In this computer era in order to build a high speed digital computing system, it is impeccable to know about each and every component. To explore more about the functionality and behavior you need to maintain your own electronics lab where you can test and improve the performance of the system. This tutorial will help the beginners who want to explore the world of electronics from the scratch.
For a beginner in electronics, it is hard to set up an electronics lab as it is difficult to find which tools and instruments are to be used for building a circuit. Here are some of the tips for a novice to construct your own electronics lab.
You have to choose a work area where it should be far away from dust and noisy environment why because, electronic components are subtle to noise and it may effect the total behavior of the circuit.
A work bench where assembly of electronics is done. Generally bench of wood material is preferred as it prevents from shocking and unwanted short circuits leading to damage of sensitive electronic components.
The most important tool to build an electronic circuit is the MULTIMETER. As the name implies it is the most versatile instrument which measures voltage, current and resistance. It is also helpful in determining the continuity of a circuit, useful in debugging the hardware of a circuit.
The multimeter is manufactured based upon the requirement. There are 2 types of multimeter available in the market. To measure resistance, voltage and current digital multimeter is used. To measure the sensitivity and range of an instrument digital multimeter is preferred.
The next tool is the bread board also called prototype board helpful to join the circuit components without the need of soldering. This reduces the need of changing the components after soldering. It is especially beneficial for IC’’s as they are damaged due to heat quickly while soldering. Without bread boards it is a tedious task to replace and solder the components again and again.
Wire Stripping Pliers
Wire stripping plier for removing the plastic on the wire so that copper is exposed and temporary connections can be made easily.
The most important tool after the electronic circuit is ready. You can solder the components permanently on to the board. A 25-30 watt rating soldering iron with alloy on its tip is sufficient.
Labelling the Components
One good technique to save time when building circuit is to using component boxes for each type of resistors, diodes and capacitors. It helps to identify and use them efficiently.
Testing of Voltage and Current
- To test the potential difference between two electrical contacts voltmeter is used. It is available in two types analog and digital. Analog voltmeter moves the pointer up to the scale of voltage difference generated between the two electrical points. Digital multimeter is used for displaying the voltage value by using inbuilt analog to digital converter.
- Ammeter is an instrument which is used for measuring current in a circuit. Generally current is measured in micro amperes or milli ampere range.
- Another way to measure the voltage is by using a potentiometer commonly called pot.
It has 3 terminals with a rotating contact acting as voltage divider. It can also be used as rheostat by using 2 terminals one end and wiper. They are also used for volume and brightness control of various devices like TV, transducers, equalizers by adding the filter circuits.
Testing and General signals
Signal generator or function generator is used for generating signals in analog or digital form. They are useful in testing and debugging of a hard ware circuit. They are used to provide required signal of particular frequency and voltage. It is used as an input source to a device to produce the required output signal. It is a standard or testing signal given to another circuit as reference.
Cathode Ray Oscilloscope
One of the most commonly used device in electronics lab is CRO.
It is a device used for measurement of amplitude and frequency of a signal. A voltmeter may show an unexpected faulty voltage but an oscilloscope cannot. It shows the graphical representation of the actual signal by comparing it with the standard signal generated from a signal generator.
We can use it as a signal tracer by connecting the probes between intermediate stages to get the desired output signal.
There are two types of oscilloscopes in use. Analog storage oscilloscope and digital oscilloscope.
Analog storage oscilloscope uses electro static deflection principle whereas digital
Oscilloscope is used because it is simple and easy to handle. Another advantage is analog data is converted to digital form which can be stored in memory for later use.
It can make automatic measurements of voltage, frequency and rise time.
These are the most commonly used instruments and components for setting up an electronics lab and many more to be discussed later.