Learning the Art of Electronics: A Hands-On Lab Course

Thomas C. Hayes 2016

This introduction to circuit design is unusual in several respects. First, it offers not just explanations, but a full course. Each of the twenty-five sessions begins with a discussion of a particular sort of circuit followed by the chance to try it out and see how it actually behaves. Accordingly, students understand the circuit's operation in a way that is deeper and much more satisfying than the manipulation of formulas. Second, it describes circuits that more traditional engineering introductions would postpone: on the third day, we build a radio receiver; on the fifth day, we build an operational amplifier from an array of transistors. The digital half of the course centers on applying microcontrollers, but gives exposure to Verilog, a powerful Hardware Description Language. Third, it proceeds at a rapid pace but requires no prior knowledge of electronics. Students gain intuitive understanding through immersion in good circuit design.