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Chapter 3  

Series Circuits


Observe voltage measurements at points indicated by black dots in the good and faulty circuits below.  Analysis faulty circuit and isolate fault to a component.  After completing exercises below you can go troubleshooting laboratory by clicking above button, or you can go on to next chapter if you feel that you have mastered this topic. 


Circuit Below is not faulty.

Note: S1 is not defective and opens when switch continues down to zero (past 0.2)

Voltmeter input impedance = 100000 ohms and is not defective in above or below circuits.


Circuit Below is faulty.
Determine which component (R1,R2,R3 or battery) is faulty. Answer is at a very bottom of page.

Note: S1 is closed at all time and is not defective.

Picture of Series Circuit Simulator. Free Application Download.
Compiled windows applications are the format that I will start using in 2012.  I will be able to make highly interactive compiled Windows applications using Power Basic.      


In a series circuit the current is the same in each resistor or component in the circuit.  Thus Vt = IRt, V1 = IR1, Vn = IRn.  Thus it follows Ohms law can be reduce to an expression without I.  Since measuring current is rarely possible on a multi-layer circuit* board and voltage is usually quit simple.

Vt/Rt = V1/R1 = V2/R2 = Vn/Rn. where the "t" subscript = total.  

An experienced technician can usually determine when the voltage drop across a resistor is not proportional. A novice can simply list the voltage drops in the order of resistance.  Measure the drop across the smallest resistance first and the largest resistance last.  The voltage drops listed should be in increasing order also.

* Though even DC currents can be measured using the Hall Effect, it is difficult to do so when printed circuit lands are in close proximity and  magnetic fields overlap.





Get Kit 3 Lite Free: Click Here for download
DC Circuits

Includes  Ammeter, Wheatstone Bridge and transducer principles. Lots of faulty circuits to troubleshoot.






Answer: R3 is defective. Wiper arm breaks contact when knob points between .02 and .06 marks.


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