Why Study Electronics?
Purely mechanical problems are often only a subset of larger multi-domain
problems faced by the designer. Particularly, the solutions of many of today’s interesting
problems require expertise in both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.
DVD players, digital projectors, modern cars, machine tools, and digital cameras are just
a few examples of the results of such combined innovation. In these hybrid systems,
design trade-offs often span the knowledge space of both mechanical and electrical
engineering. For example, in a car engine, is it more cost-effective to design a precise
mechanical timing mechanism to trigger the firing of each cylinder, or is it better to use
electronic sensors to measure the positions of each piston and then use a microprocessor
to trigger the firing? For every problem, designers with combined expertise in mechanical
and electrical engineering will be able to devise more ideas of possible solutions and be
able to better evaluate the feasibility of each idea.
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A basic understanding of electronic circuits is important even if the designer does
not intend to become a proficient electrical engineer. In many real-life engineering
projects, it is often necessary to communicate, and also negotiate, specifications between
engineering teams having different areas of expertise. Therefore, a basic understanding of
electronic circuits will allow the mechanical engineer to evaluate whether or not a given
electrical specification is reasonable and feasible.
The following text is designed to provide an efficient introduction to electronic
circuit design. The text is divided into two parts. Part I is a barebones introduction to
basic electronic theory while Part II is designed to be a practical manual for designing
and building working electronic circuits.
Circuit design pdf (73 downloads)