Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So, I'm taking 6.002x which is basic circuit analysis of resistor networks, MOSFETs, capacitors, inductors, diodes, gates, amplifiers, etc. and while I enjoy this I'm not learning anything about designing circuits in both the analog and digital contexts.

Where can I find projects to build that aren't just here's a circuit diagram; it does this; go build it type projects? I want to learn about some aspects of design as well as build projects.

I'm a software engineer by trade, but I'm trying to learn electronics too, so I have a full stack understanding.

share|improve this question
you mean MIT 6.002x right? – Standard Sandun Apr 26 '12 at 18:46
MITx 6.002x. Yes – Joshua Olson Apr 26 '12 at 18:49
have done small signal analysis using that MOSFET? you could design small pre-amps using it. – Standard Sandun Apr 26 '12 at 18:55
Yes, we've done small signal analysis and we're on first order transients now. I dunno what a pre-amp is though or it's purpose. That's the problem. I feel like I could design a lot, but I don't know how to approach design with these skills. I need to learn uses and purposes for things. Where and how do I learn that? – Joshua Olson Apr 26 '12 at 19:01
L10 and L12 he covered about a small amplifier and he showed how you could use a transistor to increase the voltage gain. – Standard Sandun Apr 26 '12 at 19:05
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Build something popular, where there are a lot of people in forums talking about what does what. Some of them even know what they're talking about; with your education so far you should be able to tell who does and doesn't. There's a lot of attention in audio, since audiophiles tend to think they can be electrical engineers if they can solder. If you or any of your buddies play guitar, you can try out AX84.com. They have good documentation on their designs. Might be larger scale than what you're looking for. Some projects in the Arduino Playground are documented well enough for you to learn something, and they tend to be pretty cool. I'd just search the web to get an idea of what you want to build, and then search a lot more to figure out how to build it, reading articles about every process in the design until you understand why each component was included where it was.

share|improve this answer

For future reference, stack-exchange is not a general opinion forum asking for recommendation or what basic Google searches could entail.

What your question is basically asking "How do I become an electrical engineer?" to design circuits beyond logic gates requires extensive training in:

  1. Signal Processing
  2. Circuit Theory
  3. Microprocessors
  4. Digital Logic

The circuit course you are working on provides a fundamental understanding of analyzing circuits. there are a few things you should pay attention to in that class:

  • How to write equivalent capacitor, resistor, inductor loads
  • Voltage/current divider
  • OpAmps

Using knowledge of OpAmps you can easily design and implement audio amplifiers.

If you want to design audio filters you need a good grasp of Signal Processing/Fourier Transforms to interpret and analyze filters.

LED light show.

You are asking for quite a bit.

You could use op-amp/comparator circuits. Digital Logic (JK-flipflops/Latches to store memory)


Use an ALU or micro-controller. Hell, you could use a microprocessor to implement almost all of these projects.

Updated to OPs new question, notice the edit at the top of the page

When designing circuits Engineers think of everything as Blocks.

Each block has a specific function that then feeds to the next block to achieve an overall goal.

a microphone amplifier broken up into three stages.

1) decoupling - removes the DC bias (if there was any) from the microphone 2) Biasing - biases the transistor so that we can use the full range of the rails 3) Gain Stage - applies a gain to the signal

Understanding how each one of them works requires extensive study:

Decoupling - Signal Processing

Biasing - circuits

Gain Stage - Electronics/Analog Circuit Design (yes there are courses offered on that topic specifically)

share|improve this answer
Sorry, I've fixed my question to be more targeted and specific. I've done searches on EE and they're too vague and over arching to be of use. I'm looking for projects that aren't just "copy-paste" with nothing about why they work. – Joshua Olson Apr 26 '12 at 20:02
@solarmist still not an appropriate question but it may help you if you ask "What are some home electronic projects that explain the math and analysis behind them?" – CyberMen Apr 26 '12 at 20:07
Changed the title to be in line with that. – Joshua Olson Apr 26 '12 at 20:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.