Introduction

This book is written using Adobe® Acrobat®, which is a powerful program with all manner of useful features including word and phrase search. The first thing to do is to use the help facility to learn how to use Acrobat.

This book is not intended as a textbook for electronic engineers but is for artists. No prior knowledge of mathematics or electronics is assumed. This book is specifically aimed at artists who have a need for particular types of circuits but may be of interest to hobbyists as well.

The book explains simple mathematics and electronic theory together with descriptions of common electronic components. This is to provide the artist with sufficient knowledge to understand the circuits described at a level, which should enable them to build and test them. It is assumed that it is unlikely that every circuit built will be exactly as described in this book, as mistakes in construction are common. The book therefore includes the necessary instructions in construction, faultfinding and circuit testing to ensure that the circuits will function correctly and reliably.

The circuits described in this book are in a modular form so that the reader will be able to combine a number of them to build a complete circuit. There are chapters on construction, test equipment, tools, power supplies, sensing devices, timers, control circuits, switches, amplifiers and output devices like motors, lights and loud speakers. This modular circuit design can be likened to using building bricks to construct complex structures using a number of simple component parts. Chapter 18 shows you how to do this and has a list of the circuits described in the cd. You can use this list as an index and easy way of navigating the cd

The reader will appreciate that just giving a circuit and details of how to construct it, is not going to help them very much if the final circuit does not function correctly. They will not have the knowledge to find out what is wrong with it. It is therefore essential that a small amount of technical knowledge is included in this book and the writer assumes that the reader fully understands each chapter before progressing to the next. This applies to chapters 1 to 7. The rest of the chapters deal with circuits, which perform particular types of function like sensors and timers. There are a large number of circuits described in this CD and it is unlikely that the reader will need all of them, so there is no need to read them all. Chapter 18 describes how to select which ones to use.

The CD keeps mathematical formulae to a minimum using an empirical approach wherever possible but the reader will have to understand the basic principles.

The reader should appreciate that electronic design engineers have had many years of training followed by many years of experience and that a simple book is not a substitute for that. This book is intended to give just enough knowledge to build, modify, and test the simple circuits that are most useful to artists.

The circuits described herein have been designed to allow them to be connected directly to other circuits within this CD. The effect of this is that there is a robustness of design at the expense of elegance. There will often be some simpler way of making a complete circuit but there are far too many combinations to deal with in a simple way. Some of the circuits have been designed to make them easy to test and fault find at the expense of elegance. Some of the circuits would be easier if microprocessors were used but this would mean learning how to use microprocessors within circuits (these are known as embedded circuits). This CD does not deal with this, as it would be difficult for a beginner to know whether it is computer program error or an error in the circuit, which prevents the completed design from working. There are many books available on the subject of embedded systems and microprocessors. Chapter 17 of this CD gives some advice on the use of microprocessors.