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# Questions in regard to Art of Electronics

H

#### Haakon Riiser

Jan 1, 1970
0
I recently started teaching myself electronics in my spare time
with the help of "The Art of Electronics" and its student manual.
I have worked my way through the first chapters, but I have some
questions; since I have no teacher to ask, I hope it's okay that
post my questions here.

First of all, I bought a lot of test equipment that I hope will
suffice for most of the lab exercises.

Tektronix TDS 2012 digital scope (2 channels, 100 MHz, 1 GS/s)
<http://www.tek.com/site/ps/0,,40-15314-SPECS_EN,00.html>

EP-613 DC power supply (0-30V/2.5A variable output, and two fixed
5V/12V outputs)
<http://www.powertite.co.jp/Media/ep613_picture.gif>

GFG-8215A function generator (0.3Hz-3MHz, sine/triangle/square/ramp/
TTL/CMOS output, -20dB att.)
<http://www.goodwill.com.tw/Products/GFG-8215A_E.htm>

Caltek CM2701 digital multimeter
<http://www.caltek.com.hk/showroom/dmm/profess/cm2701.htm>

I assumed that this would suffice, since AoE is an introductory
text and therefore probably wouldn't require very expensive
equipment. But already in lab 2-4 the text assumes that the
function generator has a "sweep" feature that I just discovered is
missing on my 8215A. How important is this feature? Will this
become a problem in later exercises?

Thanks in advance for any help.

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
I recently started teaching myself electronics in my spare time
with the help of "The Art of Electronics" and its student manual.
I have worked my way through the first chapters, but I have some
questions; since I have no teacher to ask, I hope it's okay that
post my questions here.

First of all, I bought a lot of test equipment that I hope will
suffice for most of the lab exercises.

Tektronix TDS 2012 digital scope (2 channels, 100 MHz, 1 GS/s)
<http://www.tek.com/site/ps/0,,40-15314-SPECS_EN,00.html>

EP-613 DC power supply (0-30V/2.5A variable output, and two fixed
5V/12V outputs)
<http://www.powertite.co.jp/Media/ep613_picture.gif>

GFG-8215A function generator (0.3Hz-3MHz, sine/triangle/square/ramp/
TTL/CMOS output, -20dB att.)
<http://www.goodwill.com.tw/Products/GFG-8215A_E.htm>

Caltek CM2701 digital multimeter
<http://www.caltek.com.hk/showroom/dmm/profess/cm2701.htm>

I assumed that this would suffice, since AoE is an introductory
text and therefore probably wouldn't require very expensive
equipment. But already in lab 2-4 the text assumes that the
function generator has a "sweep" feature that I just discovered is
missing on my 8215A. How important is this feature? Will this
become a problem in later exercises?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Good choices on the gear.

Sweep isn't crucial. You can always turn a knob by hand and plot a
frequency response or something. I can't remember the last time I used
sweep on a fungen.

Fun stuff could be done with a sound card as a frequency response
analyzer. I think there's software around.

John

B

#### Bullwinkle Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 23:29:40 +0000 (UTC), Haakon Riiser

I can't remember the last time I used
sweep on a fungen.

Fungen sounds like some bad fungus you get from using a func-gen...

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
Fungen sounds like some bad fungus you get from using a func-gen...

Func-gen sounds like a really funky generator.

I'm designing a thing now (I think it's for testing something on a
B-52) that my customer calls a "fugen." As long as he pays for it he
gets to name it, I suppose.

John

H

#### Haakon Riiser

Jan 1, 1970
0
[John Larkin]
Good choices on the gear.
Sweep isn't crucial. You can always turn a knob by hand and plot a
frequency response or something. I can't remember the last time I used
sweep on a fungen.

That's good to hear. I probably should have posted the equipment
list for comments before I went out and bought everything, but
apparently, it turned out okay in spite of that.
Fun stuff could be done with a sound card as a frequency response
analyzer. I think there's software around.

Ah, I didn't think of that; thanks for the tip! I think I can
manage without the software, since I can program the sound card
myself. Of course, the sound card does not have the frequency
range of the function generator, but that's okay -- I'm mostly
in this for fun and educational purposes. And speaking of the
frequency range: I used to think that the 192 kHz sample rate
offered in modern sound cards was ridiculous, but now I can
finally see how that could be useful.

C

#### CFoley1064

Jan 1, 1970
0
Subject: Questions in regard to Art of Electronics
From: Haakon Riiser [email protected]
Date: 10/2/2004 6:29 PM Central Daylight Time
Message-id: <[email protected]>

I recently started teaching myself electronics in my spare time
with the help of "The Art of Electronics" and its student manual.
I have worked my way through the first chapters, but I have some
questions; since I have no teacher to ask, I hope it's okay that
post my questions here.

First of all, I bought a lot of test equipment that I hope will
suffice for most of the lab exercises.

Tektronix TDS 2012 digital scope (2 channels, 100 MHz, 1 GS/s)
<http://www.tek.com/site/ps/0,,40-15314-SPECS_EN,00.html>

EP-613 DC power supply (0-30V/2.5A variable output, and two fixed
5V/12V outputs)
<http://www.powertite.co.jp/Media/ep613_picture.gif>

GFG-8215A function generator (0.3Hz-3MHz, sine/triangle/square/ramp/
TTL/CMOS output, -20dB att.)
<http://www.goodwill.com.tw/Products/GFG-8215A_E.htm>

Caltek CM2701 digital multimeter
<http://www.caltek.com.hk/showroom/dmm/profess/cm2701.htm>

I assumed that this would suffice, since AoE is an introductory
text and therefore probably wouldn't require very expensive
equipment. But already in lab 2-4 the text assumes that the
function generator has a "sweep" feature that I just discovered is
missing on my 8215A. How important is this feature? Will this
become a problem in later exercises?

Thanks in advance for any help.

You have chosen wisely -- I wish I'd just bit the bullet and purchased the
equivalents to these when I was starting out -- it would have made the journey
a lot easier.

Another post said you might want to look at just tweaking the frequency
manually. That's a good idea -- I haven't used a sweep function since I don't
know when. But, the data sheet for your function generator says it's got an
external voltage-controlled frequency input, which might do the trick if you're
desperate for a sweep. The VCF has 100:1 sweep range for 0 to 10V input, which
is probably far more than what you need. You might want to cobble together a
sawtooth generator and add it to a 5V reference so that the amplitude and
frequency of the sawtooth meets your needs (you'll probably want 5VDC with an
0.1V p.p. sawtooth). Input this to the VFC input, tweak to taste, and you'll
have your sweep. You can do this with a 9V battery or your fixed 12V supply,
and an LM358 dual op amp and a handful of components.

Good luck
Chris

R

#### R.Spinks

Jan 1, 1970
0
About how much did the equipment set you back?

H

#### Haakon Riiser

Jan 1, 1970
0
[R.Spinks]
About how much did the equipment set you back?

A _lot_, but I managed to justify it to myself by considering the
countless hours of fun it will give me and, eventually, valuable
knowledge that I can put on my resume. Compare this to all the
other junk we spend money on, and then it doesn't look so bad.

Anyway, here you got it, all in USD (prices exclude the 24 %
Norwegian sales tax):

Scope 1875
Power supply 160
Function generator 280
Multimeter 35

In addition to the above list, I also bought a soldering station¹,
a breadboard², bananjacks, wire, extra probes for the multimeter
(one pair with sharpened tips and another pair with grip hooks),
a roll of wire to connect things on the breadboard, a set of
resistors (10 ohm - 1M), and a set of ceramic capacitors (1.5 pF
- 2200 pF). I didn't mention this in the original post, since
the soldering equipment for the most part isn't required (the
breadboard is solderless), I know I am happy with the breadboard,
and I figured the rest wasn't very exiting. But I do have one
question regarding the capacitors; in the RC circuit in exercise
2-1, the text specifically mentions that the cap should be mylar,
but I used ceramic caps and I think I got good results with that.
So, for a trivial circuit like this, why bother specifying
mylar caps? (The table on p. 22 states that mylar has better
accuracy and leakage, but I would expect the margins to be pretty
good here.)

¹ Solomon SR-976; I paid about $75 for this. <http://www.elfa.se/elfa/produkter/en/5966.htm> ² RH-74;$54
It's the larger one in <http://www.elfa.se/images/highres/h4046.jpg>

B

#### Bob Masta

Jan 1, 1970
0
On Sat, 2 Oct 2004 23:29:40 +0000 (UTC), Haakon Riiser
I assumed that this would suffice, since AoE is an introductory
text and therefore probably wouldn't require very expensive
equipment. But already in lab 2-4 the text assumes that the
function generator has a "sweep" feature that I just discovered is
missing on my 8215A. How important is this feature? Will this
become a problem in later exercises?

If you can live with audio range, try my DaqGen freeware
at <www.daqarta.com>. It does all kinds of function generation
using a standard Windows sound card. Besides sweeps, you
can do AM, FM, Burst, PWM, and phase modulation. You can
choose from standard waveforms or various types of noise, or
you can supply arbitrary waveforms or even play regular WAV
files... with full modulation. There are 4 output streams per
DAC channel, and they may be used independently or a
stream can be used as the modulation source for another
stream. (For example, you can have an Arb wave providing
the AM modulation for a Gaussian noise source.)

Extensive Help system is built in.

Best of all, it's completely free!

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

J

#### John Popelish

Jan 1, 1970
0
Haakon Riiser wrote:
(snip)
... in the RC circuit in exercise
2-1, the text specifically mentions that the cap should be mylar,
but I used ceramic caps and I think I got good results with that.
So, for a trivial circuit like this, why bother specifying
mylar caps?
(snip)

Mylar is pretty much the same, world round, (with exception of
internal inductance and resistance, which depends on how the wire
leads are attached to the metal) but ceramic caps come in a wide
variety of types , some with very different properties.

Low value ceramic caps, like you list are probably low-K (NPO COG,
X7R) types that have pretty linear capacitance versus voltage, low
dielectric absorption and low microphonics, but larger values are more
likely to be high-k types (Y5V, Z5U) that have terrible properties in
all respects except for size.

M

#### Marlboro

Jan 1, 1970
0
Haakon Riiser said:
[R.Spinks]
About how much did the equipment set you back?

A _lot_, but I managed to justify it to myself by considering the
countless hours of fun it will give me and, eventually, valuable
knowledge that I can put on my resume. Compare this to all the
other junk we spend money on, and then it doesn't look so bad.

Anyway, here you got it, all in USD (prices exclude the 24 %
Norwegian sales tax):

Scope 1875
Power supply 160
Function generator 280
Multimeter 35

In addition to the above list, I also bought a soldering station¹,
a breadboard², bananjacks, wire, extra probes for the multimeter
(one pair with sharpened tips and another pair with grip hooks),
a roll of wire to connect things on the breadboard, a set of
resistors (10 ohm - 1M), and a set of ceramic capacitors (1.5 pF
- 2200 pF). I didn't mention this in the original post, since
the soldering equipment for the most part isn't required (the
breadboard is solderless), I know I am happy with the breadboard,
and I figured the rest wasn't very exiting. But I do have one
question regarding the capacitors; in the RC circuit in exercise
2-1, the text specifically mentions that the cap should be mylar,
but I used ceramic caps and I think I got good results with that.
So, for a trivial circuit like this, why bother specifying
mylar caps? (The table on p. 22 states that mylar has better
accuracy and leakage, but I would expect the margins to be pretty
good here.)

¹ Solomon SR-976; I paid about $75 for this. <http://www.elfa.se/elfa/produkter/en/5966.htm> ² RH-74;$54
It's the larger one in <http://www.elfa.se/images/highres/h4046.jpg>

Thoses are excellent equipts. Remind me starting out my carrer with
only one analog multimetter, which was a gift from my bro.

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
[R.Spinks]
About how much did the equipment set you back?

A _lot_, but I managed to justify it to myself by considering the
countless hours of fun it will give me and, eventually, valuable
knowledge that I can put on my resume. Compare this to all the
other junk we spend money on, and then it doesn't look so bad.

Anyway, here you got it, all in USD (prices exclude the 24 %
Norwegian sales tax):

Scope 1875

Yikes! $1875 + 24% =$2325! A TDS2012 is $1595 here, plus 7.5% state sales tax, which you can finesse by buying it out-of-state. As a company purchase, we can expense it and get back almost 50% as a tax deduction, so it really costs us about$900.

Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a break on
productive/educational stuff?

John

C

#### Clarence

Jan 1, 1970
0
John Larkin said:
[R.Spinks]
About how much did the equipment set you back?

A _lot_, but I managed to justify it to myself by considering the
countless hours of fun it will give me and, eventually, valuable
knowledge that I can put on my resume. Compare this to all the
other junk we spend money on, and then it doesn't look so bad.

Anyway, here you got it, all in USD (prices exclude the 24 %
Norwegian sales tax):

Scope 1875

Yikes! $1875 + 24% =$2325! A TDS2012 is $1595 here, plus 7.5% state sales tax, which you can finesse by buying it out-of-state. As a company purchase, we can expense it and get back almost 50% as a tax deduction, so it really costs us about$900.

Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a break on
productive/educational stuff?
John

You expect intelligent behavior from government? What an optimist!

T

#### The little lost angel

Jan 1, 1970
0
Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a break on
productive/educational stuff?

Maybe because those people selling useless crap like cigarettes make a
lot lot lot more money and therefore can afford to influence the
decisions? PpPpp

--
L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me
Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code

H

#### Haakon Riiser

Jan 1, 1970
0
[John Larkin]
Yikes! $1875 + 24% =$2325! A TDS2012 is $1595 here, plus 7.5% state sales tax, which you can finesse by buying it out-of-state. Actually, the only reason I paid the "modest" sum of$1875
was that I purchased the scope from Farnell instead of ELFA, and
Farnell will usually only deal with other companies. If I had got
the scope at ELFA, I'd have to pay $2310 + 24% =$2864 (= ouch!)

By the way -- does anyone here regularly buy equipment at a place
that sells the Solomon SR-976 soldering station? I recently
discovered that my only local vendor, ELFA, do not sell the 0.3mm
tip (part number 976T-SB). I asked them about it, and they said
that people who got the cheap Solomon soldering stations were
not interested in fine tips -- people who are use the insanely
expensive Weller products. I found some web shops that sell this
tip, such as

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/3565

but unfortunately, they will not do international orders this
small. So, I was wondering if there are anyone here who could
pick up a couple of these tips and send them to me. Of course,
I would pay in advance for all expenses and gladly throw in a
little extra for the trouble. If anyone is interested, please
send me an email.
Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a
break on productive/educational stuff?

At least they don't tax books here in Norway, and the tax on food
was recently halved. (Unfortunately, it didn't make much of a
difference for us customers, since the supermarkets soon decided
to raise the prices accordingly. I wish tax exemptions such
as these would cover all productive/educational products, but it
will probably never happen because it would be difficult, and a
lot of work, to classify everything.

J

#### John Larkin

Jan 1, 1970
0
[John Larkin]
Yikes! $1875 + 24% =$2325! A TDS2012 is $1595 here, plus 7.5% state sales tax, which you can finesse by buying it out-of-state. Actually, the only reason I paid the "modest" sum of$1875
was that I purchased the scope from Farnell instead of ELFA, and
Farnell will usually only deal with other companies. If I had got
the scope at ELFA, I'd have to pay $2310 + 24% =$2864 (= ouch!)

By the way -- does anyone here regularly buy equipment at a place
that sells the Solomon SR-976 soldering station? I recently
discovered that my only local vendor, ELFA, do not sell the 0.3mm
tip (part number 976T-SB). I asked them about it, and they said
that people who got the cheap Solomon soldering stations were
not interested in fine tips -- people who are use the insanely
expensive Weller products. I found some web shops that sell this
tip, such as

http://www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/3565

but unfortunately, they will not do international orders this
small. So, I was wondering if there are anyone here who could
pick up a couple of these tips and send them to me. Of course,
I would pay in advance for all expenses and gladly throw in a
little extra for the trouble. If anyone is interested, please
send me an email.
Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a
break on productive/educational stuff?

At least they don't tax books here in Norway, and the tax on food
was recently halved. (Unfortunately, it didn't make much of a
difference for us customers, since the supermarkets soon decided
to raise the prices accordingly. I wish tax exemptions such
as these would cover all productive/educational products, but it
will probably never happen because it would be difficult, and a
lot of work, to classify everything.

Food here is not taxed, unless it is "ready to eat", like a hot
sandwich. I just bought a Hershey chocolate bar with almonds (about
the best standard American chocolate, barely acceptable at that) and
it wasn't taxed. The distinctions can be tricky, but most stuff in a
supermarket is not taxed. Sales tax here is 7.5%. Books are taxed, but
newspapers aren't. Beer is, fruit juice isn't.

If you locate a US supplier that has those tips in stock, and give us
their contact information and stock number or a link or whatever, I'll
buy a few and send them to you. Despam my email address to send the
info.

John

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
On Sun, 3 Oct 2004 08:47:48 +0000 (UTC), Haakon Riiser

Yikes! $1875 + 24% =$2325! A TDS2012 is $1595 here, plus 7.5% state sales tax, which you can finesse by buying it out-of-state. As a company purchase, we can expense it and get back almost 50% as a tax deduction, so it really costs us about$900.

Why don't governments tax the useless crap, and give people a break on
productive/educational stuff?
It's a sop to the underclasses, who consider it to be nothing more
sinister than making "the rich" pay their "fair share."

Cheers!
Rich

R

#### Rich Grise

Jan 1, 1970
0
Maybe because those people selling useless crap like cigarettes make a
lot lot lot more money and therefore can afford to influence the
decisions? PpPpp
It's because there's so much more useless crap sold, and the ones
who buy it aren't in a position to bankroll lobbyists.

Cheers!
Rich

M

#### me

Jan 1, 1970
0
Maybe because those people selling useless crap like cigarettes make
For all the time cigarettes were being sold the government was getting more
than half the profits. But they are are the ones saying that they are
looking out for us by suing the cash cow for money...

P

#### peterken

Jan 1, 1970
0
<GRIN>
Then you guys should see it here in europe
On petrol state takes a profit of about 400%, not to mention cigarettes etc
Standard taxes here are say 21%

For all the time cigarettes were being sold the government was getting more
than half the profits. But they are are the ones saying that they are
looking out for us by suing the cash cow for money...

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