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ELECTRONICS: A SYSTEMS APPROACH

10 ELECTRONICS SYSTEMS

10.1 INTRODUCTION

10.2 A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO ENGINEERING

10.3 SYSTEMS

10.4 SYSTEMS INPUTS AND OUTPUTS

10.5 PHYSICAL QUANTITIES AND ELECTRICAL SIGNALS

10.6 SYSTEM BLOCK DIAGRAMS

KEYPOINTS

EXERCISES

10.1 INTRODUCTION. PAG 2/10

Having looked basic electrical components and circuits in Part 1, we are now prepared to study more
Complex Electronic Systems

10.2 A SYSTEMS APPROACH TO ENGINEERING. PAG 3/10

A System Approach to Engineering consist of dividing a complex problem or system into a number of
smaller elements.

10.3 SYSTEMS. PAG 4/10

In an Engineering Context, a System can be defined as any closed volume for which all the inputs and
outputs are known. Therefore we can consider an infinite number of “Systems” depending on the
volume of space that we decide to select. We also can change the Inputs and Outputs.
In some situations only particular Inputs and Outputs to a system are of interest, and others may be
completely ignored.

10.4 SYSTEM INPUTS AND OUTPUTS. PAG 4/10

We are going to represent a few examples of Systems with Inputs and Outputs where we can see the
importance and the differences of choosing the boundaries of a certain system. Figure 10.1
represents a generalised system with its inputs and outputs. This diagram makes no assumptions
about the form of any of its components.

Electronic Systems are arrangement that generate, or manipulate, Electrical Energy on one or
another. Figure 10.2(a) and Figure 10.2(b) illustrate a system involving an audio amplifier, a
microphone and a speaker. Since the boundaries of these systems are different, the Inputs and
Outputs are also different.
Microphone senses variations in the external environments (sound waves) and processes into
electrical signals. Conversely, the Speaker takes the electrical outputs produced by the sustem and
uses them to produce sound waves. Components that interact with the outside world in this way are
referred to as Sensors and Actuators (More information in Chapter 11 Sensors and Chapter 12
Actuators)

10.5 PHYSICAL QUANTITIES AND ELECTRICAL SIGNALS. PAG 6/10

The Electrical Fluctuations produced by a Sensor convey information about some varying physical
quantity. This is termed an Electrical Signal. Electrical Signals may take a number of forms and we
will to look at the nature of the physical quantities that they may represent

10.5.1 PHYSICAL QUANTITIES. PAG 6/10

The Physical Quantities can be categorised into those that vary in a Continuous manner and those
that exhibit a Discontinuous/Discrete Nature.

10.5.2 ELECTRICAL SIGNALS. PAG 6/10

A varying physical quantity can be represented an electrical signal. This is because the processing,
communication and storage of information is easier when it is represented electrically. Electrical
Signals that represent varying physical quantities may also be Continuous (normally referred to as
Analogue) and Discretes (normally referred to as Digital).

Both Analogue and Digital Signals can take may forms. Figure 10.3(a) shows an example of a typical
Analogue Signal Waveform
Digital Signals may also vary in form as Figure 10.3(b) illustrates, where a Signal takes a number of
Discrete Levels. This signals can represents numerical information, such as the number of people in a
building.

The most common forms of Digital Signals are those that have only Two Possible Values, which are
described as Binary Signals, as Figure 10.3(c) shows

For example, a simple domestic light switch has two possible states (ON and OFF). Binary Signals are
also used in more sophisticated systems such as those based on computers.

10.6 SYSTEM BLOCK DIAGRAMS. PAG 7/10

A System Block Diagram is a simplified diagram that shows a system as a set of modules or blocks
hiding unnecessary detail. Figure 10.4 shows a typical block diagram of an Engine Control Unit of a
car
When energy or information flows from a component we refer to that component as the Source of
that energy/information. When Energy/Information flows into a component, we say that the
component represents a Load in the arrangement.

Figure 10.5 shows a simple system with a with a single Source (Sensor), linked by an Input Circuit,
and a single Load (Actuator), linked by an Output Circuit

We can therefore to divide the system into a number of subsystems or modules as shown in Figure
10.6

Before looking at the design of circuits composed with modules that take signals from Input Devices
(Sensors, Generators, etc) and produce appropriate signals to drive Output Devices (Actuators), we
must know the nature of the signals associated with Sensors (Chapter 11) and Actuators (Chapter
12)

KEY POINTS. PAG 9/10

 Systems Approach combines Top-Down Systematic Techniques with multidisciplinary


Systematic Methods
 As far as its appearance from outside is concerned, a System can be defined by its Inputs, its
Outputs and the relationship between them
 Systems interact with the outside world through the use of Sensors and Actuators
 Physical Quantities may be Continuous or Discrete. It is convenient to represent Physical
Quantities by Electrical Signals, that they may be Continuous (Analogues) and Discrete
(Digital)
 Block Diagrams represent complex systems hiding unnecessary detail
 Energy/Information flows from a Source and flows into a Load. Any Module presents a Load
to whatever is connected to its Input and represents a Source to whatever is connected to
its Output
 The nature of the signals produced by the Sensors and Actuators that form their Input and
Output Devices need to be understood them to design Electrical/Electronic Systems