Where to study analog block circuitry online?

Help Support GroupDIY:

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
Hey guys, I know there's what may seem a similar question to this one in the post below, but this one is different.

I finished studying some time ago the basics of Electrical Engineering in different MOOCs (University Graded Online Courses with Degrees), and it is totally awesome.

These same moocs, in the next level, steer towards computing or robotics. I'm studying solely for the purpose of building music analog gear. When I get that down I'll steer towards hybrid gear, far in the future.

I've been searching relentlessly for somewhere online where I can study "Block Circuitry", and by that I mean how to make a Band Pass Filter, a Filter Loop, a Bias Circuit, and all of which I can study and need soley for the purpose of use in audio using analog parts, and where the lessons are structured or with a curriculum. That's the main point. I can look for those on their own, but I may miss some circuits and the lessons may be scattered, and a structured study of these will give me a curriculum and steps to follow making it much more easier and complete.

Anyone knows where can I study this branch of electronics online structured with or without a curriculum? No degree needed and must be free. Many Thanks.
 
Last edited:

H713

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
8
My recommendation is to download LTspice and pick up a copy of Art of Electronics, and if you're into audio then I'd also buy a copy of Small Signal Audio Design. Read through them, and simulate the circuits they talk about.

If you don't want to buy the books (they're definitely worth it) Rod Elliott's site is definitely worth digging through.
 

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
My recommendation is to download LTspice and pick up a copy of Art of Electronics, and if you're into audio then I'd also buy a copy of Small Signal Audio Design. Read through them, and simulate the circuits they talk about.

If you don't want to buy the books (they're definitely worth it) Rod Elliott's site is definitely worth digging through.

Hey, that's a very good recommendation, it's exactly what I'm going to do. Never thought of mixing this part of my learning with LTspice though I was doing it before. Thanks a bunch!

Any other recommendations are welcome!
 

Newmarket

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
579
Location
Brighton Sussex UK
I could have written what H713 said. Art of Electronics describes component function well without involving too much "deep maths" for the time being.
Whilst The Douglas Self book gives exactly what you are looking for in terms of functional blocks.
You will, of course, need some extra detail and sources igf you are looking at designing with valves (or 'tubes' as I believe they are called in the colonies :))
 

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
I could have written what H713 said. Art of Electronics describes component function well without involving too much "deep maths" for the time being.
Whilst The Douglas Self book gives exactly what you are looking for in terms of functional blocks.
You will, of course, need some extra detail and sources igf you are looking at designing with valves (or 'tubes' as I believe they are called in the colonies :))
:) lol tubes that function as valves. That totally is going to help me, since the book is rather large, I didn't know tubes were not mentioned in it. I'm looking for the cheapest copy of the book that's in good condition, and just getting it. Is that good. The other book is excel as well and getting it for sure. I have a few other known books but these two that were previously recommended are just so so good and so exiting. I have a few books that go deep in mathematics and charts of all analog components used in audio. But I need that solid knowledge *of building block circuitry* which I think these books will give me. *post edit.

I'm planning on making my own fuzz boxes and others, 1176 Compressors, Super Lead 1959 (Plexi) Amps, Champ Amps, Neve Pre-Amps and others, because for example a good clone of a Super Lead 1959 head costs me around 1.400 u.s dollars, building it myself around 400 bucks. I understand how all of the previous mentioned work and are wired, but I need that solid knowledge for sure.

I'm planning in a not so far future getting a space and turning in into a recording studio, so instead of paying 4 thousand us dollars for a 1176 I can make a bunch of them and other models for a fraction of that cost. Not using pre-built kits but resourcing and building my own from scratch. Even cheaper and more precise clones. More work, more practice, I get better.

I've been making music and recording/producing for quite some time, active in the music scene, so this is really exiting for me, just as the first time I studied it.

Anyone can please recommend a good book about the function and use of tubes/valves for use in audio gear?

Any other resource or recommendation is welcome!

- Post Edit: I have a few books on Tubes but if I find thee books on tubes would be of immense help.
 
Last edited:

Dualflip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
1,352
Location
México
The standard Tube book is Radio Designer's Handbook 4th edition, however there are some that are more introductory, Valve Amplifiers by Morgan Jones is a good option.

I like The Art of Electronics, I do not love it thou, many people here swear by it, dont get me wrong, it is a good book and I enjoy reading both the 2nd and 3rd editions, however, I am more on the math rigorous side, I am the type of person who needs equations and some physics to feel like I fully understood something rather than learning from simple analogies like the "Transistor Man" (you'll know what I am talking about when you read TAOE).

The Art of Electronics, IMHO has a lot of great info and practical applications but long time ago I struggled with it when I was just learning, I feel that if you are not familiarized with the topics you will end up asking yourself "Ok the book says this but why? or how?" that was my main concern, so instead, I went to more rigorous books like Microelectronic Circuits by Sedra/Smith, which is hated by many but it is one of my personal favorites, so after I read Sedra/Smith I then went back to TAOE and all the tips and tricks suddenly made more sense.

All of Douglas Self's books are brilliant, but again, you need to have a solid foundation, his books have practically zero math and his circuits are not described component by component, he assumes you already have an understanding of electronics. Some people like the zero math approach, personally I don't, I think that its limiting because the approach is limited to a specific situation, its like "here is the circuit, take it or leave it" so you have little room for modification, you either do the math by yourself or spend some days fooling around with it in a SIM or protoboard to understand it better, which BTW, you should do that anyway with any circuit. Most of the time I do the math by myself and write the most important equations next to the circuit image or on the page margin.

Rod Elliot's webpage is also a good recommendation, however, you must take it with a grain of salt, some circuits are really good, some are quite lo fi or sub par for today's standards, but still, good to learn.

However, if your main concern is building stuff, you really don't need much electronics knowledge but rather practice and skills, I am talking about soldering kits, or making a circuit from a schematic rather than designing from scratch. I've built many many things way before I knew how they worked. In that case this forum is your best resource,
 
Last edited:

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
The standard Tube book is Radio Designer's Handbook 4th edition, however there are some that (...)

Thanks Dualflip, every opinion helps. The book I have and have studied on Amps, which has valves in it, is "Valves and Transistor Audio Amplifier" by John Linsley Hood. It has cleared more than a couple of dozen doubts I had about certain circuits, but doesn't talk specifically and solely about the core and use of tubes. I have done extensive research about all subjects, but I was missing good books solely about tubes. Thanks for sharing those books, I will take a look at all of them. I have bought a couple of books about them, but I was missing good books recommended by people who know this stuff.

I used to practice solder and do stuff in breadboards long time ago, preparing for the next step, but so to keep it light, the Country in which I live has been struggling for some time, so for the time being I have to do everything in Ltspice and the likes, I also use KiCad. I see an opening in these coming months, so most likely I can get back to the task at hand in a not so far future. I'm planning on building my gear from classic schematics. I'm into the side of mathematics physics equations and charts as well, makes me think if I get that down it will be easier to calibrate these precious pieces of gear to actually sound and respond like the classic originals do. I will take all the knowledge I can from all sources. I needed physics to feel satisfied in knowing how NPN and PNP transistors worked and why, it was crucial, learning it in an atomic level. The same with other pieces. *But I needed knowledge building block circuitry*. post edit

For sure, I started studying all of these gears mostly in this page, checking out the schematics, the vast list of links, the explanations and builds of its members, and very importantly, the small but crucial information and experience that is given by members in posts (for example in x standardized schematic says a 5k resistor but in real life they used 2k in pararell) and stuff like that. Reading and soaking up knowledge like a maniac. I'm pretty sure everybody in this forums feels the same excitement I do when learning how to build all these stuff.

Thanks again very much and I will take all the recommendations I can.
 
Last edited:

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
@Dualflip is "The Radiotron Designers Handbook (4th edition)" the same as "Radio Designer's Handbook 4th edition"?

Both have the same author. And are 4th editions.
 
Last edited:

jacomart

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
161
Location
Tuscany, Italy
I have had so many books that I still jealously keep and from which I have learned a lot. From RCA Radiotron Designer's Handbook to Douglas Self's books, Paul Horowitz's TAOE series, Merlin Blencowe, Linslay Hood, Bob Cordell, Ravalico's "Audio Book" series and many more, but the book that gave me the foundations to read all the others, and which I will always remember as "The Book", for me is "Electronic Devices and Circuits" by Jakob Millman and Christos Halkias. As an engineer I am convinced that without solid foundations you cannot build a house and Millman's book gives them! (warning: math & physics inside)

@Goblin the exact title is: "Radiotron Designer's Handbook" and it is widely considered the valve bible.

Cheers
JM
 

Attachments

  • 020BEE53-EF7A-4F01-936F-4DB3F217D7AC_1_105_c.jpeg
    020BEE53-EF7A-4F01-936F-4DB3F217D7AC_1_105_c.jpeg
    70.3 KB · Views: 13
Last edited:

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
@Dualflip @jacomart Thanks so much guys. As I said before, one thing is to buy and study a couple of books and other is to buy n study books recommended by people that know their stuff. If you study like me that's a whole day affair it becomes really important to study the right books.

Totally Jacomart, what I'm after is a solid foundation. I agree with you on that 100 per cent. That approach has helped me in all the disciplines I perform.

I'm going to take a look at all these books, buy those I can digitally, those that are not available digitally physically, and hit the library when I can, then check out with which one I should start, which should not take me long, and just start blazing pen paper calculator and LTspice in hand. Thanks again guys. This has been of immense help. Googling "Best books to study Block Circuitry" and the likes just doesn't work. I tried it.

Again, I'll keep taking *all* the recommendations and suggestions I can.
 

Dualflip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
1,352
Location
México
There is a thread in the META with book recommendations, some are old, but its a good list, make a search on the forum.

Good luck!
 

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
I'm guessing that's like a pinned thread? Where should I look for it? Can't find it.
I mean I've used the search function and looked through all the website and pulled all I could find but don't know exactly what the META is in this forum.
 

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
I mean I've used the search function and looked through all the website and pulled all I could find but don't know exactly what the META is in this forum.
Got it, super useful. Thanks!

 

H713

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2019
Messages
8
The standard Tube book is Radio Designer's Handbook 4th edition, however there are some that are more introductory, Valve Amplifiers by Morgan Jones is a good option.

I like The Art of Electronics, I do not love it thou, many people here swear by it, dont get me wrong, it is a good book and I enjoy reading both the 2nd and 3rd editions, however, I am more on the math rigorous side, I am the type of person who needs equations and some physics to feel like I fully understood something rather than learning from simple analogies like the "Transistor Man" (you'll know what I am talking about when you read TAOE).

The Art of Electronics, IMHO has a lot of great info and practical applications but long time ago I struggled with it when I was just learning, I feel that if you are not familiarized with the topics you will end up asking yourself "Ok the book says this but why? or how?" that was my main concern, so instead, I went to more rigorous books like Microelectronic Circuits by Sedra/Smith, which is hated by many but it is one of my personal favorites, so after I read Sedra/Smith I then went back to TAOE and all the tips and tricks suddenly made more sense.

All of Douglas Self's books are brilliant, but again, you need to have a solid foundation, his books have practically zero math and his circuits are not described component by component, he assumes you already have an understanding of electronics. Some people like the zero math approach, personally I don't, I think that its limiting because the approach is limited to a specific situation, its like "here is the circuit, take it or leave it" so you have little room for modification, you either do the math by yourself or spend some days fooling around with it in a SIM or protoboard to understand it better, which BTW, you should do that anyway with any circuit. Most of the time I do the math by myself and write the most important equations next to the circuit image or on the page margin.

Rod Elliot's webpage is also a good recommendation, however, you must take it with a grain of salt, some circuits are really good, some are quite lo fi or sub par for today's standards, but still, good to learn.

However, if your main concern is building stuff, you really don't need much electronics knowledge but rather practice and skills, I am talking about soldering kits, or making a circuit from a schematic rather than designing from scratch. I've built many many things way before I knew how they worked. In that case this forum is your best resource,
I agree to some level, it's important to have a book where the math is covered well, but I don't view AoE as being a textbook- it's a reference book as much as anything. Usually when I pull it out it's because I'm working on a design and I want to know some approaches for a particular application. One thing I notice is that books that go heavily into the math often don't go into enough detail on practical implementation, so I tend to have mixed feelings. That said, I wish Douglas Self put a few more equations in his book (especially in the section on EQ circuits), simply because it can save some time and make it a lot easier to pick optimal part values.

An obscure book that I find useful on occasion is Principles of Radar, but I'll be honest, like AoE, it doesn't come out all that often for audio design. I find Morgan Jones to be a little more useful than the Radiotron designers handbook- little more detail on audio circuits.
 

Dualflip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
1,352
Location
México
I agree to some level, it's important to have a book where the math is covered well, but I don't view AoE as being a textbook- it's a reference book as much as anything. Usually when I pull it out it's because I'm working on a design and I want to know some approaches for a particular application.
agreed, my critique goes to those who rely solely on AOE, like I said its a good book with practical design knowledge and some great tips, not available in other books, but to me that is not enough which is why I use other books. The "transistor man" example I mentioned is one of the reasons why I do not think AOE is the absolute reference, I need physics instead of the transistor man, which dont get me wrong, could be a great analogy for some people, but not for me.
One thing I notice is that books that go heavily into the math often don't go into enough detail on practical implementation, so I tend to have mixed feelings
yes, you are correct the more rigorous books are on the other extreme, for instance my beloved Sedra/Smith has zero applications. A healthy combination of both typesof books is usually best.

I wish Douglas Self put a few more equations in his book (especially in the section on EQ circuits), simply because it can save some time and make it a lot easier to pick optimal part values.
My exact same thoughts, I always wondered why simple equations like cutoff frequency are not available, his book on crossovers is the same, everything is pre-made at his selected frequencies with no equations on how to change them.

An obscure book that I find useful on occasion is Principles of Radar, but I'll be honest, like AoE, it doesn't come out all that often for audio design.
I'll definitely check it out, thanks!

I find Morgan Jones to be a little more useful than the Radiotron designers handbook- little more detail on audio circuits.
Yes, I recommended Morgan Jones because it is easier and more applied, RDH4 is more the go-to reference for old world electronics, I use it for many things not related to audio, but it has the theory of vacuum tubes and a lot more, it even includes an useless chapter on how to use a slide ruler. Again, its engineering book for the old world engineer.
 

Goblin

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
20
I bought most of the books mentioned that were available for digital download. Those books rock, and are super interesting. I'm elated. As said in the discussion above, I can see the use in all of them.

I can start by reading one of them and just going along, or make myself like a study program, which is more what I want to do. For example a week study so and so chapters, or take 1-2 weeks to study a chapter and so on.

Reading you guys I got the idead of studying TAOE and Circuits Sedra/Smith at the same time, if I don't get the math easily in Sedra/Smith use other of the more mathematically physics inclined books recommended here, but that have more basic math. The plan is to study chapters that refer to the same topic, before on one book, just after finishing it start the chapter that has the same topic on the next book. At this point I'm kinda physically and mentally tired from other stuff so I'm not taking advanced mathematics lessons, which are available for free in moocs, but that's on my plans for sure. I'm resting this weekend, or trying to cuz I always start doing stuff and I don't realize, and starting on Monday my studies. I can back engineer most of the advanced math equations or I just Google it and get that one down and continue like I normally do. I'll be taking notes, researching the topics at hand checking them out in other sources, using LTspice and others, etc.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how should I go on studying these books and topics to be more effective? And how can I structure these studies? I plan on taking my time, but I really don't want to spend a whole year with these two books, only because there are other topics to be studied. One of those books is a full one year course at MIT if I remember well. Which is gold, but at least I want to finish these books in it's entirely in six months, not reading them partially, skipping pages as one book suggests. So then I can pick up say the Valves books. What do you guys recommend?
 
Last edited:

Dualflip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
1,352
Location
México
I suggest you to focus on a topic, and read that in TAOE and Sedra/Smith and so on, go back and forth, for example if you are studying the BJT, perhaps start by reading Sedra/Smith, then go to the BJT chapter in TAOE and so on, that helps.

You won't have many problems with math in Sedra/Smith, its mostly algebra, and some calculus for most stuff, in filters and such you might also have to use Laplace. However, in my opinion, when reading Sedra/Smith your main obstacle wont be the math, it will be your electric circuits background and physics background, specially you should be proficient at circuit analysis, that is the most important thing IMHO, if you know about electric circuit analysis but you have holes in your understanding or are not very proficient at circuit analysis techniques, then I would strongly suggest covering that before going any further. When I first began learning electronics I realized this and I read from cover to cover many electric circuits books, I solved many, many problems. Many of those problems are very unpractical but they give you skills to analyze most stuff.

I teach analog electronics to senior EE undergrads at college, what I've noticed is that their main obstacle is a lack of skill and knowledge of electric circuit analysis, the superposition theorem, KVL, KCL, Thevenin, Norton, etc.. etc..., its not enough to "know" about them, you must master those techniques, a combination of them, and intuitively know when and how to use what. Over time you develop an intuitive sense of analysis, you can glance at a schematic and roughly get an idea of how it works without getting through pages and pages of handwritten equations.

There are many electric circuits books, my personal favorite is the one by Charles Alexander and Mathew Sadiku.

Also notice, that many stuff in Sedra/Smith is oriented towards Integrated design, many of those techniques apply to discrete design but many do not, like transistors with several emmiters and so on.... Also Sedra/Smith give a lot of emphasis in MOS technollogy, last time I checked they also had good chapters on the BJT, but the JFET is not even covered in the newer editions.

Whether you should start with Solid State or Vacuum Tubes, it depends, some people think its easier to learn VT and then jump to transistors, others think the opposite is true. I would say, that since you are not starting from scratch, I advice you to continue with what you know, that is solid state, vacuum tube electronics is really very different, well, if you understand how a N-channel JFET works then it wont be dificult to understand how a triode works, many things are similar between VT and SS circuits but the devil is in the details. For example, regarding power amplifiers, some VT amps do not use global negative feedback, whilst almost all SS amps do, Vacuum tubes rely heavily on audio transformers and multiple winding power transformers, so you have to know how transformers work, you have to know what are the type of transformers used for Vacuum tubes, you have to know what is the best load that needs to be presented to the Plate of the tube, etc.. etc... whilst 99% of modern transistor amps do not use any transformers aside from the power transformer. Traditional Vacuum tube power supplies are very different from SS power supplies, so that is also something to consider.

There are type N or type J transistors, npn and pnp transistors, enhancing or depletion MOSFETS, but there are not different polarity VTs, all amplifying tubes are basically type N depletion (this is an analogy, the term type N refers to a type of semiconductor, tubes work under a completely different principle called the thermionic effect), so the topology of the circuits used in VT and SS tends to be quite different.

I am not a big fan of vacuum tubes (Ian will disagree with me), so I'm mostly into solid state, you can learn both at a time, BUT in my opinion it will take longer to become good at either.

Also, remember that the chances of getting your heart stopped are far higher with vacuum tubes due to the voltages being used, solid state is less risky whilst still not devoid of dangers, so if you do not have much hands on experience, then I suggest to start building less risky stuff with SS components.

My 2 cents...
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top