Book Review

Fault Finding Electronic Projects by Robert Penfold
Babani Electronics Books BP 391.

This book makes an excellent companion to Robert Penfold's book "Electronic Project Building for Beginners", which was reviewed in the July newsletter last year. In the final section of that book, eight pages were devoted to "troubleshooting". This one is wholly concerned with that process.

It is divided into four chapters; the first deals with mechanical faults, and rightly emphasises the importance of checking as you build, making sure that components go in the right places and that soldered joints are soundly made. The need for a continuity tester is stressed, and in this chapter a suitable circuit is given with an appropriate stripboard layout. The chapter concludes with a useful summary of its most important recommendations.

The next and longest chapter deals with the location of faults in linear circuits such as amplifiers, and indicates the need for a multimeter. The advantages and disadvantages of analogue and digital meters are explained, as are the effects using, a meter has on in-circuit measurements. This chapter provides a design for a simple bench amplifier/signal tracer, with full constructional details and advice on how to use it. Again, a summary of important points to observe ends this chapter.

The third chapter deals with the testing of logic circuits, and after emphasising the need for a logic tester in this work, a design for this item is provided and its use explained. The final chapter deals with component testing and includes circuits for testing operational amplifiers, thyristors and triacs, and FETS. A design for a CMOS tester which can cope with most CMOS ICs is also included.

This book is indeed an excellent guide for those who experience difficulties in getting a project to work - and that includes most of us at some time or another.