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Circuitbuilding Do-It-Yourself For Dummies®

Book Description

DO-IT-YOURSELF

Here's the fun and easy way to start building circuits for your projects

Have you ever wanted to build your own electronic device? Put together a thermostat or an in-line fuse, or repair a microphone cable? This is the book for you! Inside you'll find the tools and techniques you need to build circuits, with illustrated, step-by-step directions to help accomplish tasks and complete projects.

As you accomplish the tasks throughout the book, you'll construct many projects while learning the key circuitbuilding principles and techniques. Find out about measuring and testing, maintenance and troubleshooting, cables, connectors, how to test your stuff, and more.

Stuff You Need to Know

  • The tools you need and how to use them

  • How to make sense of schematics and printed circuit boards

  • Basic techniques for creating any circuit

  • How to make and repair cables and connectors

  • Testing and maintenance procedures

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Author's Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
    1. What You're Not to Read
    2. Assumptions About You
    3. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Part I: Working Basics for Electronic-ers
      2. Part II: Building Circuits
      3. Part III: Cables and Connectors
      4. Part IV: Measuring and Testing
      5. Part V: Maintaining Electronic Equipment
      6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
      7. Glossary
      8. Bonus Chapters
    4. Conventions and Icons
    5. Where to Go from Here
  5. I. Working Basics for Electronic-ers
  6. 1. The Toolbox
    1. 1.1. Basic Tools for Building Circuits
      1. 1.1.1. Safety and visibility
      2. 1.1.2. Pliers and tweezers
      3. 1.1.3. Cutters and knives
      4. 1.1.4. Screwdrivers and wrenches
      5. 1.1.5. Drills and drill bits
      6. 1.1.6. Special electronic tools
      7. 1.1.7. Measuring sticks
    2. 1.2. The Solderless Breadboard
      1. 1.2.1. Using a breadboard
      2. 1.2.2. Breadboard materials
      3. 1.2.3. Limitations of breadboards
        1. 1.2.3.1. Current and voltage limits
        2. 1.2.3.2. Frequency limit
        3. 1.2.3.3. Contact wear-out
    3. 1.3. Your Notebook
    4. 1.4. Software Tools
      1. 1.4.1. Schematic and PC board layout
      2. 1.4.2. Electronic simulators
      3. 1.4.3. Mechanical drawing software
      4. 1.4.4. Utilities and calculators
  7. 2. Basic Techniques
    1. 2.1. Basic Metalworking
    2. 2.2. Making a Practice Panel
    3. 2.3. The Joy of Soldering
      1. 2.3.1. Soldering tools and materials
        1. 2.3.1.1. Soldering stations
        2. 2.3.1.2. Soldering iron tips
        3. 2.3.1.3. Solder and flux
    4. 2.4. Introduction to Soldering
      1. 2.4.1. Learning to solder with a kit
      2. 2.4.2. Desoldering
    5. 2.5. Making Sense of Schematic Diagrams
    6. 2.6. Reading a Schematic
  8. II. Building Circuits
  9. 3. Using a Solderless Breadboard
    1. 3.1. Breadboarding an Audio Amplifier
      1. 3.1.1. Deciphering the amplifier schematic
      2. 3.1.2. How the audio amplifier works
    2. 3.2. Breadboarding a Digital Timer
      1. 3.2.1. Digital timer schematic
      2. 3.2.2. How a digital timer works
    3. 3.3. Constructing the Audio Amplifier
    4. 3.4. Testing the Audio Amplifier Circuit
    5. 3.5. Constructing the Digital Timer
  10. 4. Building a Printed Circuit Board
    1. 4.1. Getting Your Workspace Ready
    2. 4.2. Putting a Through-Hole PC Board Together
    3. 4.3. Building a Surface-Mount PC Board
    4. 4.4. Constructing the Through-Hole Board
    5. 4.5. Constructing the Surface-Mount Board
  11. 5. Building a Prototype
    1. 5.1. Building an Audio Level Controller
    2. 5.2. Building a 12V-to-5V Regulator
    3. 5.3. Building an Audible Alarm
    4. 5.4. Constructing the Level Controller
    5. 5.5. Constructing the Regulator
    6. 5.6. Constructing the Alarm
  12. 6. Building from a Published Schematic
    1. 6.1. Preparing to Build
    2. 6.2. Building a Circuit Dead-Bug Style
    3. 6.3. Building Circuits Manhattan-Style
    4. 6.4. Building Circuits Using Twist 'n' Twirl Wire-Wrap
    5. 6.5. Constructing the Timer Circuit
    6. 6.6. Constructing the Shortwave Buffer Circuit
    7. 6.7. Constructing the DC-to-DC Converter Circuit
  13. III. Cables and Connectors
  14. 7. Terminals and Connectors
    1. 7.1. Crimp Terminals and Tools
      1. 7.1.1. Crimp terminals
      2. 7.1.2. The terminal crimping tool
      3. 7.1.3. The modular-plug crimping tool
      4. 7.1.4. The RJ-45 crimping tool
    2. 7.2. Making RS-232 Connectors
    3. 7.3. Installing a Crimp Terminal
    4. 7.4. Adding a DC Power Fuse
    5. 7.5. Installing a Telephone Plug
    6. 7.6. Replacing a Telephone Jack
    7. 7.7. Making a Computer Network Cable
    8. 7.8. Making an RS-232 Data Cable
  15. 8. Wiring for Wireless Radio
    1. 8.1. The Case for Coaxial Cable
    2. 8.2. Using a Coaxial Connector Crimping Tool
    3. 8.3. Coax Connectors — All in the Family
      1. 8.3.1. Type F connectors
      2. 8.3.2. UHF connectors
      3. 8.3.3. BNC connectors
      4. 8.3.4. Not THAT kind of stripper!
    4. 8.4. Installing a TV-Style Connector
    5. 8.5. Installing a CB-Style Connector
    6. 8.6. Installing a Scanner-Style Connector
    7. 8.7. Weatherproofing an Exterior Connection
  16. 9. Mastering Power
    1. 9.1. Adding an AC In-Line Switch
    2. 9.2. Wiring an AC Fuseholder
    3. 9.3. Installing an AC Plug
    4. 9.4. Splicing a Power Cord
  17. 10. Audio and Sensitive Connections
    1. 10.1. The XLR: A Real Pro Connector
      1. 10.1.1. Standard connection conventions
    2. 10.2. Plugging In to Phono Plugs
    3. 10.3. Taking a Temperature Electronically
      1. 10.3.1. Temperature Sensor Wiring Diagram
    4. 10.4. Installing a Microphone Connector
    5. 10.5. Installing a Phono Plug
    6. 10.6. Creating a Stereo Patch Cable
    7. 10.7. Constructing a Temperature Sensor
  18. IV. Measuring and Testing
  19. 11. Meet the Test Equipment
    1. 11.1. What to Measure
    2. 11.2. Your Basic Test Equipment
      1. 11.2.1. The voltmeter (okay, multimeter ...)
      2. 11.2.2. When is a volt not a volt?
      3. 11.2.3. The power supply
      4. 11.2.4. Function generators
    3. 11.3. Advanced Testing Equipment
      1. 11.3.1. Counters
      2. 11.3.2. Component testers
      3. 11.3.3. Logic probe
      4. 11.3.4. Radio-frequency test equipment
    4. 11.4. The Oscilloscope
      1. 11.4.1. The basics
        1. 11.4.1.1. Sweep speed
        2. 11.4.1.2. Vertical amplifier
        3. 11.4.1.3. Trigger switch
        4. 11.4.1.4. Loading
      2. 11.4.2. Analog and digital oscilloscopes
      3. 11.4.3. Making measurements with an oscilloscope
        1. 11.4.3.1. Voltage and current
        2. 11.4.3.2. Period and frequency
      4. 11.4.4. Specialty oscilloscopes: logic and spectrum analyzers
  20. 12. Measurements That Test Your Circuits and Projects
    1. 12.1. Making Measurements Safely
    2. 12.2. Using Ohm's Law to Measure Resistance
    3. 12.3. Testing a Transistor
    4. 12.4. Measuring in Decibels
    5. 12.5. Measuring Voltage
    6. 12.6. Measuring Current
    7. 12.7. Measuring Resistance with Ohm's Law
    8. 12.8. Checking a Transistor
    9. 12.9. Measuring Period and Frequency
    10. 12.10. Making Measurements in Decibels
    11. 12.11. Measuring Frequency Response
  21. V. Maintaining Electronic Equipment
  22. 13. Who Let the Smoke Out?
    1. 13.1. Troubleshooting and Debugging Basics
      1. 13.1.1. What is failure?
      2. 13.1.2. Running in circles
      3. 13.1.3. Organize your thoughts
        1. 13.1.3.1. Keep a running log
        2. 13.1.3.2. Record what you learned
        3. 13.1.3.3. Practice makes perfect
        4. 13.1.3.4. Coming to your senses
    2. 13.2. Pondering Power Problems
      1. 13.2.1. Fuses and breakers
      2. 13.2.2. Battery power
      3. 13.2.3. Power troubleshooting guide
        1. 13.2.3.1. Common power supply problems
    3. 13.3. Diagnosing Audio Problems
      1. 13.3.1. Distortion
      2. 13.3.2. Hum and ripple
      3. 13.3.3. White and crackling noise
    4. 13.4. Analyzing Analog Circuits
      1. 13.4.1. Use Ohm's Law
    5. 13.5. Diagnosing Digital Circuits
  23. 14. Maintaining Your Cool (Stuff)
    1. 14.1. Taking Care of Tools and Test Instruments
    2. 14.2. Maintaining a Winning Workspace
    3. 14.3. Maintaining Electronic Equipment
      1. 14.3.1. Portable and mobile electronics
      2. 14.3.2. Electronics with moving parts
    4. 14.4. Keeping on Schedule
  24. 15. Getting a Charge Out of Batteries
    1. 15.1. A Bunch of Battery Basics
    2. 15.2. Ah ... Introducing Amp-hours and Characteristic Voltage
    3. 15.3. Disposable Batteries versus Rechargeable Batteries
      1. 15.3.1. Disposable batteries
        1. 15.3.1.1. Zinc-carbon
        2. 15.3.1.2. Alkaline
      2. 15.3.2. Rechargeable batteries
        1. 15.3.2.1. Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad)
        2. 15.3.2.2. Nickel-metal hydride (NiMH)
        3. 15.3.2.3. Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
        4. 15.3.2.4. Lead-acid
    4. 15.4. Exploring the World of Battery Packs
    5. 15.5. Following Basic Battery Tips
    6. 15.6. Adhering to the Rules of Battery Safety
      1. 15.6.1. Charging and discharging batteries safely
      2. 15.6.2. Storing and handling batteries with care
      3. 15.6.3. Safely disposing of batteries
  25. 16. Electronics in Motion
    1. 16.1. Learning About Mobile Installation
      1. 16.1.1. Understanding vehicle safety issues
        1. 16.1.1.1. Mechanical safety means mounting equipment properly
        2. 16.1.1.2. Electrical safety means maintaining your connections
        3. 16.1.1.3. Driving safety means ... well, driving safely
      2. 16.1.2. Tapping into vehicle power
        1. 16.1.2.1. Using a fuse tap
        2. 16.1.2.1. Setting up and maintaining battery connections
      3. 16.1.3. Finding a home for electronics in your vehicle
  26. 17. Getting Rid of Interference and Noise
    1. 17.1. Dealing with Interference
      1. 17.1.1. Received interference
      2. 17.1.2. Direct detection
      3. 17.1.3. Avoid causing interference
    2. 17.2. Installing a High-Pass Filter
    3. 17.3. Installing a Split-Core Ferrite Choke
  27. VI. The Part of Tens
  28. 18. Ten Circuitbuilding Secrets
    1. 18.1. Be Patient and Alert
    2. 18.2. Spring for Quality Tools and Toolbox
    3. 18.3. Use Plenty of Light
    4. 18.4. Get Good References
    5. 18.5. Hold On to Your Junk
    6. 18.6. Buddy Up
    7. 18.7. Test in Steps
    8. 18.8. Keep a Notebook
    9. 18.9. Pass It On
    10. 18.10. Take Pride in Your Craft
  29. 19. Ten Circuit First-Aid Techniques and Supplies
    1. 19.1. Common Replacement Transistors and ICs
    2. 19.2. Clip Leads
    3. 19.3. Electrical Tape
    4. 19.4. Wire Nuts and Crimp Splices
    5. 19.5. Molded Connectors
    6. 19.6. 12V Soldering Iron
    7. 19.7. Clothespin and Rubberband Vises
    8. 19.8. Loose Connectors
    9. 19.9. Broken Antennas
    10. 19.10. Dead Rechargeable Batteries
  30. Glossary
  31. A. Circuitbuilding Resources
    1. A.1. Parts and Pieces: Electronic Components
      1. A.1.1. Semiconductors
      2. A.1.2. Data sheets
      3. A.1.3. Packaging
      4. A.1.4. Workshop tips for components
      5. A.1.5. Purchasing tips
      6. A.1.6. Junk boxes
    2. A.2. Go Nuts: Mechanical Hardware
    3. A.3. References
      1. A.3.1. Books
      2. A.3.2. Magazines
      3. A.3.3. Web sites
      4. A.3.4. Tutorials
      5. A.3.5. Vendor sites
  32. BC1. Resistor Types
    1. BC1.1. Meet the Resistors
      1. BC1.1.1. Carbon-composition resistors
      2. BC1.1.2. Film resistors
      3. BC1.1.3. Wirewound resistors
      4. BC1.1.4. Ceramic and metal oxide
      5. BC1.1.5. Adjustable resistors
      6. BC1.1.6. Resistor networks
    2. BC1.2. Power Dissipation and Voltage Ratings
    3. BC1.3. Choosing Resistors
    4. BC1.4. Further Reading
  33. BC2. Capacitor Types
    1. BC2.1. Meet the Capacitors
    2. BC2.2. Capacitor Construction
    3. BC2.3. The Capacitor Menu
      1. BC2.3.1. Electrolytic
      2. BC2.3.2. Tantalum
      3. BC2.3.3. Film
      4. BC2.3.4. Ceramic
      5. BC2.3.5. Mica and glass
      6. BC2.3.6. Adjustable or variable