Everything for Electronics

Oscillators, Statistics, Q, and Muons

In this article, you'll learn about "Q" as it applies to assessing an oscillator. We’ll show a technique for measuring Q for a variety of oscillators, and see how it can be used to compare their performance.

LEDs for Operational Status and Troubleshooting

Even when a circuit functions as it’s supposed to, it’s not always easy to tell what it’s doing. Plus, waiting for an output (especially if there’s a long delay involved) is not always practical. Conversely, if a circuit does not function, the only means to find out what’s wrong is to troubleshoot it with either a multimeter or oscilloscope. Wouldn’t it be great if the circuit itself could tell us more directly what’s wrong?

Circuit Simulation Made Easy

After reading the May-June 2018 NV article on Ohm’s law, I thought a follow-up article that goes a little deeper might be in order. Specifically, how Ohm’s Law together with a computer and a couple of tricks can be used to calculate the time dependence of much more complex circuits involving not just resistors but capacitors, inductors, op-amps ... you name it! In this article, I’ll describe a simple numerical method that is intuitive and solves many complex problems with just a few lines of code. No simulator needed!

CNC Routers: Backlash

Backlash can have a detrimental effect on tool life and on your CNC router’s ability to maintain accurate positioning of the X, Y, and Z axes. In this article, we’ll look at the problem of backlash in CNC routers. Once you understand what role it plays, you’ll want to diminish its impact on your machine. Whether you own or intend to build/buy a CNC router, make it a habit to routinely check for backlash. It could save you some money and/or aggravation.

More Tricks with Old-School Digital Clocks

Here are a few of the many possible variations on the general theme of discrete-logic digital clocks. If you have a few LED displays, counters, drivers, and simple logic, you can probably build a clock. Consult the datasheets of the ICs you choose to use, breadboard everything first, and have fun.

Seven Common Ways to Generate a Sine Wave

The sine wave is a naturally occurring signal shape in communications and other electronic applications. Many electronic products use signals of the sine wave form. Audio, radio, and power equipment usually generates or processes sine waves. As it turns out, there are literally dozens of ways to generate a sine wave. Here are some popular methods you should be familiar with.

Magnetic Saturation And The 100 Amp DC Current Transformer

For most of us, measuring DC current means putting an ammeter or low resistance current shunt in the line. But now, you can build an adapter that can be used with your voltmeter and will measure 100 amps DC.