Basic Electronics Stage 2

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” – George Bernard Shaw

This, the second "book" (or App if you prefer) in our series, takes the reader into the realm of simple power-supplies.

It covers:

  • AC generation and power-transmission
  • Transformers
  • Simplified Oscilloscope and Sinusoidal waveforms
  • Diodes to get DC from AC
  • Capacitors and smoothing a DC voltage
  • Putting it all together as a simple Wall-wart
The interactivity of this stage is focused on exploring waveforms with a unique pseudo oscilloscope.

After a Preface, which reviews some basic calculations for Resistors, we start trying to get a low-voltage from a higher one. The ensuing waste-of-energy leads to considering Alternating Current (AC).

Using high-voltage AC we can transmit power over great distances, with Transformers at each end of the cable to change voltages quite easily.
Transformers are not perfect, and their losses are discussed here.
On some pages certain texts are highlighted - touching these "pops-up" further information to help your understanding of that subject matter.

RMS (Root Mean Squared) sounds heavy, but understanding it is not hard and its benefits are important.

In this App, our interactive breadboard has gained a built-in oscilloscope, which generates the waveforms to be found at many points in a circuit.

So now we can view several circuits which attempt to get DC from AC
Introducing the capacitor, one of the workhorses of electronics, though we will use them for only a single job in this stage - smoothing-out the voltage-changes we got from a bridge-rectifier

With their capability of storing a lot of charge, electrolytic capacitors are used for this job, so we glance at their construction and how it differs from lesser beings.

However big the capacitor used, there will still be some change-of-voltage as we draw a current for our load. This is called Ripple, and the calculations for dealing with it are covered.

Putting all we have learned together results in a very simple Wall-wart type of power supply.
Available for: Tablet devices £1.49   (US$1.99) Return to front page
 
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