Posts Tagged ‘Educational / Courses’

MITx – MIT’s new learning initiative – free online courses!!

I’ve mentioned similar courses in the past, but here’s a new twist….. you’re not just watching videos of lectures, you can actually participate.

Here is a description of the purpose of the MITx program, from MIT:

“MITx will offer a portfolio of MIT courses for free to a virtual community of learners around the world. It will also enhance the educational experience of its on-campus students, offering them online tools that supplement and enrich their classroom and laboratory experiences.The first MITx course, 6.002x (Circuits and Electronics), will be launched in an experimental prototype form.

Watch this space for further upcoming courses, which will become available in Fall 2012.”

The Circuits and Electronics course has already started.  Though I can’t participate at this time, I did notice I could still click on the link and enroll.

If you have the time, check it out.  Maybe come back and give us some feedback on the experience.  The link to the course is:

Intro to multimeter use

Collin over at Make: is at it again.  Here is a great little seven minute intro on how to use a multimeter.

If you’re an experienced ham, then you can indeed skip this one.  I like the basic videos that Make: is putting together to use when I teach hams.

If you don’t know it already, you can go to the Make: website and download the videos and share with your friends and students.  I started putting these videos on basic electronics on a DVD for students and they have REALLY learned quite a bit.

If you know of any other good videos, post below and share the knowledge!

Zener diodes – the basics

Stumbled upon another great video from AllAmericanFiveRadio on Youtube.  He has an incredible and vast collection of radio related, radio restoration, electronic theory…. tons of good stuff.

While I’m at it…..

I’ve mentioned this course here before, but NPTLHRD in India have a GREAT basic electronics course.  One lecture is purely on Zener diodes. Here are two video lectures. The first one is on wave shaping with diodes and a more in-depth discussion on Zener diodes in the second video.

The Mechanical Universe and Beyond – Annenberg project

First off…. sorry for the delay in posting (never took three weeks off before).  As the Amateur Radio Emergency Service District Emergency Coordinator, we had a TON of public service events and I had a couple of public speaking engagements (radio related), soooo………….  But I plan on posting several posts to make up for the shortfall – there is just too much interesting stuff for amateur radio ops on the web!

Which brings me to the Annenberg Project and their series “The Mechanical Universe and Beyond”.  Really great series and I’m thinking about purchasing on DVD for some of my classes – there’s a ton of information here that will indeed pertain to hams.

The course description reads:

This series helps teachers demystify physics by showing students what it looks like. Field trips to hot-air balloon events, symphony concerts, bicycle shops, and other locales make complex concepts more accessible. Inventive computer graphics illustrate abstract concepts such as time, force, and capacitance, while historical reenactments of the studies of Newton, Leibniz, Maxwell, and others trace the evolution of theories.

But, in the middle of the course are some good videos for new hams (and those that want to reinforce some of the theory in radio physics):

14. Potential Energy
Potential energy provides a powerful model for understanding why the world has worked the same way since the beginning of time.

15. Conservation of Momentum
What keeps the universe ticking away until the end of time?

16. Harmonic Motion
The music and mathematics of periodic motion.

17. Resonance
Why a swaying bridge collapses with a high wind, and why a wine glass shatters with a higher octave.

18. Waves
With an analysis of simple harmonic motion and a stroke of genius, Newton extended mechanics to the propagation of sound.

28. Static Electricity
Eighteenth-century electricians knew how to spark the interest of an audience with the principles of static electricity.

29. The Electric Field
Faraday’s vision of lines of constant force in space laid the foundation for the modern force field theory.

30. Potential and Capacitance
Franklin proposes a successful theory of the Leyden jar and invents the parallel plate capacitor.

31. Voltage, Energy, and Force
When is electricity dangerous or benign, spectacular or useful?

32. The Electric Battery
Volta invents the electric battery using the internal properties of different metals.

33. Electric Circuits
The work of Wheatstone, Ohm, and Kirchhoff leads to the design and analysis of how current flows.

34. Magnetism
Gilbert discovered that the earth behaves like a giant magnet. Modern scientists have learned even more.

35. The Magnetic Field
The law of Biot and Sarvart, the force between electric currents, and Ampère’s law.

There’s more, but this will give you an idea of the valuable resource.  The video clips are viewable online (though rather small).  I haven’t inquired yet as to the cost of the course on DVD.

Available at:

Post update:

I have found the link for the cost of the series – $450. YIKES!

Antique Wireless Association Journal – On-Line

I recently featured some material available from the Antique Wireless Association and had to go a little deeper.

They have a wealth of information available on their site with some of their journal’s online articles.  Great articles on vacuum tubes and such – but much, much more.

I found a great little article called “Working With Crystal Control: A ‘Part 15′ Broadcast Band Transmitter “, the transmitter setup on the left.  Really neat article (I think I must….want to build one of these)………  The image on the left is from that article – not to difficult to build and learn!!!

As I understand it, you can purchase a CD with back copies of this magazine.  I just might look into that.  Kinda sounds like the enjoyment I get when I receive that little journal from the G-QRP club – SPRAT.  When that hits my mailbox, I know it’s getting stuffed in my backpack for enjoyment down the road.

One important thing to keep in mind with the AWA Archives is how well they not only demonstrate radio history, but how you can recreate it and learn from it.  What a better way is there for a budding QRPer to learn where he’s going, but get a hands on demo from where other hams have been?

Below are only a few examples of the neat articles you’ll find on the AWA website:

Key and Telegraph  by John Casale, W2NI
President Taft’s Telegraph Key

Building a 1929 Style Hartley Transmitter  by Scott M. Freeberg, WA9WFA
Need a transmitter for our 1929 QSO Party? Build it in one week-end!

Breadboarding  by Richard A. Parks
More Adventures With Transistors

The Vacuum Tube  by Ludwell A. Sibley
Tube Bases and the Asbestos Hustle

Restoration of Shellac Finishes on Older Radios  by Lane Upton
Don’t Strip That Old Finish–Save it Instead!

A nostalgia trip for the old-timer; an eye-opener for the newbie.

The Beginnings of Radio Central  by Ralph Williams with Marshall Etter, Bob McGraw and Chris Bacon

Pupin and Armstrong lay an egg–An Antique Radio Gazette reprint.

A Solid-State Filter Choke or Field Coil Replacement

Go ahead and check them out at: –  a direct link to the journal archives

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