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Circuit Sim software for Dummies?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Mmm-Spork, Jun 13, 2004.

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  1. Mmm-Spork

    Mmm-Spork Guest

    I'm trying to find a circuit simulator program that could be used by
    children, or as in my case, a dummy! Ideally, it would allow me to
    "build" stuff like a 555 timer circuit that flashed an LED. I would
    like to change the capacitor's value and visually see how that changed
    the rate of the flashes.

    I tried CircuitMaker, but if there is a way to dummy it down so I
    could actually see the LED blinking then I couldn't figure it out.
    Even if I could get the LED to flash on-screen, I think CircuitMaker's
    features far exceed what I'm after.

    I saw a children's program called "Zap" or "Zapped" at one time that
    looked like it might teach electronics at my level. Has anyone tried
    that program or know of another one ?

  2. For 555 circuits, I'm guessing the best simulator is an actual 555,
    led, and a battery or two. You can get it all at your neighborhood
    electronics store for a few bucks.

    As far as circuitmaker goes, you can run it in digital mode, which has
    various little animations. Analog mode doesn't do animations.

    Bob Monsen
  3. Mmm-Spork

    Mmm-Spork Guest

    I live in an area about two hundred miles from the nearest electronics
    store - even the local Radio Shack doesn't carry component parts
    anymore. I mail-ordered a couple 555's and I've been de-soldering
    components from broken gear, but I never seem to have the right parts.
    I'm sure a knowledgable person could substitute this for that or run a
    bunch of resistors in parallel to get the right total resistance, but
    that kind of stuff really throws me at this stage. I thought a
    circuit sim program would solve my parts shortage problem... at least
    until I actually wanted to build the physical circuit.
    So circuitmaker isn't the answer for me then. I can't use capacitors
    in digital mode and I can't watch LED's flash in analog mode.

    I guess I will just have to keep desoldering stuff (hoping that I'm
    not overheating them in the process) until the next time I pass by an
    electronics store.

    Thank you for responding though!
  4. Chaos Master

    Chaos Master Guest

    Mmm-Spork () caused an illegal operation in module
    Search for Crocodile Clips or an old copy of Electronics Workbench (before it
    was Multisim). Version 5.0 of EWB is quite old, not even maintained anymore, so
    I think it is not considered pirated software. EWB allows you to use mixed parts
    and see LED's flash.

  5. Don Taylor

    Don Taylor Guest

    If you want, toss me mail, maybe we can come up with something for you,
    depending on your background and what you'd want to try doing.

    (address is valid)
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