.  Screw up like hell.  Debug like hell.  This is how to learn about microcontrollers.

R.G.

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 01:34:47 PM »
i.e. the next step beyond Wikipedia?  The things I'm interested in learning are ADC/DAC methods, as well as getting bits into and out of RAM memories.  This will be for a digital building-block approach to short time delays as in this topic: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=74254.0

There just seems to be an information gap between what the datasheets expect you to already know, and what resources like Wiki only generally hint at.  So frustrating!
Introduction to digital logic and digital circuits is generally either one 5-hour lecture course or two sequential 3-hour lecture courses in the EE curriculum. That's with a live lecturer and probably 1-2 hours of lab work per week. There is no coursework which directly involves datasheet reading or use of complex logic blocks that I know of; it's mostly what you learn in your first couple of years as a junior EE. Intro to digital signal processing (ADC/DAC and so on) is probably another 3-5 hour lecture course.

I say that not to indicate that learning in a classroom setting is the only way to learn this, only as a yardstick for how much you're biting off if you want to really learn to design with this stuff. There is a certain minimum you're going to have to learn just to understand what the datasheets mean by the words, and yet more is needed to start splicing devices together. Reading and self study is a fine way to go about it, but you will lack the presence of a live tutor to tell you what you're missing and to check how well you understand what you THINK you understand. It tends to take longer that way.

Here's good first step - go get a copy of Lancaster's CMOS Cookbook and read all the design parts. That's the shortest, easiest to digest intro to digitial design I can think of. And it is only an intro, albeit a good one. It will at least let you know a more comprehensive set of questions.
R.G.

Quick IQ Test: If anyone in a governmental position suspected that YOU had top-secret information on YOUR computer, how many minutes would you remain outside a jail cell?

iaresee

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2009, 01:46:50 PM »
Brown and Vranesic's Fundamentals of Digital Logic text book is a great way to get more detail on the subject  -- comes with everything you need to experiment on your computer too. I'd go Verilog over VHDL personally, but I don't think it makes a particularly big difference when you're starting out. They were very good about making the book read-able as well as educational.

earthtonesaudio

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 09:10:26 AM »
Thanks for the replies, guys.  I'm starting some engineering courses this summer (hopefully!) but I have digital pedal ideas I want to try now!  :)

iaresee

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2009, 11:15:52 AM »
Thanks for the replies, guys.  I'm starting some engineering courses this summer (hopefully!) but I have digital pedal ideas I want to try now!  :)
Digital logic is really only semi-useful for pedal designing. For manipulating audio you're really going to want to look into digital signal processing -- how to do things like Fourier transforms and multiplies and what not in the digital domain. I can't really recommend a book there, sorry. My university DSP courses were all taught with hand outs from one prof -- he didn't like any of the current (circa '99) DSP books out there.

earthtonesaudio

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2009, 02:23:32 PM »
Agreed, but for the fun of it I want to experiment with the building blocks, in almost an "analog" fashion.

iaresee

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 03:40:56 PM »
Due to a weird series of events my wife ended up checking out this massive tome from the library called Principals of Digital Audio by Ken Pohlmann. I had a read through the first three chapters this morning (audio basics, digital audio basics, A->D basics) and it's quite good. There's a good amount of detail, skips the mathematical proofs for things (a-okay by me!), nice diagrams (a definite plus when explaining things like aliasing artifacts and quantization techniques).

For the price (free from the library) I'd say it's a bargain.

MoltenVoltage

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2009, 03:44:36 AM »
There is truly no shortcut to learning assembly language.  Just be ready to pull your hair out for months trying to make an LED blink without copying code.

Then immediately try to do the same thing on a different chip...

Only then will you be ready to catch a fly with chopsticks.

Right circle, left circle, right circle, left circle :||
MoltenVoltage.com for PedalSync audio control chips - make programmable and MIDI-controlled analog pedals!

R.G.

Re: A resource for learning the basics of digital?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
Agreed, but for the fun of it I want to experiment with the building blocks, in almost an "analog" fashion.
So does everyone else...  :icon_biggrin:
R.G.

Quick IQ Test: If anyone in a governmental position suspected that YOU had top-secret information on YOUR computer, how many minutes would you remain outside a jail cell?