Lecture, Theory and Troubleshooting

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About my Free Virtual Learning System (VLS).  Please provide feedback via      

Virtual Skill testing + Virtual Laboratory Experience + Links to Top Theory Sites = Best Free Online VLS.

This course is a Virtual Laboratory tutorial in electronics.  Over the last decade,  I have produced a set of free online circuit simulations and animations that constitute a interactive virtual laboratory for students studying electronics or preparing for an IT career .  My virtual interactive circuit troubleshooting exercises cover only a small sample of circuits covered in must texts or college courses. This selection of circuits ranges from simple resistive circuits thru advanced operational amplifiers, digital circuits and computers .   I believe that those who  master troubleshooting my narrow range of virtual circuits or systems will develop the skills necessary to troubleshoot a wide range of circuits and systems that they will be confronted with now and in the future.  I feel quite certain that someone who could not perform the majority of my virtual troubleshooting exercises would be in need of further training in order to become a competent electronics troubleshooter.  This person could benefit from my free virtual laboratory course. 

I provide a reading list for each topic that a student can use to learn the relevant subject matter.  This site and my virtual electronics kits test your electronics skill.  My digital simulations create screens of data in binary format that show the status of my virtual computer and many digital circuits.    





Free Class Books
(PDF files)

Electronic Concepts

Force Fields Visualized


My Free Online e-Books(Webs)

  Basic Electronics

 Electronic Troubleshooting

  Gif Circuits

Electronic Circuits with Faults 


My Free Downloads 

 Virtual electronic kits




Site Linker
Our optional reading list.
Site Linker allow me to check all the links that several of my Web site uses at a single location.






Lecture Text

How much circuit  theory is required to troubleshoot a circuit?

You may have noticed that I have not spent much time on phasor analysis and none on complex numbers.  If you didn't learn about imaginary numbers and logarithms in high school, I would have to spend a lot of time teaching mathematics.  This would force me to deviate from the primary objective of this course which is to teach fault isolation and not design engineering. 

The second reason that I am deviating from the standard electronics course curriculum is that technology has changed in the last thirty years. Allow me to explain.  When, I first started troubleshooting, circuits consisted of transistors, diodes, and passive components.  Passive components being resistors, capacitors, coils and transformers.  It was relatively easy to probe  any component of the circuit assembly, and isolate the fault to a component.  I once worked on bench testing transistor circuits that were smaller than a cubic inch.  I would isolate faults to a resistor, transistor, or a capacitor.  After passing test the units were encapsulated.  Each of these units was  a single operational amplifier to be used in avionics equipment.  Today you can get four operational amplifiers on a piece of silicon the size of a match head.  This tiny chip is than mounted onto a single 16 pin inline capsule. The point is that technology has changed.  The job of operational amplifier tester and repairman has disappeared.  In 1970 I did 90% of my troubleshooting by hand with meters and oscilloscope, and 10%  by computer controlled automatic test stations . In 1998 90% of my troubleshooting was done by analyzing data on a screen or examining a computer printer paper dump. 


I hope my site is found helpful to students who to do not have the availability of technical schools, or public libraries.  It may seem strange to think that there are students without access to books, but have Internet access.  There is an international effort being made to provide computers to remote village schools in developing countries.  I know this from watching educational TV channels like PBS, History, Discovery and others.  The Internet can provide as much information as a million dollar neighborhood public library.  Of course books that were reviewed by publishers are likely to be more accurate and contain better organized information.  Remember if you buy books from my site or buy anything after you link to Amazon from my site, that I earn a small commission from the sale.  Please help support this site by clicking on a banner advertisement. 



Electronics, Physics, Mathematics  for the vocational student:  Tutorial provides unique non-engineering, calculus free technical education.   Click here to see all our publications                   

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Last modified: Monday July 07, 2014.