What is the best way to get better at analog design?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by kingdano, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    Is necessity really the mother of all learning and invention?

    Or are there good example based books out there that i can work through to build some skills?

    What kind of things should every electronics guy know how to use - what are some of the more versatile and useful devices one can master (ie 555 timer, LM117/317 etc)

    Any advice for a path to work down would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. royourboat

    New Member

    Apr 15, 2010
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    Hey mate,

    I'm not the one to give advice as I am in the same boat. However, FWIW, read the 'Art of Electronics', Horowitz & Hill.

    Most people feel it is the electronics bible. Currently the third edition is expected June 2011, and the second ed is 10yo. However that won't matter much as I see elsewhere you have an Electronics Degree.

    There's a student manual for the book, both have been used to teach practical electronics at Harvard for donkey years, so its safe spending IMO.

    And of course build yourself stuff.

    Necessity and want are similar. I want a home alarm and automatic blinds (for a dark evening and light morning). An old employer wants an old broken wireless doorbell modified to flash the lights (to alert a deaf employee that someone is at the door). (Quite beyond me for the moment!).

    Well, thats more or less the track I am taking.
     
  3. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
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    I'd recommend playing with a simulator like LTSpice. No chance of letting the smoke out of anything and quicker than breadboarding. Or just use as a sanity check before making the circuits.
     
  4. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    i was planning on going through an applications note i found from national semi that had a ton of op-amp circuits in it, and trying to push various signals through and seeing the output, just to try and grasp the actual behavior.

    in addition to op-amps id like to explore active filters as well - found another app note to guide me there.

    i have heard of that electronics bible before as well..but isnt that a tough read? must be very dry stuff, i need to be engaged to stick with reading.
     
  5. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    Many of us who are doing well in electronics love electronics. It is never dry but instead it is very interesting.
    Maybe you are in the wrong career for your interests.
     
  6. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    Precisely why I joined an electronics forum and asked for advice!

    Because I dont like my career!


    Seriously, instead of trying to be such a negative nancy, why not offer advice or not post anything at all.

    I enjoy problem solving, I like designing circuits...reading a 500 page book about them? Maybe not how id like to spend my free time.
     
  7. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
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    I would agree with that. Simply grinding through a text with no application is pretty much a waste of time. Every time you read something that catches your interest, you will want to build something to see how it works, or you start a project and have to hit the books to learn enough to make it work. After some years, you will have learned a lot (and got through the book).
     
  8. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    You should start with the e-book located at the top of every page here at AAC.

    Then look in to getting some of the Engineer's Mini Notebooks authored by Forest M. Mimms III. They are invaluable books and great references.

    I ordered mine through his website.

    http://www.forrestmims.com/

    Here is his org site with good info:

    http://www.forrestmims.org

    Click on publications for a list of.....publications. ;)
     
  9. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    i have come across his books an amazon before, i will check them out now that i have a referral.
     
  10. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    really, i just wanted to say great sig.

    hardware first!
     
  11. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    His book: Timer, OpAmp & Optoelectronic Circuits & Projects, Gives you projects to build as you read and learn.. It is Volume 1 in the series. Very Good. It will increase your "excitement" to learn, because as you book-learn, you build a circuit that you hold IN YOUR HANDS and see it work. The feeling of accomplishment and 'I can do this' will drive you along.

    And he is a genius and all around good guy, so you will get a good education from it.

    You should also purchase volume 4 to keep on hand. It is titled: Electronic Formulas, Symbols & Circuits

    That is a good reference to help understand what is going on around you in Schematics, wiring diagrams and the such.

    I have both sitting in arms reach.
     
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  12. jbeng

    Member

    Sep 10, 2006
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    If you want to learn about op-amps, active filters and such, get a copy of "IC Op-amp Cookbook" by Walter Jung. It's from the 70's, but it's full of good stuff.
     
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  13. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    I subscribed to all the electronics magazines. I read every issue of The Audio Engineering Society from about 1970 to 1989 when I left the company I worked for.
    I read nearly every applications note that I could find. All very interesting.
     
  14. Bychon

    Member

    Mar 12, 2010
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    I taught myself electronics by reading National Semi app notes and data sheets, then looking at the drawings and figuring out how the internal circuits worked. I'm still missing some education, but that's what forums are for...aren't they?
     
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  15. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    True. Thats what they are for. for filling in the gaps between theory and reality.
     
  16. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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  17. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
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    Bah.. What good what that do? ;)
     
  18. Audioguru

    New Member

    Dec 20, 2007
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    We have many students coming here and asking about the lousy old 741 and LM324 opamps. The teachers have not advanced then maybe their students also will not advance.
     
  19. ELECTRONERD

    Senior Member

    May 26, 2009
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    That is an interesting idea, although I think that the reason teachers use those op amps is to improve their students problem solving techniques. It would be very difficult to manage with those particular op amps, especially under challenging requirements. This will result in teaching the students valuable methods they might need to apply in the future.

    Austin
     
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  20. kingdano

    Thread Starter Member

    Apr 14, 2010
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    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
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