Electronics Learning Log

I should have loved electronics

Unfortunately the first time I learned electronics, I treated it as a set of brain puzzles, rather than a practical instrument for making magical things real. I am overwriting corrupted files with better ones of the same name.


  • Jeri Ellsworth is so cool. She makes me feel like it's totally ok to try and fail and try and fail
  • For next term, found a couple makerspaces on campus and am going to camp outside a couple of labs until they let me in


  • Learning more about PCB design by doing sample boards
    • Analog signals shouldn't be parallel to traces carrying digital or fast changing signals
    • You can just print on inductors by doing a square coil/spiral
    • Place your decoupling capacitors close to the chips to provide stable voltage supply during transient load spikes and to filter out high frequency noise
    • Usually have multiple capacitors (eg. bulk ~10uF and smaller ~0.1uF)
    • Each power pin gets a decoupling cap
    • High speed comms or clocks should have traces with matching lengths. Might need delay lines to do this properly
    • Vias take time!!
  • Impedance matching is important to maximize power transfer. Match control/feedline impedance with


  • Working through a controls textbook. So THAT'S why models being LTI systems matter.


  • It's hard to go through this and not develop resentment towards the university system. Maybe I'm actually in the wrong major or something but I feel like I was stuffed with so much math/physics content and yet very little confidence around taking stuff apart and crawling through datasheets. That intuition might not be something that can be explicitly taught, but it can definitely be modeled. If I were to redesign the curriculum I would include much less content (if you need it, you'll just-in-time learn it), and a lot more cross-disciplinary projects.


  • The Art of Electronics is such a treasure trove. I can't believe a book like this exists
  • Learning about the differences between active and passive circuits.
  • Ramp generators and op amps. Frequency to analog chips.


  • EMP defense
  • Kalman and Bayesian filters


  • How do flickering LEDs flicker?


  • Anodes can be positive. Messed up


  • Gave lecture on transistors. Feel like I understand them much better now and can talk through common graphs eg. saturation chart.
  • Decreasing the distance between power and ground to reduce inductance


  • The reason why things matter if they're impedance matched


  • It feels really stupid to say but I think I finally have an intuitive feel for inductance
  • Don't connect to ground at multiple points or we will create ground loops


  • Copper traces on PCB


  • Very satisfying to do continuity tests on PCBs


  • I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be inhaling 4 hours of solder fumes at a time
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