- Book Name: Hands on Electronics – A Practical Introduction to Analog and Digital Circuits
- Author: Daniel M. Kaplan and Christopher G. White
- Pages: 228
- Size: 3 MB
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This book started life as the laboratory manual for the course Physics 300, ‘Instrumentation Laboratory’, offered every semester at Illinois Institute of Technology to a mix consisting mostly of physics, mechanical engineering, and aeronautical engineering majors. Each experiment can be completed in about four hours (with one or two additional hours of preparation).
This book differs from existing books of its type in that it is faster paced and goes into a bit less depth, in order to accommodate the needs of a one semester course covering the elements of both analog and digital electronics. In curricula that normally include one year of laboratory instruction in electronics, it may be suitable for the first part of a two-semester sequence, with the second part devoted to computers and computer interfacing – this scheme has the virtue of separating the text for the more rapidly changing computer material from the more stable analog and digital parts.
The book is also suitable for self-study by a person who has access to the necessary equipment and wants a hands-on introduction to the subject. We feel strongly, and experience at IIT has borne out, that to someone who will be working with electronic instrumentation, a hands-on education in the techniques of electronics is much more valuable than a blackboard and- lecture approach. Certainly it is a better learning process than simply reading a book and working through problems.
The appendices suggest sources for equipment and supplies, provide tables of abbreviations and symbols, and list recommendations for further reading, which includes chapter-by-chapter correspondences to some popular electronics texts written at similar or somewhat deeper levels to ours: the two slim volumes by Dennis Barnaal, Analog Electronics for Scientific Application and Digital Electronics for Scientific Application (reissued by Waveland Press, 1989); Horowitz and Hill’s comprehensive The Art of Electronics (Cambridge University Press, 1989); Diefenderfer and Holton’s Principles of Electronic Instrumentation (Saunders, 1994); and Simpson’s Introductory Electronics for Scientists and Engineers (2nd edition, Prentice-Hall, 1987). There is also a glossary of terms and pinout diagrams for transistors and ICs used within. The reader is presumed to be familiar with the rudiments of differential and integral calculus, as well as with elementary college physics (including electricity, magnetism, and direct- and alternating-current circuits, although these topics are reviewed in the text).
The order we have chosen for our subject matter begins with the basics – resistors, Ohm’s law, simple AC circuits – then proceeds towards greater complexity by introducing nonlinear devices (diodes), then active devices (bipolar and field-effect transistors).We have chosen to discuss transistors before devices made from them (operational amplifiers, comparators, digital circuitry) so that the student can understand not only how things work but also why.
There are other texts that put integrated circuits, with their greater ease of use, before discrete devices; or digital circuits, with their simpler rules, before the complexities of analog devices. We have tried these approaches on occasion in our teaching and found them wanting. Only by considering first the discrete devices from which integrated circuits are made can the student understand and appreciate the remarkable properties that make ICs so versatile and powerful. A course based on this book thus builds to a pinnacle of intellectual challenge towards the middle, with the three transistor chapters. After the hard uphill slog, it’s smooth sailing from there (hold onto your seatbelts!).
The book includes step-by-step instructions and explanations for the following experiments:
1. Multimeter, breadboard, and oscilloscope;
2. RC circuits;
3. Diodes and power supplies;
4. Transistors I;
5. Transistors II: FETs;
6. Transistors III: differential amplifier;
7. Introduction to operational amplifiers;
8. More op-amp applications;
9. Comparators and oscillators;
10. Combinational logic;
11. Flip-flops: saving a logic state;
12. Monostables, counters, multiplexers, and RAM;
13. Digital↔analog conversion.
These thirteen experiments fit comfortably within a sixteen-week semester. If you or your instructor prefers, one or two experiments may easily be omitted to leave a couple of weeks at the semester’s end for independent student projects. To this end, Chapter 6, ‘Transistors III’, has been designed so that no subsequent experiment depends on it; obviously this is also the case for Chapter 13, ‘Digital↔analog conversion’, which has no subsequent experiment.
As you work through the exercises, you will find focus questions and detailed instructions indicated by the symbol ‘ ’. Key concepts for each exercise will be denoted by the symbol ‘ ’. Finally, the standard system of units for electronics is the MKS system. Although you may occasionally run across other unit systems, we adhere strictly to the MKS standard.
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