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 "" 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 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.

There are four large sections based upon university level lecture courses:

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,
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!. . . :-)

Electronics homepage
Course contents

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.

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.

Electronics homepage
Course contents

Content and pages maintained by: Jim Lesurf (
using HTMLEdit and TechWriter on a RISCOS machine.
University of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, Scotland.