learning anolgue electronic

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by diablo39, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. diablo39

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 23, 2011
    learning circuit design
    i have reviewed some subjects from uni course in electrical engineering, after some years of completing, what i found was that i easily understand digital, software, microprocessor, instrumentation and fairly understood control engineering.

    But i still really struggle with anologue electronics, but i now wish to understand better from bottom up, and i have been using proteus to simulate circuits and try design circuits with some succes and some failures. i want to get simple lab together and do some actual experiments to better understand how circuits work and how individual component effect circuits. i do sometimes find proteus very good, but unsure. i wish to be able to look at circuit and have some intuition how that circuit works instead just knowing the maths and analtytical theaory behind the design.

    so my questions are.

    does anyone have any experceince of this and how did they go about it.
    were should i start with learning analogue elctronics what subjects are most relevant for this current date.

    also another question seperate to this i have reviewed common emitter ampifiler design and feel i have better understanding just in theory, but looking at one tutorial when come to the end of the subject it suggested that common emitter is hard to design in that when built it seldom works as you wish, also
    the suggestion was that universities colleges spend alot time on this subject as so student can better understand how transistor works, and that these ampilfers are hardly used in designs, and that ampilfers are rarely designed with discerete components, and that op amp was mainly used now in indrustry and comercail electronics, just wondering how true this is. ​
  2. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    You start with batteries, light bulbs, voltage, current, resistance and Ohm's Law.
  3. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    Not true, if you don't understand basic transistors and electronics you can't understand how op amps work or why.

    It's been my experience that most people who don't understand analog electronics are the ones who denigrate it as "unnecessary". Teachers at universities may do it because they are lazy or don't understand it themselves.

    Even had a CEO named Brian Halla who came to run National Semiconductor who understood absolutely nothing about analog, which was horrible since NS was built on analog and it was their main revenue engine. Halla planned to sell the analog business and build a microprocessor company (Cyrix) and beat Intel at their own game. It was a $3 BILLION disaster, the company barely survived. IMHO, understanding analog is a pre requisite to understanding anything in electronics.
  4. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    It may be rather hard to teach "intuition" about analog (you'll have to pardon my U.S. spelling of that word) electronics. A lot of that likely comes with experience in designing such circuits.

    Designing with discrete transistors is interesting, but the best place to start is likely with op amps, since they are rather the "Swiss Army Knife" of analog electronics. There are many cook book circuits on the web for all kinds of op amp circuits and you might look at them and try to figure out how they work by inspection without any calculations. The key is to remember that, if the op amp circuit has negative feedback, then it will always try to adjust the output so that there is no (or very small) voltage difference between the plus and minus inputs. Using that you can determine what the output of the op amp will be for any input.

    After you make a stab at what you think the output versus input looks like, then simulate the circuit to see how close you were. Look at the voltages at various nodes in the circuit to help understand what is happening.

    It's true that discrete transistor design is not so common anymore. But they are still used in some audio power amps, power supplies, and RF circuits, for example. So understanding their operation (both BJTs and MOSFETs) in various circuits is necessary.

    Hope that helps you some. :)
  5. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    I am not specialized for analog, so my analog circuits are not always professional. However, over the years, I have downloaded many datasheets, and particulary old books about transistors and valves circuits.

    Not to speak of the countless websites I visited.

    The key to analog electronics is the ability to read these charts inside the datasheets. Similar like the parameters for digital chips, which you also need to understand.

    If you don't understand all of the charts instantly, that's pretty normal.

    But you also should be aware there are professionals out there, for instance I saw some papers dealing with microwave telephony. The math for that is quite tough.

    For digital, you can (if you wanted to) treat an 8-bit literal really as a binary polynominal (and deal with all the associated math), but in daily programming life, you don't even need to know about that.

    Many of the big semiconductor vendors have interesting datasheets and electronic books available (search for so-called appnotes or application notes). You may wonder but if you really search a lot, you even find PDFs for quite common components. I have accumulated some 3000 PDFs, relating to nearly 500,000 individual pages.

    Far too much to memorize all of it literally! Usually I don't do much math (professionals need to go into it), but I like to have related information available, if I wanted to, or needed to.

    Most commercial circuits these days are a mix of digital and analog!

    Also the gap between a commercial design and common hobby circuits is quite big. If you really want to do a professional analog circuit some day, be prepared it won't be easy, and it may include loads of obscure maths.
  6. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    Yes I follow what you mean with that.
    Many colleges and universities maintain kind of an approach that has not much to do with current commercial technology. If you want to work in that area, it might not be of much use for that, or it even might be counterproductive.

    Think of a college where they do MSDOS programming exercizes, and lengthy studies about assembler. It will give you some foundation, but then if you write Windows software, you need at least 1/2 a year to understand the very basics.

    I think colleges and universities should require some kind of pre-requisite, for instance transistor circuits, Ohms law etc., these things can be learned privately. And then actually deal with real-world technology.

    I have recently read, the total "torque" of a particular course is often determined by the weakest students. The lessons are designed or adjusted so these are still able to follow.

    Later some people may think all this college and university stuff was pretty trivial. There are exceptions to that, usually directly relating to the price tag.

    To get a feeling for transistors, or even to understand them, it is not neccessary to understand a particular circuit. Myself, I would need to consult papers to build even a simple amplifier. Well, you can think of it, let say, some people just SELL transistors, they don't build actual circuits. It is still beneficiary if they have a good overall feeling and understanding for transistors (Or let say, they understand what an OpAmp is doing, for what applications it is used, without really to know the details).

    On the other hand, there are really bright genius-type people, who understand all the math easily. Their risk is they may specialize too much, and become embedded in pages loathing with formula that only a few mortal people can understand. And they might not even be so bright actually selling or marketing the components or designs.

    All this plays together pretty well, or sometimes not so well (you can observe many companies disappearing, merged, sold, etc.)

    It is not unusual the marketing guys will make mistakes that relate to lack of understanding, information, knowledge of detail, and insufficient communications. Marketing people (managers) are usually obsessed with weird slogans humanity has not yet heard of!

    Some of these new ideas will make it, some of them will disappear quickly!
  7. Lundwall_Paul


    Oct 18, 2011
    The US Navy has an electronic training manuals that are free and avaliable on line.
    Google "navy electronics training manual"
  8. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    Neets - Naval Electrical Engineering Training Series
  9. electron_prince


    Sep 19, 2012
    MIT lecture videos are online. They are so good. I recently found them.
  10. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Not sure about the previous comments.

    I teach analog and digital electronics. We begin with circuits and Ohm's Law, diodes, power supplies, transistors, opamps, comparators, filters, 555 timer, monostables.
    Then we move on to Boolean Algebra, logic gates, and microprocessors, asm and C programming, D/A, A/D, digital signal processing, FFT and Matlab.

    What more would you like to learn?
  11. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008