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Recommendations for Circuit Simulations with SPICE

On this page you will find some recommendations for circuit simulations with SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis). It is the most widely used simulation program for analog circuits. You can start to use it without much prior knowledge, but of course you have more fun if you really understand the circuits that you simulate. So you might want to take a look at some resources on Practical Analog Electronics for some general information on analog circuits.

If you are serious about learning analog electronics, you will sooner or later come in contact with SPICE. I highly recommend to start using it as early as possible. Many textbooks on analog electronics use SPICE examples, and if you know how to run SPICE you can immediately try out what you have just read, which makes learning more fun. Even for circuits where you can find a complete analytical solution for their behavior (as is the case for linear circuits), this solution is often very complicated. It will be much easier to simulate them with SPICE. You might need to learn how to mathematically analyse the circuit (because you need this for your exams), but a SPICE simulation can confirm that your analytical solution is correct.

Many different versions of SPICE are available, and some of them you can get for free. There are many obvious differences in the user interfaces and more subtle differences in the behaviour of the simulations. But the most important aspect is that you should choose a SPICE version that is also used by other people you know and who can help you if questions arise. If you do not know which SPICE version will be used in your classes, or if you are self learner, try LTSpice. It is free and very popular, so you have a good chance to find somebody on an electronics forum who can give you advice.

If you already know the fundamentals of analog electronics, you should take a look at the eCircuit Center by Rick Faehnrich. He shows the SPICE files and the schematics of some interesting circuits, provides a detailed explanation of the circuit and suggests some experiments you can do with it using SPICE.

If you have general questions about SPICE, a good place to ask is the allaboutcircuits forum, in the General Electronics Chat.

NOTE: More info and links will follow soon.

Wise Warthog Site Overview:

General: Forums, Tips on how to seek Advice

Practical Electronics: Books and Other General Resources, Troubleshooting, Introductions to Oscilloscopes, Breadboarding and Prototyping

Foundations: Basic Linear Circuit Analysis, Analysis and Design of Electronic Circuits, Introductions to Analog IC Design, Circuit Simulation with SPICE

Devices: General Op Amp Resources, Op Amp Applications, Resistors, Capacitors, Diodes, Bipolar Junction Transistors

Application Notes: Analog Devices Seminar Notes, Columns and App Notes by Bob Pease, App Notes by Jim Williams, E-books and App Notes from Texas Instruments

Mathematics: Complex Numbers, Calculus, Mathematics for Physics and Engineering

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