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Electronics Tutorial Series

  1. Electronics Tutorial - Basic Electronics
  2. Electronics Tutorial - Transistors
  3. Electronics Tutorial - Integrated Circuits
  4. Electronics Tutorial - Test Equipment
  5. Electronics Tutorial - Operators Manual
  6. Electronics Tutorial - Reading Schematics
  7. Electronics Tutorial - Troubleshooting

This is a seven part series to help those new to pinball, or new to repairing solid state devices.  Each tutorial is written at a beginner level and intended to build upon the previous.  Following are brief descriptions of each.

  1. Basic Electronics -- Covers the basic concepts of electricity, including AC and DC circuits.  Covers the concepts of voltage, current and resistance and their interrelationship.  Introduces some common components and how to test them including resistors, capacitors, fuses and coils/solenoids.  Provides a list of common circuit symbols.
  2. Transistors -- Explains how diodes, transistors and bridge rectifiers work, and the different types and replacements.  Explains how to test these components both in and out of circuit.
  3. Integrated Circuits -- Covers general IC theory and the difference between analog and digital circuits.  Explains the various logic families and logic gates, the building blocks of all IC's.  Explains how to test the various types of logic gates: AND, NAND, OR, NOR, Buffer and Inverter.  Explains how PIA chips and comparators work.
  4. Test Equipment -- Covers how to use a DMM (digital multimeter) and logic probe.  Also provides information on other accessories (like jumper cables and IC test clips) that will make your life a lot easier.
  5. Manuals -- Explains the various sections in an Operators/Service Manual.  Provides info on the types of available information and how to get the most out of the manual.
  6. Schematics - Covers how to read schematics and correlate the component drawing to the physical device.
  7. Troubleshooting -- Walks you through the process of troubleshooting and provides a defined methodology for logical identification of problems.  This article is must reading for even experienced hobbyists.

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