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Review of Zumbahlen: Basic Linear Design

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This free notes are from a Analog Devices design seminar. So it should not come as a suprise that lots of products from Analog Decives are mentioned as examples. It is assumed that the reader already has a basic knowledge of Op Amps, Data Converters and the other topics that are covered. If your knowledge is a bit rusty, there is a short review of the basic concepts, but the focus is cleary on teaching you some tricks you need to know to build better circuits. The notes give lots a good explanations and make very little use of mathematics (except for the chapter on filters).

The first device that is covered is the Operational Amplifier (Op Amp). After a short introduction to the ideal Op Amp, the specifications that characterize real Op Amp are described in detail (but you can find much more details about Operational Amplifiers in Op Amp Applications by Jung). Related topics like comparators and instrumentation amplifiers are also covered, also other circuits like logarithmic amplifiers, analog amplifiers, RMS to DC converters, and audio amplifiers.

Transistors and diodes are not covered, so you might want to look at my pages about Diodes and BJTs (Bipolar Junction Transistors) instead.

There is one chapter each for sensors, RF/IF circuits, analog filters and power supplies (linear and switch mode). 3 chapters cover data converter circuits, including a chapter about sampling theory (but even in this theory chapter, the mathematics is kept to a minimum). Another chapter describes preventive measures against overvoltage (including ESD) and interference.

A chapter on Design Development Tools includes a discussion about macromodels and a very interesting section on Evaluation Boards and Prototyping. For some students, prototyping just means to assemble electronic components and wires on a solderless breadboard. This has the advantage that you can build a circuit very quickly. But it also has some serious disadvantages, in particular if your circuits involves higher frequencies. The section explains some good alternatives. You might also want to look at my Breadboarding and Prototyping page for further resources on this topic.

If you are more experienced with the theoretical aspects of electronics than with the practical ones, you may be suprised how much there is to learn about humble passive components like resistors and capacitors. Even the electrical characteristics of a printed circuit board have to be carefully considered if you want to build a really high performance circuit. Check the chapters on Passive Components and Printed Circuit Board Design Issues for details.

For most chapters there is a good list of references, for some chapters these also contain some quite interesting historical notes.

You should also take a look at some recommendations for other books on practical analog electronics. And you might be interested in the other free Analog Devices seminar notes.

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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