Analog Quizzes by Jim Williams Return to Test You

Editor's note: I am pleased to bring you my esteemed editor colleague, Martin Rowe, who is providing us with some really excellent Jim Williams tech insights in this blog. Martin is the technical editor of Test & Measurement both on EDN and EETimes. Enjoy

In late 1985 and early 1986, EDN published quizzes on “real” (a.k.a. analog) circuits written by Jim Williams. Because I post a Friday quiz every week in EE Times , seeing these quiz questions for the great Williams meant I had enough to keep readers over there busy for three weeks. In case you missed them, here's your chance to test your analog skills against the master himself.

Williams published a total of 49 questions in two parts. They The first 25 appeared in the November 28, 1985 issue with the remaining 24 appearing on January 9, 1986. Quiz questions cover transistors, filters, regulators amplifiers, and the like. I call the three-part series “Real Electronics by Jim Williams,” because he often made fun of engineers who worked only in the digital domain. In his introduction to Part 1, Williams wrote:

These problems are practical ones—solving them requires both experience and thought. The solutions are open to debate—alternative, perhaps better ones are possible. But leave your Karnaugh maps at home and forget everything you know about bits and bytes; wonderful things are going on in the forgotten land between One and Zero. This is Real Electronics.

Because the answers are open to debate, Williams didn't write multiple-choice quizzes, but I do. He did, however, publish answers, though some required a few paragraphs to explain. Thus, I had to come up with “wrong” answers and hopefully, you won't find them too close to the answers Williams published. Clicking on most schematics will take you to a larger version.

To find the quizzes, go to EE Times’ List of Friday Quizzes where you'll find links to all three parts, plus many more. Good luck, and don't let those analog gremlins get the best of you.

Do you think you know analog as well as Jim Williams did? If you do, then you should write your own Friday Quiz. Leave a comment and I'll find you.

4 comments on “Analog Quizzes by Jim Williams Return to Test You

  1. Measurementblues
    August 25, 2016

    I really had some fun writing these quizzes. Trust me, the answers in the original were far less obvious than the multiple-choise answers I had to conjure up.

    Fortunately, the print issues I used to scan the schematics were loose. That is, they were not bound into books as they are in EDN's print collection, which was in the offices until the last one closed in 2015. Today, there are no more offices, but the print issues were rescued from the recycle bin and now have a safe, permanent home at a university. See the last page of The homes of EDN for the story.

    Unfortunately, I can't put a link in this comment that takes you directly to The homes of EDN. You'll have to search for it.

  2. danydan
    August 29, 2016

    I clicked on the link but the redirect does not work

  3. Measurementblues
    August 29, 2016


    The link in the article worked for me, as did the links from that page to the quizzes.

    I clicked on the link but the redirect does not work

  4. Steve Taranovich
    August 29, 2016

    @danydan—did you get the link to work? Maybe pop-up are being blocked?

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