Everything for Electronics

Mark Balch

Mark's Articles

Interface Choices — Part 1: Transistors
Column: Just for Starters
March 2004
This month's column discusses transistor-based isolation techniques for DC control signals, as compared to analog signals such as audio or video.

Dealing With Diodes
April 2004
The most common problem with power supplies is diode breakdown. Sometimes, they are killed by shorts elsewhere in the circuit. However, they will occasionally quit from old age.

Reading Schematic Diagrams
Column: Just for Starters
May 2004
Reading and interpreting schematic diagrams is an important skill for anyone who wants to work with electronic circuits.

Starting A New Design — Part 1:  Architecture And Implementation
Column: Just for Starters
June 2004
In this first installment of a two part series, we’ll walk through a small project scenario to see how to go from concept through design.

JUST FOR STARTERS
Column: Just for Starters
July 2004
Getting started on a new design isn’t easy when you have trouble figuring out what types of circuits are necessary to implement the project’s requirements. Last month’s article discussed how to decompose high level requirements into a set of architectural building blocks and then presented analog and digital implementations of a basic LED blinking circuit.

JUST FOR STARTERS
Column: Just for Starters
August 2004
A reader’s letter suggested that I explain the basic electrical units used to describe DC circuits. These units are electric potential (expressed in volts, V), current (expressed in amperes, A), resistance (expressed in ohms, W), and power (expressed in watts, W). Understanding how these quantities relate to each other allows you to perform basic circuit analysis...

JUST FOR STARTERS
Column: Just for Starters
October 2004
A reader recently asked me how to design a counter. Counters are a basic digital logic building block and have a multitude of uses. Counters advance through a consecutive numerical sequence — either up or down — each time a clock pulse is driven. They are used to divide high frequency clocks to yield lower frequency clocks, for state machines and basic event counting. You can design a counter from scratch with truth tables by applying Boolean logic. In this article, we will discuss using off-the

Applying PWM — A Light Dimmer
Column: Just for Starters
December 2004
Varying the power delivered to DC loads is a common problem in projects — such as robotics — where motors and lights require more control than simply on/off. Rapidly changing supply voltage to a DC motor or light is often impractical or disallowed by the electrical characteristics of the load.

Staying Cool
Column: Just for Starters
February 2005
Small oversights can get you into trouble when you’re working with electronics. One factor to consider in every project — big or small — is ensuring that components do not overheat.

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