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Linearity and our pencil and paper models for Electronics.

Independent Sources

Our goal now is to come up with a way to create simple models of electronic circuits. From the discussion last time “Design, Models, and Simulations“, we understand our model will be very simplified and therefore inaccurate. However, it will be good enough for our first shot before going to the trouble

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Design, Models, and Simulations

Design, if you are lucky, is based upon some calculations developed from a model of the thing you are attempting to design and construct. Often, as we have seen with the sheet metal brake project you are not lucky and we are left “flying by the seat of our pants.” Other times we know the

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The Op-Amp Differentiator.

The Basic Op-Amp Differentiator.

A common insult is the term “get real”. The way we have been learning all of these electronic circuits is to start with the ideal and then add one by one the real life problems of real components. Real life is going to smack us in the head very quickly

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Good ole boy Calculus

Our Car with no air friction

Sometimes I get stuck. I have turned this blog into somewhere between a technician type of discussion and full-blown engineering. Many very good technicians I know are very good a fundamental understanding and have almost a magical sense of understanding a problem. Those same guys give you a

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Piddling with the PID controller

A complete PID controller.

In this post I complete all the functions of a PID controller by adding the D to the PI controller in the previous post. If you have not followed all of the posts related to modeling the car and the cruise control, you will be lost at this point and

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Putting the memory from our right foot into the controller.

Adding a Memory Component to our Cruse Control

In the post “Controlling the speed of our Rocket car – Proportional Control“, we had a very hard time ever getting the car up to speed. At the very end of the post I explained why. With proportional only control if the speed of the car

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Three is right for me.


Three blades rotated a random amount.

Three sounds like a strange number, but it turns out to be the perfectly balanced number when considering spinning objects. Most electricity is used to spin motors and almost all of it is generated by spinning alternators. Three phase is very common in electricity. Three blades are often

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Sinusoidal waveforms, AC, and DC signals.

A sine wave

The whole purpose for almost all electronics is to modify changing signals. Even in the case of our thermistor circuit, there would be no reason to be interested in the temperature if it did not change. This is our introduction to signals and AC.

The type of waveform that is always

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Making a fixture to cut dovetail slots – Making the do-nothing machine manually

The Do-nothing machine base with hand cut slots.

I have read many many places that you can cut dovetail slots in a board by hand. They say use a saw to cut the outer edges and then use a chisel to remove the material in the center. That all sounds good, except I was

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Modeling the Thermistor.

Steinhart-Hart thermistor equation

What is a model? Without taking the time to look up an official definition, I would say it is a representation of reality. (I am sure some women would like to argue that point with me, but when I wrote the definition, I was not thinking of THAT kind of model!

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