Roberto-Venn offers multiple electronics classes to allow the student to explore the exciting world of vacuum tube amplifiers and guitar effect pedals. Both sequences of study require a minimal amount of knowledge of basic electronics. To prepare the student for success in these advanced classes, we offer a weekend seminar in basic electronics.
During the basic electronics class the student will learn what the electronic components they will use to build an amplifier or effect pedal are. We will describe what resistors, capacitors and inductors do – how they are made and how they behave in a circuit. We will impart the basic mathematical skills you will need to work with large resistor values and small capacitor values. And most importantly, we will describe how these components are used to make rock-and-roll! We will also show you how to use electronic test equipment including digital multimeters, oscilloscopes and signal generators. And, we will teach you how to solder properly.
The advanced electronics courses are modular. You can choose to build all three pedals or just one. You can take both the amp and pedals courses, or only take the amp course. Whichever choice you make, the basic electronics course is a prerequisite to all the other electronics courses. It gives you the basic knowledge you need to be successful in those classes and must be taken before the advanced classes.
Jim Kramer is an electrical engineer with more than twenty-five years in the industry. He specializes in circuit design and firmware development. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Ottawa University. He has worked for such companies as Qualcomm and Intel. Jim was trained on vacuum tube electronics in the United States Marine Corps where he worked on air traffic control radar systems that still contained tubes and discrete transistors as late as the 1970’s.
Jim is a trained musician with both a jazz and classical background. He studied music at Scottsdale and Mesa Community Colleges in Arizona where he played upright bass, violin and trumpet in various jazz ensembles and orchestras. His favorite guitars are the Gibson ES-175 and J-45. He loves JJ vacuum tubes because they are named after his hero, J. J. Thompson, who discovered the electron.