Understand Electronics

Overview

Grasp the fundamental concepts of electronics as well as its more complex principles—no previous experience required!

Offering support and clarity throughout, Understand Electronics covers everything from voltage, dividers and resisors to logic gates and Boolean algebra. You will gain a solid understanding and feel confident in demonstrating your knowledge.

  • One, five and ten-minute introductions to key ...
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Overview

Grasp the fundamental concepts of electronics as well as its more complex principles—no previous experience required!

Offering support and clarity throughout, Understand Electronics covers everything from voltage, dividers and resisors to logic gates and Boolean algebra. You will gain a solid understanding and feel confident in demonstrating your knowledge.

  • One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.
  • Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author’s many years of experience.
  • Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.
  • Extra online articles at teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of electronics.
  • The key concepts are demonstrated through practical projects.
  • The carefully designed diagrams cement your understanding.
  • Author Dr. Malcolm Plant is an authoritive voice with extensive teaching and research experience.

Topics include:

Electronics today and yesterday;

The basis of electronics;

Simple circuits and switches;

Signals and systems;

Potential dividers and resistors;

Timers,

oscillators and capacitators;

Rectification and diodes;

Amplifiers and transistors;

Logic gates and Boolean algebra;

Flip-flops and counters; Displays,

encoders and decoders;

Binary and hexadecimal arithmetic;

Memories and silicon chips;

Control systems;

Instrumentation systems;

Telecommunications systems

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071740012
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/19/2010
  • Series: Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 444,689
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Plant's interest in electronics began in his school days when he, together with a friend, built radios and gadgets from government surplus electronic equipment. He went on to receive his Masters degree in experimental space physics at Leicester University, where he investigated sensors for use in X-ray telescopes and astronomy. He now works as a university lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.

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Table of Contents

Meet the author xi

Only got a minute? xiv

Only got five minutes? xvi

1 Electronics today and yesterday 1

1.1 The electronic age 1

1.2 Consumer electronics 2

1.3 Communications electronics 5

1.4 Computer electronics 7

1.5 Control electronics 8

1.6 Medical electronics 9

1.7 Looking back 11

1.8 The discovery of cathode rays 12

1.9 The invention of the thermionic value 13

1.10 The beginnings of radio and television 14

1.11 Radar and the Second World War 14

1.12 The invention of the transistor 15

1.13 Silicon chips make an impact 17

2 The atomic roots of electronics 20

2.1 Electrons in atoms 20

2.2 Atomic structure 22

2.3 Conductors, insulators and semiconductors 24

2.4 Silicon atoms 25

2.5 n-type and p-type semiconductors 26

3 Simple circuits and switches 32

3.1 Making electrons move 32

3.2 Series and parallel circuits 34

3.3 Resistance and Ohm's law 36

3.4 Large and small numbers 39

3.5 Types of switch 40

3.6 Simple digital circuits 44

3.7 Using switches 47

4 Signals and systems 53

4.1 Direct current and alternating current 53

4.2 The multimeter 56

4.3 The oscilloscope 59

4.4 Black boxes 65

4.5 Electronic systems 66

4.6 Analogue and digital systems 68

5 Voltage dividers and resistors 71

5.1 The potential divider 71

5.2 Resistors in series and parallel 73

5.3 Fixed-value and variable resistors 76

5.4 Values and coding of resistors 78

5.5 Power ratings of resistors 80

5.6 Special types of resistor 82

5.7 The Wheatstone bridge 85

5.8 The strain gauge 87

6 Capacitors, timers and oscillators 91

6.1 What timers and oscillators do 91

6.2 The way a capacitor works 93

6.3 Units of capacitance 94

6.4 Types of capacitor 95

6.5 Capacitors in parallel and series 98

6.6 Charging and discharging capacitors 100

6.7 The 555 timer monostable 103

6.8 The 555 timer astable 106

7 Diodes and rectification 111

7.1 What diodes do 111

7.2 The p-n junction 112

7.3 Using diodes as rectifiers 116

7.4 Zener diodes as voltage regulators 119

7.5 The light-emitting diode (LED) 125

7.6 Power control with thyristors and triacs 127

8 Amplifiers and transistors 134

8.1 What amplifiers do 134

8.2 Audio amplifiers 136

8.3 The bandwidth of an amplifier 137

8.4 The decibel 138

8.5 Types of transistor 142

8.6 How bipolar transistors work 144

8.7 How field-effect transistors work 147

8.8 Transistors as electronic switches 150

9 Logic gates and Boolean algebra 158

9.1 What logic gates do 158

9.2 Symbols and truth tables of logic gates 160

9.3 Introducing Boolean algebra 163

9.4 The universal NAND gate 165

9.5 Logic families 167

9.6 Decision-making logic circuits 170

10 Flip-flops and counters 178

10.1 What flip-flops do 178

10.2 Making binary counters from flip-flops 181

10.3 Frequency dividers and counters 185

10.4 Binary adders 189

11 Displays, encoders and decoders 194

11.1 Analogue and digital displays 194

11.2 The seven-segment LED display 195

11.3 The liquid crystal display (LCD) 197

11.4 Decoders and encoders 199

11.5 Multiplexing seven-segment displays 203

12 Memories and silicon chips 207

12.1 Introduction 207

12.2 Random-access memory (RAM) 208

12.3 Static and dynamic RAM 210

12.4 Read-only memory (ROM) 211

12.5 Flash memory 212

12.6 Gallium arsenide 214

12.7 Moore's law 215

12.8 Making a silicon chip 216

12.9 Packaging silicon chips 222

13 Op amps and control systems 224

13.1 The basic features of control systems 224

13.2 The design of a simple thermostat 226

13.3 The design of a simple servosystem 228

13.4 The basic properties of op amps 229

13.5 Using op amps as comparators 233

13.6 The role of the feedback resistor 235

13.7 The stepper motor 237

13.8 Digital-to-analogue converters 239

13.9 Peripheral interface controllers (PIC) 245

14 Op amps and instrumentation systems 250

14.1 Electronics and measurement 250

14.2 Thermocouples and Geiger tubes 251

14.3 Designing voltage amplifiers with op amps 255

14.4 Analogue-to-digital converters 261

15 Telecommunications systems 270

15.1 Introduction 270

15.2 The electromagnetic spectrum 272

15.3 Uses of radio waves 275

15.4 AM and FM modulation 278

15.5 Bandwidth 281

15.6 Radio transmitters and receivers 284

15.7 Digital radio and TV 289

15.8 Plasma and LCD TV screens 292

15.9 The CCD camera 293

15.10 Fibre optics communications 296

15.11 Pulse code modulation (PCM) 299

16 Projects 305

16.1 Introduction 305

16.2 Project 1: Circuit Tester 309

16.3 Project 2: Dark/Light Switch 315

16.4 Project 3: Games Timer 317

16.5 Project 4: Rain Check 320

16.6 Project 5: Frost Alert 322

16.7 Project 6: Simple Die 325

16.8 Project 7: Simple AM Radio 327

Answers to the Test Yourself questions 330

Taking it further 339

Glossary 341

Index 369

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