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Side-Effects of Electronics
by Burkhard Kainka

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Side-Effects of Electronics by Burkhard Kainka

Exploiting little-known characteristics of electronic components.

Did you know that an LED can also work as a light sensor or solar cell? That a photodiode can also detect radioactivity? That you can build a microphone from sugar? That a capacitor can 'magically' re-charge itself after it has been fully discharged?

Kainka explains these and other strange and uncommon characteristics of electronic components. Everything is explained in a hands-on style with photos, circuit schematics, measurement results, and explanations of how these phenomena come about and manifest themselves.

This ebook provides a wonderful and unusual guide for your own experimentation, building electronic circuits, and learning about them. If you want to leave the beaten path of circuits you find in every second book on electronics this ebook is for you. Your knowledge about electronics will expand.

Excerpt from the introduction:

In electronics, there is a broad consensus on which circuits and which applications of the most important components belong to the basic knowledge. Often a glance at the manufacturer's data sheet is enough to find out how a component should normally be used.

In addition, there are also many lesser-known side effects that appear only rarely, and then perhaps as disruptive effects. But sometimes an unwanted disruptive effect mutates into a useful application. Some of the greatest inventions have come about by accident, where something quite different was found than was originally the focus. Röntgen, for example, wanted to study fast electron beams. And it was only because there happened to be a fluorescent substance in the laboratory that he discovered what later became known as X-rays.

It has often happened to me like this. Something didn't work as planned, and while troubleshooting I came across phenomena I didn't know about. And sometimes it has turned into a useful application or a new circuit.

  • Introduction
  • 1 Dielectric absorption
    • 1.1 Temperature coefficient and special effects
    • 1.2 Leakage current of ceramic capacitors
    • 1.3 Measuring the capacitor recharge voltage
    • 1.4 The run-out flasher
  • 2 Piezoelectric effects
    • 2.1 Polarize piezo disks
    • 2.2 LED light flashes with a piezo converter
    • 2.3 The piezo motion detector
    • 2.4 The Piezo Transmitter
    • 2.5 The Sugar Microphone
  • 3 Unusual photo effects
    • 3.1 Light-sensitive Si diodes
    • 3.2 LEDs as light sensors
    • 3.3 The self-charging LED flasher
    • 3.4 EF80 as photocell
    • 3.5 Glow lamp as photocell
  • 4 PN junction breakdown
    • 4.1 NPN relaxation oscillations
    • 4.2 Making an LED flasher
    • 4.3 Multi-LED flasher
    • 4.4 The Avalanche Transistor
    • 4.5 Diode noise
  • 5 Luminous semiconductors
    • 5.1 Measuring Milli-Lux
    • 5.2 Measurement on a silicon LED
    • 5.3 Si semiconductors as LEDs
    • 5.4 Luminous transistor
    • 5.5 Light measurement on a BC140
    • 5.6 First breakthrough of an LED
    • 5.7 Measurement at the closed transistor
  • 6 Measurement of ionizing radiation
    • 6.1 Radiation measurement with BPW34
    • 6.2 Radiation measurement with the webcam
    • 6.3 Measuring alpha radiation with BC140 and BUZ45
    • 6.4 Self-made counter tube
    • 6.5 Ionization chambers
  • 7 Skin resistance and skin capacity
    • 7.1 Measurement of skin impedance
    • 7.2 The finger capacitor
    • 7.3 The two-finger organ
    • 7.4 Touch sensors
  • 8 Propagation delay oscillators
    • 8.1 The ring oscillator
    • 8.2 The three-phase flasher
    • 8.3 Analogue running light with nine LEDs
    • 8.4 Delay oscillator with tubes
  • 9 Charge and information storage
    • 9.1 The magic wand
    • 9.2 A FET as static RAM
    • 9.3 The memorable RS flip-flop
    • 9.4 Data retention in an ATtiny85

Version 2.2, 2023, PDF 143 pages.
word count: 18103 which is equivalent to 72 standard pages of text