I’ve just finished hacking my way through the week 2 homework and lab. This week has focussed on the use of superposition and the Thévenin and Norton methods for analysing linear circuits, followed by a brief canter through some basic digital logic.
Three tasks were set for this week’s homework. The first was to find suitable resistance values from the E12 range to complete a voltage divider, which was relatively straightforward. The third task was to complete a truth table for a digital logic circuit and work out which one of three other circuits were equivalent to it. Again, pretty straightforward.
However, the second task – working out a Thévenin equivalent circuit for three resistors and a current source which was then connected to an external load – took me ages. Not because it was difficult … but simply because I was trying to make the task too complicated! A glass of wine eventually helped me to figure out where I’d gone wrong.
The lab should have been relatively straightforward as well – but again, it took me an hour or so of frustration followed by another glass of wine to realise that I’d been trying to over complicate the solution.
I’m not sure that I’m really enjoying this course at the moment – it’s certainly not as engaging as any of the OU modules I’ve taken. For example, I’m definitely not finding the constant use of slides with a soundtrack, annotated with the lecturer’s illegible scrawl as the primary teaching method particularly innovative or useful for lone study.
However, the textbook which accompanies the course is much better (I may have to invest in a paper copy to write on if I do carry on with the course) and the circuit sandbox they provide is absolutely indispensable for ensuring that you’ve understood the theory and that your maths is correct.