This E-Book is a
handy reference for many common chips. Each page
contains a pinout, notes and circuits using the chip.
It also has
Surface Mount Transistor
Surface Mount Diode/Zener and
Surface Mount Outlines.
Identification of surface-mount components is getting a difficult problem
and many of the latest devices are poorly identified or the exact
specifications are only available by carefully reading the technical
notes. That's why we have provided a number of pages on surface-mount.
DESIGNING A PROJECT
If you are designing a project, it is a good idea to consider the economics
of how it should be designed.
There are basically two approaches:
1. Using individual chips, or
2. Using a microcontroller.
The first thing to consider is the "commercial value" of the
If it has "high commercial value," you should be aiming at
keeping the circuit-operation a secret.
Why allow your design to be copied?
We have already talked about the speed of copying a product on TE Interactive
product can be dismantled, copied and prototyped in less than a week by
industrious little beavers! I
have seen this in action with boards for arcade games. Within a
week, a board containing more than 40 chips was copied and released onto
the market. These boards had a microprocessor and a bank of memory chips.
It was old technology by today's standards and was quite easy to
duplicate. Modern microcontrollers have a "security" feature that makes
duplication very difficult.
Why let month's of work go down the drain?
One of the ways to protect your idea is to design it around a microcontroller.
In fact, one of the original uses for a microcontroller (PIC
microcontroller) was to scramble
information on a data bus so the program could not be copied. These
devices were called "dongles" and proved to be so effective that
governments refused to purchase programs requiring a dongle! Sales
declined to such a point that dongles have now been disbanded.
Some manufacturers include a microcontroller to merely complicate a
project and frustrate copying.
No matter how you look at them, micro's are certainly an effective addition
to any design.
Not only will your project look up-to-date but it can be simpler in
design, smaller in size and include features you never thought possible.
And you will feel a great sense of satisfaction by including
I'm not advocating adding an unnecessary micro, but if you can reduce a 7
chip project to 1, 2 or 3 chips, you will know what I mean.
Many of the chips in this E-Book are nearly 20 years old and very simple
Very little thought went into their makeup and circuits requiring gating
chips are ripe for conversion to a micro. As an example, a old telephone dialing
project using 14 chips was converted to an 18-pin microcontroller - with
no other devices!
In the process, the capability increased 400% and the cost fell by 60%.
Op-amps are different.
If a circuit needs to detect very small voltages or waveforms, an op-amp
is a good choice. You can get 4 op-amps in a single package for about
$1.00, so they are not an expensive addition.
If only a single stage of amplification is needed,
a transistor may be the answer.
Whenever a signal is about .05v or greater, a micro can take care of the
processing (using the analogue input feature). These are the things you have to take into account when designing
circuit. Our subscription section on the website has a Basic Electronics
Course and PIC Microcontroller Course to help you in this direction.
The main advantage of a micro is the security feature.
The program can be protected from prying eyes via a Code Protection
feature. A micro also has the
ability to be updated with a new program and
this can save changing component values. Many micros are
and the latest versions are re-programmable while fitted to the PC board.
This is called "In-Circuit Programming."
Once you get into designing with a microprocessor, you will never look
Everything you work-on will be considered as a micro-design.
The break-even point between a micro and individual chips can be as low as 3 or 4
It's not just the basic cost of production of a module but the
head-start you have and the on-going
protection you are afforded - there is much less chance of someone copying a microcontroller design.
Many of the chips we have covered in this data book are common CMOS chips.
Some have upgraded versions such as "HC" for "high-speed CMOS"
and "LP" for low power versions.
You will need to contact your supplier about the suitability of
using a particular chip. Also, make sure supplies will be available in the
future. Many of these chips are being phased out. They are
disappearing for two reasons.
The cost of producing a simple gate is about the same as a micro! And yet
the selling price is less than one-tenth!
In addition, the demand for simple gates is reducing with large
manufacturers opting for "masked ROM micro's" and single-chip
designs. They are simply dying a natural death.
Before I go, there is one thing I cannot stress too strongly.
Don't bite off more than you can chew.
How do you think I became so capable at designing circuits?
I built and played with hundreds of simple circuits. I didn't launch into
a microcontroller project before I knew all about simple building blocks
and how things worked.
Too many readers are asking for a complex microcontroller design to
complete their year of study, without doing any of the necessary
And they leave it to the last 3 weeks!
This is not how electronics design-engineers work.
We make sure we have a firm-footing before launching into the next phase
If you don't follow these simple rules you will come well-and-truly
That's why Talking Electronics has a whole range of basic projects with
full instructions and circuit details.
You needs lots of these types of projects to build up your knowledge,
before thinking of designing something of your own.
Learning is expensive. That's why you will appreciate earning an honest
degree. A 2-week bachelor's degree over the internet is worthless and you
will soon find out there is no substitute for "knowing-that-you-know."
If you want to learn more about the skills of using chips, transistors, micro's and circuit design, go to
The subscription section contains a course on Basic Electronics and
Microcontroller Programming. The site also has many
projects in the Projects Section, so everyone is catered for.
To subscribe, click