What sort of books would you recommend?

You might like, The Art of Electronics.

It covers both digital and analog electronics in a down to earth, this is what you need to know, and how to make it work format. There is also a lab book along with it that if you have the ability to perform some basic experiments is quite interesting to work through.

You indicated that you are dabbling in logic and digital design. I can't emphasize enough the importance of understanding analog electronics too because without it you will only be left scratching your head, wondering why your digital design isn't working.

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For a Software Engineer dabbling in logic/digital design with a fairly basic to moderate understanding of Electronics


needs to get a quartz xtal to oscillate at the intended frequency and would like to understand it instead of just duplicating someone elses circuit.


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I concur, splendid first step.

However, note that the book mentions that making a oscillator that is guaranteed to oscillate is not a trivial task.

A company I worked for designed their own simple oscillator circuits using a couple of logic inverters and a crystal. Sometimes they'd not work if a different manufacturer's logic chip was used, etc, and this would cause loads of hassle catching all boards from a particular production run.

In the end they got fed up with this and just bought canned oscillators.

It just wasn't worth the effort and the risk of rolling their own.

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An excellent on-line book project "Lessons In Electric Circuits" may be found at:

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Paul E. Schoen

I agree.

    - Win
Reply to
Winfield Hill

If you're into dead tree information, _Crystal Oscillator Circuits_ by Matthys (Krieger, 2nd edition) is a rip-roaring good read.

Best regards, Spehro Pefhany

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speff@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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Spehro Pefhany

Robert J. Matthys' book "crystal oscillators" would be a good start. not too evil on theory (for that, look at Pierce or Edson), but many, many measurements. good stuff.

Dont do what I did, for my first 7404 xtal osc.

Firstly, it didnt oscillate at all. during troubleshooting I noticed the

10M feedback resistor burnt my finger. oops, brown-green-black (someone put a whole roll of 1R5 into the 10M bin). Great, now it oscillates. at 18kHz (cf 12MHz) and I cant trigger. Cue 1/2hr of confusion, before a passing tech cranks up the timebase on the DSO, which was aliasing like a SOB. :)

Cheers Terry

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Terry Given

The Art of Electronics, or the ARRL or RSGB handbooks are not too bad.

Or go online and find a lengthy document by John Vig, probably one of the top-10 xtal gurus. Google should find it pretty quick. Or for that matter, there's a ton of xtal stuff from all the xtal manufacturers, Fox, Anderson, Vectron, Raltron, Epson.

And "RF Design" has had some reasonable articles on xtal oscillators.

Barry Lennox

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Barry Lennox

10M feedback resistor burnt my finger. oops, brown-green-black (someone

I was building a direct-coupled tube amplifier. I needed a 1M to 470k (or so) voltage divider to bias the first stage.

Oh yeah, circuit is here. Not the greatest of things, but it works. I think (I gave it away and it hasn't come back yet, so...).

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(Hm, 680k is 1M || 2.2M or 470+220k, I forget which I ended up with.)

Anyways, I wired it up, turned it on, was poking around with the voltmeter, and nothing was right. It's like all the voltages were too high or too close (saturated), or something. A grid or two was apparently positive. On closer inspection, it turned out I had brown-green-black instead of brown-black-green for that grid bias resistor!

Fortunately, tubes don't mind this treatment at all, despite there being

200V behind the 15 ohm resistor. Gotta love it ;)

My oldest brother (who was working with me on this) claims he will continue to haunt me with this case of mistaken identity. ;-)

I'm not done here yet. The funniest thing I can think of concerning "15 ohms" is a friend I was voice-chatting with; I casually mentioned 15 ohms and he suddenly went stern and starting laughing a bit. I was then ROTFL ;-)

Tim (who still doesn't know why he bought that pack of 15R's)

-- Deep Fryer: a very philosophical monk. Website:

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Reply to
Tim Williams

no, 1R5. I didnt tell you the colour of the tolerance band :)

Reply to
Terry Given

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