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Want to learn Circuit/Electronics Need Help

  1. Apr 18, 2005 #1
    I am a mechanical engineer, I have only taken one undergrad course in circuit analysis, which covered only up to simple LRC AC circuits. In my current research, I need to know some circuit/electronics concepts and working principles of amplifiers, mixers, filters and impedence matching, etc.
    I am completely clueless, I don't even know where to get start. Can someone please point me to books/website/online lecture notes etc? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2005 #2
    I'm a MEchanical engineering major too, but im doing Physics too. A course I'm taking now is really helping me a lot with my knowledge of circuits and I feel like its a must have for any good ME guy.
    The Textbook were using for it is "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill. I think it's a pretty good book as a reference, but if I was trying to learn about electronics i wouldnt stick to a book.
    The best way to learn this sorta thing is practically. There's like a zillion different circuits that you can build and almost as many types of circuits. You really need to be specific.
    I think it pays to know what you want to do with it before you start doing anything and then just find circuits that do what you want them to do. Most of them are really specific and have a unique character that you have to sit there and study to understand.
    If I were you, I'd get ready to use my kirchoff loop & junction rules a lot. I dont think an engineer would need to know much beyond really simple Integrated circuits, transistors, voltage dividers and perhaps RC filters.
    Voltage Dividers and RC filters are extremely simple, but they're definitely a good place to start if you want to learn something about circuits. The RC filters especially are really simple but have some pretty radical properties (they can integrate functions at certain frequencies).
    After that You'll want to learn about Diodes, they are pretty cool and have some practical value (find out what a full wave rectifier is).
    And then After that You'll want to learn about transistors. Start with Bi-Polar Junction Transistors, then move on to Field Effect Transistors (MOSFET's and JFET's). At this point you can make a pretty simple amplifier, but you want to learn about Operational Amplifiers eventually.
    The preceding bunch of paragraphs are pretty much the way my electronics course was taught, We were supposed to cover logic circuits but there wasnt enough time in the course to do it. I think that what I already have leaves me in pretty good shape to pursue further electronics and I think it'll leave you in pretty good shape in that regard as well.
    After that, you can probably just go on the net and look up schematics for stuff and just put it together, test it up and do ur thing. I have to admit though, it feels like I couldnt have done this on my own, but I would have needed the course to give me the jumpstart in electronics to see what it's all about. Still, if you're motivated, you could probably do it.
    Personally, I'm dying to learn more about Integrated Circuits's and how to control electric motors with them, I like the idea of using a computer to control motors on like a robot or something. I have 3 stepper motors just sitting in my room waiting for some sort of control circuit to run them with.
    What is it that you want to do with circuits?
  4. Apr 25, 2005 #3
    interface your computer with SN754410NE

    If you want to bang away at your stepper motors, just have a look at SN754410NE intergrated circuits from TI.
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