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Recommendations for Troubleshooting Resources

Kuphaldt's Lessons In Electric Circuits (allaboutcircuits) contain a good chapter on the Theory and Practice of troubleshooting. If you want to test your knowledge, the following pages (also by Kuphaldt, from his Socratic Electronics Project) contain some very good questions: Basic circuit troubleshooting, basic strategies, troubleshooting of BJT amplifiers (this one is a bit difficult, you need a good understanding of transistor circuits to answer the questions. If it is too hard for you, look at Fiegensbaums Troubleshooting Transistor Circuits video in the paragraph below) and basic logic gates.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you start with troubleshooting, you should familiarize yourself with the basic safety measures. You can find a very good introduction to safety measures in the chapter Electrical Safety in Kuphaldt's book. I strongly recommend that you study it very carefully.

If you prefer videos to books or e-books, an elementary introduction to troubleshooting is also contained in the Video Lectures by Fiegenbaum. Please follow the link to the page with the videos and look at Elements of System Level Troubleshooting (the 5th video of the first chapter), the videos of chapter 5 Circuit Troubleshooting, at Troubleshooting Semiconductors (the last video of chapter 8, Semiconductor Technology) and at Troubleshooting Transistor Circuits (the last video of chapter 10, Transistors and Transistor Circuits).

The book Op Amps Design, Application and Troubleshooting by Terrell has at the end of most chapters a section on troubleshooting. Troubleshooting of Op Amps, comparators, oscillator circuits, active filter circuits, power supply circuits, signal processing circuits and arithmetic circuits is discussed. Although the sections that cover troubleshooting are very short, they contain some good and practical tips.

The book Troubleshooting Analog Circuits by Bob Pease is not only a great book on troubleshooting, it also contains an incredible amount of practical advice on the design of analog circuits. This will help you to design your circuits in such a way that you will need much less troubleshooting. But you should already have a good knowledge of electronics, the book does not explain the basic concepts.

Even if you know the principles of troubleshooting, you will sooner or later encounter a problem that you cannot solve alone. So here are some links where you can get advice. If the circuit is not too complex you could seek help at the electro-tech-online forum: Either at General Electronics Chat or at Electronic Projects Design Ideas Reviews. Or at the allaboutcircuits forum: Either at General Electronics Chat or at The Projects Forum. Though you will find both in the electro-tech-online and the allaboutcircuits forums very friendly and competent members who will help you in your troubleshooting efforts, for the more complicated problems you should better look at the edaboard forums: The Hobby Circuits and Small Projects Problems forum and, for the more complex questions regarding analog electronics, the Analog Circuit Design forum are good places.

Regardless in which forum you post your question, if you follow some tips on how to seek advice you can significantly increase your chances of recieving helpful answers.

Perhaps the most useful tool for efficient troubleshooting is the oscilloscope. So you might also be interested in some Recommendations for Introductions to Oscilloscopes.

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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