I know what the individual electrical components do (RLC). However, how can I learn to read schematics to determine what the circuit is doing? I have seen some experienced engineers looking at schematics at a glance and figuring out what the circuit does. How do I do this without having to simulate the circuit in PSpice? Are there any tutorials or does this just come with experience?
- Make your own schematics. There is a certain graphical conventions for making schematics with guidelines such as "inputs towards the left of the page, output towards the right of the page, typically". We have a white paper on that here.
- Read lots of application notes. After a while, you'll start recognizing blocks, themes, patterns. Apply the patterns to your own schematics, when there is an opportunity.
- Have your schematics reviewed, when it's possible.
If you get a book like "The Art of Electronics" you'll get to know the basic building blocks like amplifiers, filters etc. This takes time and experience. Obviously the type of equipment determines what sort of building blocks you'd see. For example: A guitar amplifier - you'd see things like amplifier stages, filters and automatic gain controls. In a two way radio you'd see things like rf amps, mixers, plls, oscillators. A digital circuit would have logic gate symbols. Standard collections of these gate symbols might be a flip/flop or decoder. As the response above says, you get to know the building blocks and patterns.