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Review of McLean: Analog Electronics Lecture Notes

Download McLean Analog Electronics Lecture Notes (2014, by Dr. Peter McLean, University of Technology, Sydney. 333 Pages, 2,41 MB pdf file)

The title of this lecture notes is a bit misleading, because the only types of circuits that are discussed are analog filters. Other circuits like amplifiers or oscillators are not covered. However, the notes treat the passive components capacitors and resistors - and even the printed circuit board (PCB) - in much detail. They also provide an introduction to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). So even if you are not interested in filters, you can find some good information for designing analog circuits here.

The first chapter introduces the basic concepts like transfer functions, Bode plots and the model of the ideal Op Amp (If these topics are new to you, you might also want to take a look at some general resources on analysis and design of electronic circuits ). Chapters 2 and 3 introduce you to the analysis and design of various types of active filters. Each of these chapters ends with a quiz, exercises (with answers in the appendix) and problems.

Chapter 4 is a very good, readable and detailed discussion of the passive components resistor and capacitor (the real things, not the idealized circuit element you see in a schematic). McLean introduces you to every kind of resistor and capacitor and discusses their advantages and disadvantages. I highly recommend to study this chapter carefully (it does not depend on the rest of the lecture notes). You should also keep it near you and consult it whenever you have to decide about the exact type of passive component for your circuit.

Chapter 5 is again focused on analog filters, teaching you how to analyze the sensitivity of filter circuits to real world tolerances of their components.

Chapter 6 is an introduction to EMC which is a very important topic, especially if your aim is to become a professional designer of electronic circuits. Please note that some of the regulatory standards quoted at the end of this chapter are only valid for Australia.

Chapter 7 (this one differs from the others in format, actually it is bunch of Powerpoint slides) introduces you to PCBs and their manufacturing process, including several different variants. This is some interesting background information, but on many occasions you may only have little control over this process. So from a practical point of view the best part is at the end of this chapter: PCB Layout Do's and Dont's (3 slides) provide some valuable layout hints to you.

Chapter 8 first teaches you how to design passive filters (using only capacitors and inductors) and then shows you how to get rid of the bulky inductors by simulating them with the help of amplifiers (Op Amps in this case). Switched capacitor filters are also covered. Near the end of the chapter is a short discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of digital filters.

The operational amplifier (Op Amp) is treated as an ideal device in the lecture notes. There is a very short introduction (p.319) to the relevant AC specifications of an Op Amp, but no examples of real Op Amps and their parameters are given. So you might wish to consult any of these resources on Op Amps to help you select the right operational amplifier for your filter.

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