Want to Design and Analyze Basic Circuits?  Check Out Solve Elec!

| Monday's Mac Gadget

Product Link : Solve Elec 2.5 (Freeware)
Company Link : Physics Software

Some become curious about electronics and circuits at an early age, others will learn about such things in school, perhaps in a physics course. Although its great fun to grab a soldering iron and start building things, at times you may want to test things out first, without risk of hurting yourself or others. Solve Elec will let you graphically design basic circuits, and then let you analyze them in a number of ways.

Design and Analyze Basic Circuits with Solve Elec

Letis start with a basic DC (direct current) circuit. Every circuit needs a power source, so you can select from fixed or variable voltage or current sources. Next, you can choose from some basic components like a resistor, LED, amplifier or transistor. Once you think you have a circuit that will do something, you can insert a voltmeter, to measure voltage, or an ammeter, to measure current. You can then switch on the circuit, and see if it does what you think.

Thereis a Solver, which will compute the value of any unknown variables in the circuit. For our sample circuit, we had a 12V supply, and a 1K ohm resistor, the current is I = E / R, so I = 12 / 1000 or 12 mA. Once youive gotten comfortable with DC circuits, you may want to get a little more adventurous, and try some AC (alternating current) circuits. This introduces some new concepts, like frequency; some new components, like a capacitor and inductor; and some new tools, such as an oscilloscope.

If you donit know where to start, the site has some sample circuits, such as a high-pass filter and RLC circuit. So start designing and analyzing some circuits today, and check Solve Elec!

Have any other gadgets that get you charged up? Send an [removed]eval(unescape(i[removed]('email to John')i))[removed], and heill take a look.

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