# Oscillator circuits

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

For successful circuit-building exercises, follow these steps: Carefully measure and record all component values prior to circuit construction, choosing resistor values high enough to make damage to any active components unlikely. If there are any substantial errors (greater than a few percent), carefully check your circuit`s construction against the diagram, then carefully re-calculate

the values and re-measure. When students are first learning about semiconductor devices, and are most likely to damage them by making improper connections in their circuits, I recommend they experiment with large, high-wattage components (1N4001 rectifying diodes, TO-220 or TO-3 case power transistors, etc. ), and using dry-cell battery power sources rather than a benchtop power supply. This decreases the likelihood of component damage. As usual, avoid very high and very low resistor values, to avoid measurement errors caused by meter "loading" (on the high end) and to avoid transistor burnout (on the low end). I recommend resistors between 1 kW and 100 kW. One way you can save time and reduce the possibility of error is to begin with a very simple circuit and incrementally add components to increase its complexity after each analysis, rather than building a whole new circuit for each practice problem. Another time-saving technique is to re-use the same components in a variety of different circuit configurations. This way, you won`t have to measure any component`s value more than once. It has been my experience that students require much practice with circuit analysis to become proficient. To this end, instructors usually provide their students with lots of practice problems to work through, and provide answers for students to check their work against. While this approach makes students proficient in circuit theory, it...

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