Electronic – Understanding when to use basic Components


So I understand AVR assembly for the most part, and generally understand the overview of microcontrollers. but when it comes to specific components (besides the obvious stuff like resistors/batterys) I dont understand what they do….and more specifically WHEN to use them?

Stuff like Capacitors,Regulators,Inductors,Crystals,Etc

Where can I find a generally overview of When and what these components do? to further my knowledge. I can of course wikipedia the definitions….but I more want to know when I should use these specific things because I figure it's probably a good idea to know more than "what" they are and also What to use…

Best Answer

After some searching, I found this site which seems to have a nice level of explanation: http://www.piclist.com/images/www/hobby_elec/e_parts.htm

I personally dont know of a nice, comprehensive book to teach the whole topic, but then it is a huge field and hard to condense. But there is Elektors 300 circuit series, which may or may not be still available. Each book contains about 300 circuits to try out. I learned a lot from these books once I had the basics down.

University of Madras has a lenghty set of lectures on Youtube for that topic. Have a look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8Dq8blTmSA

There's also a slew of experimental kits out there to teach you. Stuff like http://www.makershed.com/productdetails.asp?productcode=mkgk19 or so.

The bachelor student I am currently responsible for, I introduced to electronics with an arduino experimentation kit. I know I can only teach him very basic stuff, but then he is studying computer sciences, and doesnt need (or have time for) a full blown study in applied electronics.