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Interpreting Circuits

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Mastermime0, Feb 27, 2013.

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  1. Mastermime0

    Mastermime0

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    Feb 27, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    This may seem like an odd question and its somewhat hard to phrase

    I am wondering how professional engineers interpret circuits. I learned on my own, but I have trouble reading and interpreting more complicated circuits. I understand how to read most circuits, but when I start seeing diodes, resistors, capacitors, I get intimidated. I know what all the symbols look like, but its the purpose in the circuit that gets me


    Here is an example. Here's a 555 timer circuit http://www.electronicecircuits.com/electronic-circuits/555-timer-time-delay-circuit

    If I didn't see the title, I wouldn't know its a timer circuit. I know resistors limit current, but why would you use it in this case with the IC? I understand why we use it with transistors and what not.

    My question is not very clear, but hopefully you guys know what I'm looking for

    To sum it all up, I guess, How do I know what the purpose of each component and how its used in the circuit? It might be best to just give me your process of interpreting the schematic I posted. Learning by example

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  2. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,833
    1,950
    Sep 5, 2009
    Hi there
    welcome to the forums :)

    I had to giggle ... that was a bit of a contradiction wasnt it ? ;) most/virtually all circuits have resistors capacitors and diodes in them, even really basic ones :)

    Well apart from the title the component list also states its a 555 timer :)
    BUT in that example, I wouldnt have needed either ... experience would tell me that a unlabelled IC like that with those pin configs ... I recognise a number of the pin connections and know that they are the way a 555 timer chip is usually connected
    pin 1 to GND, pin 3 output, pin 5 to gnd via a capacitor, pin 8 to Vcc

    Resistors aren't always used just as a current limiters, altho that will happen, even when they are used as voltage dividers

    Reading the datasheet for the 555 ( or any other chip you are interested in) will give you insight to its functions and usually a bunch of example circuits on its use

    sounds like you need to start with the basics on what/how resistors, capacitors, diodes and transistors do and how they work
    there's some good tutorials online and some excellent ones in the tutorial section of this forum :)


    Dave
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  3. Mastermime0

    Mastermime0

    4
    0
    Feb 27, 2013
    Ahh yes it was. I should proofread my posts. :) I know that caps, resistors, etc. are used in basic circuitry. It's just certain circuits that perplex me, mainly the ones with things like low pass filtering (not sure really what that is, but that sort of thing) and all sorts of resistors and caps in parallel and series. I guess what I have to do is break down the circuit into parts and then look at the big picture. I feel a bit overwhelmed when I see that, but I think breaking it down will help.

    I took a look at a lot of the tutorials on here. I didn't even know they existed! They're great! I learned a lot.

    Yeah I guess I just have to familiarize myself more with Ohm's law and understand how to use it in when necessary.

    Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
     
  4. BobK

    BobK

    7,682
    1,688
    Jan 5, 2010
    Pretty much all circuits are combintations of more basic circuits connected together. Once you have been doing this for a while, you recognize the basic circuits and their functions. That said, every now and then you will see a, sometimes very clever, circuit that you have no idea what it is doing.

    Bob
     
  5. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    13,833
    1,950
    Sep 5, 2009
    thats great :) lots of reading and some experimenting with basic kitsets and you are on the start to a cool path of learning new things :)

    Dave
     
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