Tech Basics: Cables & Connectors

An introduction to help you understand connectors betwen the many electronics tools, devices and gizmos we use today.
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2013 English

Course Description

 If you're like most folks - you have electronic devices that need to be connected and you're not totally sure where to plug all those connectors into which port... can I adapt that DVI plug to go into my HDMI port?  Does that Audio Out cable go into the Phono, Auxillary, or Tuner port?  Which cable should I use to transfer video from my new camcorder into my computer?  And which headphone connection is right for my new Smart Phone?

With this class from Your Technology Tutor, you will gain an understanding of the fundamentals and practical knowledge of the most common cables & connectors.  From audio and video connectors, to adapters - learn the most essential info by joining Chet Davis in these video lessons.

What are the requirements?

  • No special knowledge or experience is necessary for this class - just a desire to learn!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • This class provides you with lessons to give you just the right amount of knowledge to better understand how to connect your home electronics.
  • Fundamentals of the electronic signal: elementary signal flow, shielded cables, plug vs. jack.
  • Differentiation between video streams and video files - critical info if you have or are looking for a new camcorder/camera
  • Review of most common audio connectors: Phone (1/4", Mini, Sub-Mini, Micro); RCA/Phono, XLR, Optical
  • Most common video connectors: Phono/RCA - both composite & component, S-video, BNC, IEEE 1394 (4-pin, 6-pin, & 800), HDMI
  • Common Monitor connectors: HDMI, DVI, Display Port, Mini-Display Port, VGA
  • Peripheral connections: USB (A, B, Mini, Micro), USB 2.0 vs. 3.0, Thunderbolt
  • Adapters: When and how to adapt connectors when connecting audio, video, monitors or peripherals. When is the only time to use a Y-adapter, barrels vs. cable adapaters.
  • When and why you need to use a Digital>Analog Converter
  • Two recommended freeware computer applications to help transfer between different video file formats.

Who is the target audience?

  • This class is ideal for us 'regular' people who have tech tools & toys and want to understand how to connect and properly use them. NOTE: this is a beginners level course with the intention of providing just enough information to allow you to successfully connect your electronics.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Chet Davis provides an introduction/orientation to this classroom - with quick suggestions for where to start. Chet also highlights the learning functions available at Udemy (Notes, Questions & video functions).
Section 1: Introduction to Cables & Connectors

Learn some brief, basic but helpful technology foundations that relate to Cables & Connectors.  Chet will review the concept of electrical conductivity, the value of shielded cables, and the difference between plugs and jacks.

Particularly useful if you use audio and video components, or are considering purchasing new devices for home or business, it's helpful to know the difference between file and stream data transfers... you'll learn that in this short lesson.
Section 2: Connectors by Their Application

Chet presents a lesson sharing the most common connectors used primarily for audio: the Phone family (3 different sizes), RCA/Phono, XLR, and Digital Optical.  Chet also covers the difference between a mono (TR) and a stereo (TRS)  - and where you will find a TRRS connector.  We also get a glimpse of the audio snake.

As we learn about the connectors specific to transfer of the video signal/s, Chet reviews the following connectors (in their application with video):  RCA/Phono - both with Composite Video and with Component Analog video, BNC, S-video.  Chet spends a few minutes delineating the 3 flavors of IEE1394, otherwise known as Firewire (DV/HDV), the 4-Pin, 6-Pin and Firewire 800.  The lesson ends with an introduction to the HDMI connector and why it's in this lesson as well as the next lesson on Monitor Connections.
In this lesson we'll review the most common connectors used when connecting a device to a display monitor, be it a HD computer monitor or a HD Television.  The connectors Chet includes in this lesson are HDMI, DVI, Display Port, Mini-Display Port, VGA, and SCART.
In this lesson we'll review the most common connectors used to connect peripherals with your computers - we'll review the term 'I/O Device' and jump into the distinction between the 4 types of USB connectors: USB A, USB B, USB Mini, and USB Micro.  Chet also introduces the newer USB 3.0 technology and there is a brief mention of the 'Thunderbolt' technology.
In this lesson Chet shows adapter types in the following 4 categories: Audio adapters, Video Adapters, and Peripheral/Monitor Adapters.  Chet reviews the importance of ensuring you are attempting to connect 'like' signals between devices.  Covered is a quick lesson on the use of Barrel Adapters & the Y-Adapter, as well as an introduction to the technology known as an Analog>Digital Video Converter.

In this lesson Chet shares two Freeware applications that can be used to convert File-based video for use in other video editing applications.  There are versions for both the Windows & Mac/Apple computer platforms.
You can find out more about these computer applications & download them here:
MPEG Streamclip  and Any Video Converter (AVC)

RF Connectors
Section 3: Putting It All Together: Looking at Connection Panels on Real Gear
In this video, Chet provides a detailed example of how you would put all your connector knowledge together as he examines the real connector panels on an 32" HDTV set.
Section 4: Conclusion & Additional Resources
Connector ID Guide
4 pages
As we wrap up this TECH 101 lesson on Cables & Connectors, Chet Davis provides you with two website resources where you can find & download the Operators Manual for most home electronics gear. This can be helpful if you have misplaced your original copy (or never had one, due to second-hand equipment) that you can use to check the connections and configurations for your home electronics:   and
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Instructor Biography

Chet Davis, Your Technology Tutor

Chet loves to teach...he loves helping others learn, whether it's an artistic technique in video or photography; or a software application or technology tool. Whether you join Chet for a live hands-on workshop or an on-line lesson on Udemy you clearly experience his enthusiasm, his expertise, and his passion for teaching.

Chet 'cut' his teacher teeth with 17 years in the classroom as teacher of a high school Video Technology program in California. He's made presentations at National and Regional Conferences and led hands-on workshops for in 41 US States, 3 Canadian provinces and in Europe (European Schools Program). Chet is listed in two volumes of Who’s Who in American Education and has testified before a Congressional Sub-Committee on the importance of Technology in Education.

When he's not teaching, he enjoys traveling - and producing travel video and photography. He likes playing tennis, snowboarding and mountain biking... and he loves to cook (he makes a mean Chimichanga from scratch).

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