Cookbook section

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Wendy, May 15, 2008.

  1. Wendy

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    I was thinking, which is always getting me into trouble, how hard would it be to add a cookbook to the experiments section, or maybe a section unto itself? It could also be a master album instead.

    My thought is certain circuits keep repeating themselves. The experiments section comes close, but it is for beginners (mostly, I've found it facinating reading in many places). What I'm thinking about is an area where people can post schematics with the following provisions, 1> they have to have built and tested the circuit, 2> they post their name and date to the circuit to show it has been tested.

    The projects collectiion also comes close to this, but it is hard to find details. Perhaps the schematic in question links to the projects collection? I'm brainstorming here, it is just a thought. Every college library I've found has cookbooks, and when I've priced them for personal purchase (which has been decades ago) they are EXPENSIVE.

    As with the book this would be a long term project. What do you think folks?
     
  2. beenthere

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    The idea has a lot of merit. Out Circuits Collection is not well organized, nor does it cover a number of fundamental circuits that can be building blocks to further understanding and experimentation. It would enhance the AAC mission of electronics education.

    On the down side is the time to vet submitted circuits. Insure nothing infringes on copyrights and that the list of components is standardized - things like that.
     
  3. Wendy

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    The more I think about it the more I like the master album idea, albums have a place where links could be placed and it allows for segregation between types of circuits. I'm not sure how we would handle the copyright problems, other than firm enforcement. Perhaps only the mods could submit to the album, but we draw from the Circuits Collection.

    As for standardized components, links to data sheets come to mind, possibly vendors (though this is tricky). Given the nature of the internet any source could dry up in weeks without notice, so maybe the data sheet would have to suffice.

    I would say pre-planning the layout of the album (if we decide to do this and that is the way we go) would be the critical step. After that it should be pretty easy, if it adds to the mods workload too much then maybe we could let some of the old hands help maintain it, sort of a sub moderator catagory.

    Goes without saying there would also have to be a terms of service to address copyright, and the ability to remove or retire anything that was challanged on this basis. We would also get a start simply by copying the schematics from the experiments area with the appropriate links to the experiments page it matches.
     
  4. beenthere

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    There is all of that, plus accurate component lists. With the push for RoHS, some items just vanish for months, which makes it a challenge to maintain such a list. I can't imagine it all the way down to catalog part numbers.
     
  5. SgtWookie

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    Jul 17, 2007
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    It's an enticing idea, but also one rife with hazards.

    This is a global BBS, with roots in the UK. No matter which country's standards of schematic symbols or preferred parts you choose to impose, those from outside that particular community will scream like stuck piglets, then waddle away in a huff.

    If something like this were to even be seriously considered, the first (and perhaps most valuable) thing that needs to be set up is a cross-reference for similar parts that are available in other parts of the world. Even this in itself would be an enormous undertaking, aside from the most obvious parts.

    Either that, or works submitted for approval must have multiple alternate semiconductor components that will work in the circuit.

    Of course, that may eliminate useful circuits for those who CAN obtain the parts.

    So, where's the win here?

    Just food for thought.
     
  6. Wendy

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    Truth, when I was a student learning, availability of parts wasn't a concern. I was studing the schematics in cookbooks to glean techniques. With that in mind the only thing that you would need after that is the data sheet I would think. Back in the late 70's a there were still a lot of tube designs floating around. I never seriously considered building them, but I studied them never the less.

    If a schematic has been tested then they (the parts) were available not too long ago, so that would be a minority problem. I've noticed a lot of "standards" have been drying up anyhow, nothing we can do about it.

    As to other standards, folks better get used to it, because the issue isn't going away, and with the global internet is only going to get worse before it gets better.

    I'm not wedded to the idea of a cookbook mind you, it was just a thought.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2008
  7. Dave

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    Before I make any comments on this, can I ask do we have an example of what these cookbooks look like; I'm not going to lie, I have never come across the term "cookbook" other than the "VHDL cookbook" but I might know these under a different name. Once I can appreciate what is being asked then I'll give my 2 pence.

    Thanks.

    Dave
     
  8. beenthere

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    One title that comes to mind is "The Sourcebook of Electronic Circuits". It was probably published in the early 1960's, as it has mostly vacuum tube and germanium transistor examples. It's in the local library along with a similar but slightly more modern volume.

    They both have thousands of example circuits. Some examples are handy if you have any 800 series DTL chips still around.
     
  9. Wendy

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    I've never seen them out of my college setting. I vaugely remember 1001 circuits being a possible title, but I wouldn't swear to it. Back in the late 70's I belonged to an electronics book club, these books of circuit schematics tended to be hyper expensive, so the college library was the only place I ever saw them. I don't think my local library has anything like that, I looked around last time I was there (following up on another thread looking for a book on transformers).

    Back then, while I was in high school, my Dad's standard phrase when his TV reception when to crap was to yell "turn it off". We lived in the deep country and had to fight for any TV signal, so the various oscillators and early digital projects almost always generated interferance.

    I remember RTL circuits, but TTL was king at the time.
     
  10. Dave

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    Anyone have a copy of Art of Electronics to hand? Are we looking at something like the "Circuit ideas" section at the end of each chapter?

    Dave
     
  11. recca02

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  12. Wendy

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    Yeah, pretty close, but the books I messed with didn't bother with PCB drawings. During the era of tubes (valves) everything was hand wired anyhow.

    If there was a way of stepping through the Projects Collection by schematic the end result would be very similar. I think we're talking organization more than anything.

    If you go through my PaintCAD section in my blog you'll see a folder labeled cookbook as well as a sheet with some schematics drawn on it. Basically it is a fingertip reference of schematics.

    I don't think it would be practical if the albums hadn't made their debut.
     
  13. Dave

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    Thanks for the link recca.

    Ok, I'm a little clearer on what is being asked by a "cookbook", and now have a new word in my vocabulary!

    This is not unlike something mozikluv mentioned many moons ago about having an area on the site for "dumping" (for want of a better expression) circuits that members of AAC had designed. In part this was one of the ideas from which we came up with the Projects Collection forum where people could submit projects, circuits etc, and allow members to comment and suggest improvements. The PC has proved successful in its aims of centralising projects in a single area and developing those projects (there are many revisions to the projects posted and we have even withdrawn projects after they were critically analysed not to work). Because of its implementation as a forum, it does suffer from a lack of organisation, but that was never how it was intended to work.

    As for adding into the e-book, there may be issues with the controllability aspects of this idea. Several years back we floated the idea of the e-book going "semi-wiki" - this was knocked back for several reasons and the forums are the focal point where the e-book is modified and added to, however these corrections and additions are centrally controlled by Dennis. This is primarily a quality issue, and also we are control-freaks!! :D

    Ok, so what other options are there? The blogs feature offers the capability to post up your own circuits, however to this end it suffers from the same organisational issues that the forums do in that they can get lost in a midst of other blog postings. If anything the Projects Collection is a better method as at least that forum is dedicated to projects and circuits.

    Other options? Perhaps. There is a project management add-on for vB, however we may not have a license for that. This may provide the ability for a set group of members (who those members might be would need to be decided) to post up and manage a circuits cookbook as a semi-wiki. I would need to look into how this feature works in more detail and ensure we have a license for it before putting this on the table as a serious option.

    Other than that it would be looking at other such (and perhaps bespoke) options, however I would not like to state the feasibility of these on the resources we have available here at AAC.

    There is the room on the server for such a thing (please correct me if I'm wrong Rob), however this may be restricted by the level of interest there is in implementing such a feature across the community. If the interest is limited then we might suggest that a quasi-cookbook be best implemented using the existing channels (Projects Collection and Blogs).

    I'm pretty open minded about it.

    Dave
     
  14. Dave

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    Having looked at it I don't think the Projects add-on for vBulletin would be suitable.

    Dave
     
  15. Wendy

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    Naw, I rejected that after about the 3rd post. If you centralize the schematics with links the rest would follow. I don't think it would take that much room, but I could be wrong.

    One nice thing about a blog though, I can do this myself if I get a wild hair.

    Would it be possible to set up an album that can be shared I wonder?
     
  16. Dave

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    Yes, a (Social) Group could be set-up that runs the Cookbook: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/faq.php?faq=vb3_user_profile#faq_vb3_social_groups

    I'll try and dig some more information out of the Social Groups feature in vB.

    Dave
     
  17. Dave

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  18. Dave

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    Ok, Bill I've just had a brief play around with uploading a circuit to the Cookbook Test Group. The circuits must be uploaded from albums of members of that group. As you can see the schematic and parts list is mirrored from your own personal album:

    Schematic and BOM in Cookbook Test Group: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/group.php?do=picture&groupid=1&pictureid=11

    And the corresponding schematic in my album: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/album.php?albumid=4&pictureid=11

    The Comments section is only open to members of the group and as you can see you will be able to list parts and materials, plus any additional information, theory, or tips. In my example I have just added a parts list.

    If you look at the album on the Group homepage you can see the schematic and hovering over the schematic provides the circuit name. Clicking the schematic takes you to the circuit and comments page (as above). It would be nice to have the title of the circuit displayed on the Group homepage below the schematic thumbnail (as opposed to having to hover over the thumbnail), however this is a setting I can play about with.

    There are other settings I would like to play around with.

    Is this materialising in the way you had envisaged for a circuits cookbook? Comments are welcome.

    Dave
     
  19. Wendy

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    Mar 24, 2008
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    I'm not clear on Social Groups, but it looks promising. One of the things I remember about cookbooks was how they grouped the schematics according to classifications. I'm going to throw out some classifications (think in terms of chapters if this were a book) but I suspect this will need a lot of tweaking.

    I don't know if the basic albums allow for it, but the ability to move drawings around within the folders in the albums would be handy. No big deal either way, but we'll find out.

    OK, I'll start the classifications idea rolling...


    555 Circuits (this would take precidence over other classifications if it uses a 555 or 556)
    Audio Amps
    Audio Oscillators
    Digital
    Instrumentation
    PICs and CPU
    Recievers
    Transmitters
    Video

    Sheesh I'm missing huge swaths of ideas here, and some of it could be removed and never be missed. Any other ideas?

    I still think the Projects Collection forum would be the place to put the details, the schematics are just the introduction, parts lists and specifications would go in the forum, or the experiments. We might even have links going to outside the site if it were appropriate, although this is a last option, if such a link were used it would be better in the forum in case it breaks.

    Again, I think it ought to be a hard rule that all circuits posted have to have built by someone. More than that is optional.
     
  20. Dave

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    Ok, Bill I had a play around with the Social Groups (SG) feature and had a muse on my findings yesterday.

    To answer your question about organising circuits within a group, I'm afraid the SG feature doesn't allow that on a per group basis - all pictures within a group are lumped in the same album collection.

    So having thought about the SG feature, which incidentally I don't think we would use as described in the FAQ, and your suggested titles for organising circuits I thought why not turn the SG feature into the Cookbook, see a brief mock-up I have made here based on your suggestions - we can revamp this into more appropriate groups and descriptions later: http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/group.php

    Each group would be a separate section in the Cookbook (therefore appropriately organising the circuits), and members could be invited to join the groups to contribute circuits (we can flesh out these details later).

    Is this a bit better organised? And is this more akin to what you are envisaging?

    The more I look into this concept, the more I am liking it.

    Dave
     
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