Using The Scots Guide to Electronics
Welcome to the Scot's Guide!
Originally, this material was intended just to help students at the University of St. Andrews learn some basic electronics. However, as the material grew, I decided that it made sense for it to be openly available on the web for all to see. The basic intention is that these pages should be available via the web to anyone with a browser who wants to know more about electronics. However, under some circumstances you may make local electronic (cache) or printed copies. If you want to know more about this, please refer to the section on copyright lower down this page.
Note that this site is produced entirely by me in my 'spare time' an as amateur activity, and is hosted by a web server at my university. You may like to check that this page (and others on the site) start with "http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/" as, if not, you may be looking at an unauthorised mirror or copy that may not be accurate or up to date. If you are not sure of this, then the link http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scots_Guide/intro/electron.htm should take you to the main home page of the original site at St. Andrews university.
This guide attempts the impossible! It tries to act as a 'discover within' for anyone who wants to start learning electronics, and also as a useful reference for those who already know something about the subject. The goal is to cover all electronics, at all levels. This would take forever, so all I can do in practice is to add material on various topics as time permits and ensure something for everyone. So far as possible, the pages avoid the most demanding 'glitzy' features like 'frames'. This is deliberate as I want the content to be readable on the widest possible range of browsers. For convenience, one or two pages use 'tables' as most browsers can handle these, and they make choosing one thing from many options easier. There are, however, non-table contents pages for those who dislike tables.
The items on the introduction page are roughly aimed at three levels of interest and prior knowledge. The simplest stuff is in the 'The Basics' column of the table, more detailed explanations are in the 'Something to Read' column. The other items are more of a mixed bag.
- The 'Building Blocks' section explains how quite complicated circuits are achieved by combining a small selection of basic small circuits. The act a bit like the 'words' of the language of electronics whereas the components (resistors, etc) are the 'letters'.
- The 'Circuit Diagrams' section shows how you can read the written language of electronics.
- Finally, 'Data Sheets' provides some information on a few of the commonly used components. This part should be useful even if you're already into electronics as a quick reference to which pin does what, etc!
There are four large sections based upon university level lecture courses:
- The First Eleven. This is based on the detailed notes for a series of eleven lectures that were intended as a general introduction to electronics.
- Radio and Coherent. This set of pages concentrates on topics relevant to radio, microwave, and coherent light application areas. Based upon the detailed lecture notes for a course of over 20 lectures in this topic.
- Analog and Audio. This provides an introduction to analog electronics with a special emphasis on audio. Based upon the notes of an eight lecture course with an accompanying laboratory.
- Information and Measurement. This covers the topics of Information Theory, Instrumentation and Measurement. The approach is to explain these topics in terms of the physics upon which they are based in practice. This course uses various practical examples - e.g explanations of how CD players work, and encryption systems.
There is also a set of pages which can be used as the basis of a practical labcourse for those wanting to learn electronics.
Most of these pages were generated on a RISCOS computer - yes, there *are* non-IBM, non-Apple, non-UNIX computers! For this reason I have tried to ensure that the pages look OK on the widest possible range of browsers. Similarly, I've tried to make the content as diverse as possible.
If you get a problem reading any of the pages,
...or if you see mistakes,
Please bear in mind, however, that the software team of one (me!) is still slowly building these pages. As a result, some links aren't operating yet, and there are lots of pages that aren't written yet. I have now been producing these pages for nearly ten years. The contents are now the equivalent of over 200 A4 printed pages, and the end is still no-where in sight!. . . :-)
...or if there are things you'd like to see included,
...or even if you'd like to say you like the guide (!),
please drop me a line and let me know.
Copyright and Use of the Scots Guide
The Guide is primarily intended for use by individuals using their web browsers, via the internet, and looking at the pages hosted by the server at St. Andrews University. However I am often asked various questions by individuals and organisations about permission to use the site in various ways, and for varying purposes. The following summarises what is or is not permitted. Please note that I am not a lawyer, so what follows is written in simple terms. I reserve the right to change the following policies without notice, or to refuse permission in any case as I see fit. My primary aim is to allow access to the information without charge, but I reserve the right to decide for myself when copies may be made or used, and who may do this.
What you may or may not do depends upon your status.
- Private individuals and students.
Individuals may keep copies of the pages and images from the Scots Guide in a cache in their personal computer. They may also print out sections of the guide for their private purposes of study. If you are a student, and wish to use images, etc, in work you have to hand in for assessment, you may use selected material from the Scots Guide website provided that you include a clear printed note with the material identifying myself (J. C. G. Lesurf) as the author, and giving the URL (web address) at St. Andrews from which the material was taken.
- Universities and other educational (non commercial) establishments.
A University, School, or other educational establishment may make copies of the material on the Scots Guide for distribution to their students, or partly base courses upon it, provided that they adhere to the following requirements. Firstly, as is the case for private individuals, they should include my name and the URLs so that the origin of any and all items can be seen, and students may then easily directly access the relevant webpages at St. Andrews. Secondly, they should notify me when making copies, and check that this policy has not changed. Thirdly, they should send me a copy of any printed versions made of material taken from the Scots Guide website. Finally, any copies provided may only be given, with no charge, to their registered students or academic staff. i.e. distribution is limited to members of the institution, and they may not be asked to pay for the copies. The reason for these conditions is the resource is meant to be free for educational purposes.
- Companies or commercial enterprises of any kind.
You may not print or distribute to anyone outside your organisation any copies of the material on the Scots Guide website without first entering a suitable copyright agreement with myself. Individuals within a commercial organisation may make personal copies of materials from the Scots Guide for their own educational purposes. A commercial organisation may also make copies as part of an internal educational program provided that they then follow the procedures described above relating to educational institutions.
The Scots Guide is intended to be easily accessible as an educational resource for individuals and educational bodies. Over the internet, it is easy for people to make copies or use my work without my being aware of what they are doing. Since I did not write the Scots Guide to get rich I do not expect payment when it is used for the purposes I originally intended. However I do hope that my work will be acknowledged when you find it useful. If anyone intends to make any commerical use, or sell copies, I do not wish this to occur unless they have first made a suitable copyright agreement with myself. The material on the Scots Guide is copyright.
Content and pages maintained by: Jim Lesurf (firstname.lastname@example.org)
using HTMLEdit and TechWriter on a RISCOS machine.
University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland.