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Review of McLean: Electronics and Circuits Lecture Notes

Download McLean Electronics and Circuits Lecture Notes (2015, by Dr. Peter McLean, University of Technology, Sydney)

In the preface McLean mentions that this is not a complete set of notes, and that extra material and examples may be presented in the lectures and tutorials. But this may partly be written to motivate the students to show up in the lectures. After looking through the notes (more than 900 pages!) they appear fairly complete to me, the covered topics are discussed quite exhaustively and lots of exercises (with answers at the end of the text) are available. The last (26th) chapter Revision contains a good overview of the topics that are treated and the most important points you have to remember. This may be quite useful if you are preparing for a test and you want to check your knowledge.

Interestingly, (ideal) operational amplifiers (Op Amps) are introduced very early in the text, right in the first chapter immediately after the most basic fundamentals like Kirchhoff's Current and Voltage laws. The next 2 chapters discuss more advanced and systematic methods of circuit analysis (nodal analysis, mesh analysis, superposition...), but still only for DC circuits. The 4th chapter discusses the fundamental linear OP Amps circuits - including differentiators and integrators, which is a bit strange because capacitors are introduced later, in the 5th chapter.

The 6th chapter discusses diodes as an example for non-linear devices. Diode models and the different techniques (graphical and numerical) to analyze circuits with non-linear elements are shown. Transistors are not discussed in the text.

In the following chapters, the text contains a mix of the rather theoretical (and mathematical) chapters with advanced discussions of RLC circuits (both the step response in the time domain, and the phasor concept and the sinusoidal steady state response and bode plots in the frequency domain) on the one side. On the other side are chapters with more practical and less mathematical chapters about Nonlinear Op-Amp Applications, Op Amp Imperfections Circuit Simulation, Amplifier Characteristics, Waveform Generation (Oscillators), Specialty Amplifiers and Sensor Signal Conditioning. By the way, the chapters on Specialty Amplifiers and Sensor Signal Conditioning reference the text Op-Amp Applications by Jung - you can get it for free here.

Chapter 25 is a short introduction to system modeling. Filter circuits are also discussed in the text - if you are interested in them you should also take a look at the free text Analog Electronics (also by McLean) where they are treated in even more detail.

The mathematical prerequisites that you need to understand the text include matrices, complex numbers and differential equations. If you feel that you are lacking them, you may find it useful to first consult a separate math text like e.g. Boas.

You may also be interest in some other resources on basic linear circuit analysis.

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