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Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Volume 1


Author: Charles Platt

Publisher: Make


Publish Date: November 2, 2012

ISBN-10: 1449333893

Pages: 304

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

At a time when information is widely and freely available in greater quantities than ever before, the reader may wonder whether The Encyclopedia of Electronic Components is really necessary. Surely, anything you want to know can be found online?

Well, yes and no. Let’s consider the available resources.

Datasheets are indispensable, but they have limitations. Some are detailed; others are skimpy. Some show you sample schematics as a guide to using a component; many don’t. None of them tells you much about how a component works, because that’s not their purpose. Often they don’t mention other components that must be added. Some datasheets for DC-DC converters, for instance, say nothing at all about bypass capacitors, even though the capacitors may be essential. A datasheet for an optocoupler says nothing about the pullup resistor required by the open-collector output.

Datasheets don’t facilitate comparison shopping. A datasheet from one manufacturer will not compare its products with those from another manufacturer, and may not even provide much guidance about alternatives that are available from the same manufacturer. For example, a datasheet for a linear voltage regulator won’t suggest that you might do better to use a DC-DC converter in an application where high efficiency is important.

Most of all, datasheets don’t tell you how to avoid common mistakes. What actually happens if you connect that tantalum capacitor the wrong way around? A datasheet gives you the customary list of absolute maximum values, and after that, you are on your own, burning things out, encountering mysterious electronic behavior, and discovering  limitations that are so well known, the datasheet didn’t bother to mention them. In my experience, relying on datasheets creates a significant risk of reinventing the wheel.

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