Electronics in Excel

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by To Be Confirmed, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
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    Hi guys,

    Brand new to this website, so hi everyone!

    I've just been given a project and as I am still doing my HNC it has gone straight over my head!! If I post the general question up on here could you all try and give me a few pointers etc. would be much appreciated :)

    Thanks,
    Corey
     
  2. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    Would help if I added the question.

    "Could you develop an electronics demonstration package in Excel? i.e. Can you develop several different circuits in Excel that demonstrate different electronics principles? If you cannot design at least three circuits of your own, you would need a comprehensive collection of circuits and a very good report on the reasoning for their selection.
    You could then discuss the merits of using excel as an introductory electronics tool, the design of your circuits (or analysis of why the circuits were chosen) and the challenges of programming this way."

    Anything will help.

    Cheers,
    Corey
     
  3. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,100
    3,034
    Welcome to the AAC forum.

    Here's a pointer: Be as specific as possible and post schematics or diagrams if you can. A picture is worth several forum pages. Another pointer - don't expect others to do your homework. ;)
     
  4. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    I'm not expecting it to be done for me, I just need a push in the right direction. Once I have a basic idea of what is expected I should be fine.
     
  5. praondevou

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jul 9, 2011
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  6. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,432
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    Yes, you can use Excel to demonstrate principles in electronics.
    Let us take a trivial example, Ohm's Law.

    Ohm's Law states that the current flowing in a resistor is proportional to the voltage across the resistor and inversely proportional to the resistance.

    In math, we can say, I = V/R

    Now we can use Excel to demonstrate this. The user can alter both V and R and observe how the current I is affected.
     
  7. KJ6EAD

    Senior Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    1,425
    363
    I've used Excel in the past to graph bode plots of data sets for circuits that were simulated in Multisim such as active filters.

    Here's an example of good electronic application of Excel that I've been using recently unrelated to the above:
    http://www.onsemi.com/pub/Collateral/MC34063%20DWS.XLS
     
  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,100
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    The short answer is NO, that's not what Excel does. But I suppose what your instructor means is to develop circuit SIMULATIONS in Excel, with outputs reacting to the inputs. It's still hugely vague, but you could model all sorts of things like the diode equation, the effect of load on an RC filter ripple (a topic on this forum not long ago), power lost to heat for various common circuits. I once made a sine wave plotter to look at 3-phase power and to convince myself that the middle pole is "ground". And I played with adding sine waves together to make beating interference patterns. Really, the sky's the limit. Maybe the instructor is just looking for the textbook RC, LC, RLC circuits implemented in Excel?
     
  9. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    Cheers guys, great help!

    I've only got just over 2 weeks to finish this so I need to get it started and finished pretty quick. What do you recommend I use in there? Would you say I should throw one or two easier ones in (i.e Ohms Law) and then a few more complicated at the end?
     
  10. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,432
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    There are a whole bunch of things you could do.
    Ohms Law I = V/R
    Power P = IV
    time-constant = RC
    frequency, wavelength, impedance, frequency response of first order LP, HP filters etc.
    inductance of a coil
    resonance frequency of LCR circuit
    T and Pi impedance matching attenuation circuits
     
  11. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Judging by the fact you've got two weeks, I've got to ask - how much are you expected to do? A page? Five? Also, what level is this for?

    If you think about these things, it might become clearer to yourself what you have to do.

    If not, let us know and I'm sure someone could help!:D
     
  12. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
     
  13. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    I'm afraid I can't really suggest how much to write - I don't the course/instructor/reasoning behind it as you do. If I was, for example writing an English Essay to review To Kill a Mockingbird for my teacher to confirm my understanding of it half way through a term, I'd feel quite happy doing 2-4 sides of paper. But if it was an essay on the same subject, counting towards my GCSE, A level or whatever, I'd put alot more effort in - perhaps doubling the amount I wrote in the first essay.

    Do you see how the amount can vary for exactly the same question and essay, depending on its situation? I think you should consider how many pages you'd be happy to hand in without thinking "I've done too little" or "I've done waaaay too much."

    Depending on the answer will let us know how many and what type of topics to suggest to you.:)
     
  14. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    Well just by going by the fact that I have only got two weeks then I can't see the demand for it being very lengthy. In all I've got 2 weeks to get these spreadsheets all up and running and to also write up a report on the project.

    Nothing too complicated but something I can talk about and summarise is what I need really. I would say if I could get 4-5 spreadsheets up and running then that would be a great base. Any time I have left then, I can just work on adding more.

    It's the report which is going to be time consuming as I'd say I would be looking to write (on average) at least 2 pages on each spreadsheet.
     
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  15. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Okay, here's a good one. It's for a 555 timer in astable.

    It's good as there are a number of inputs and equations for what is basically the same thing. It's really easy to link them together which many examiners like.

    I've attached a dead simple diagram and here are a few equations to get you started.

    frequency, time high and time low are a few examples.


     
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  16. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    Thats great thanks, will be perfect for my project.

    Can I just clarify that the variables in frequency are:
    • 144
    • C
    • R
    • R1
    • 2(R2)
    I will add this one in and a few that I've already been trying out!!

    Thanks again
     
  17. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    417
    Er - look closer!

    1.44 isn't a variable - it's a constant. Make sure it's 1.44 - some strange answers will come out otherwise!

    There isn't a variable R, R1 and R2 are labels, not 2 lots of R, for example.

    2(R2) - only R2 is a variable. The 2 is another constant.
     
  18. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Clearly this is one point you could referr to in your essay - that Excel doesn't allow you to create a component based simulation - just a mathematical based one.

    It's very easy for one tiny thing (like that missed decimal point) to make the simulation very unreliable. Although in this case it would result in a very different frequency, a miss-placed decimal could cause real damage to components and people - something which is to be avoided in the real world!

    Therefore, it's important to be methodical and mathematically minded when using a programme like Excel to 'create' circuits.
     
  19. To Be Confirmed

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 18, 2011
    14
    1
    Sorry, looking back on my post I completely messed it up!!


    My screen wouldn't show it properly so I couldn't see the . in 1.44. All the others I really had no need to ask about but just did for some reason :/ and messed it up even more!

    I'll start again from previous.

    Thanks a lot, got all the info I need :D
     
  20. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
    834
    417
    Let me know how you get on!

    Any problems - don't hesitate asking!:)
     
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