Digital Electronics Unit 1.1: Foundations & Board Game Counter

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Digital Electronics

Foundations & Board Game Counter



Safety is an important concept that must be considered for the safety of the individual, class,
and overall environment of the classroom/laboratory.


Electricity, even at the

nominal levels used in this curriculum, can cause bodily harm or even


Engineers and technicians use scientific notation, engineering notation, and Systems
International (SI) notation to conveniently write very large or very small numbers frequen
encountered when working with electronics.


Manufacturers of resistors and capacitors use an accepted industry standard to label the
nominal value of resistors and capacitors.


Soldering is the process of joining two metal surfaces together to form

an electrical connection.
Soldering is used extensively in the assembly of electronic components.


The ability to properly solder electronic components and recognition of improper solder
connections is an important skill for engineers and technicians.

Essential Questions


Why is safety of the utmost importance when working with electricity or electronics?


What level of electrical current is safe for the human body? What level of electrical current can
kill a human? What are the factors that affect

the level of harm (i.e., slight pain to death) that
electrical current can cause the human body?


Why is it important to express very large and very small numbers in proper scientific,
engineering and Systems International (SI) notation? What is the pro
cess for doing so?


What is the resistor color code, and how is it used to identify and select resistors?


What is the labeling nomenclature for capacitors, and how is it used to identify and select


What is the process for properly solde
ring and de
soldering electronic components from a
printed circuit board?


What are the characteristics of a good solder connection? What are the most common soldering
mistakes and how are they identified?

Key Terms


An electrical device used to store electrical charge.

Cold Solder Joint

A solder connection that exhibits poor wetting and is characterized by a
grayish, porous appearance due to excessive impurities in the solder,
inadequate cleaning prior to soldering,

and/or the insufficient application of
heat during the soldering process.

Digital Multimeter

Electronic test equipment that can perform multiple tasks. Typically one
capable of measuring voltage, current, and resistance. More sophisticated
modern digital multimeters also measure capacitance, inductance, current
gain of transistors, and/or anything

else that can be measured


A two terminal device that conducts in only one direction.

Dual In
Line Package

A very common IC package with two parallel rows of pins intended to be
inserted into a socket of through holes drille
d in a printed circuit board.

Engineering Notation

A floating point system in which numbers are expressed as products
consisting of a number greater than one multiplied by an appropriate
power of ten that is some multiple of three.


A protective de
vice in the current path that melts or breaks when current
exceeds a predetermined maximum value.


emitting diode. An electronic device that conducts current in one
direction only and illuminates when it is conducting.

Plastic Leaded Chip
Carrier (PLCC)

A square IC package with leads on all four sides designed for surface
mounting on a circuit board.

Printed Circuit Board

Insulating board containing conductive tracks for circuit connections.


Component made
of material that opposes flow of current and therefore
has some value of resistance.

Resistor Color Code

Coding system of colored stripes on a resistor to indicate the resistor's
value and tolerance.

Scientific Notation

Numbers entered as a number from one to ten multiplied by a power of

SI Notation

Abbreviation of System International, a system of practical units based on
the meter, kilogram, second, ampere, Kelvin, mole, and candela.

Segment Display

An ar
ray of seven independently controlled light
emitting diodes (LED) or
liquid crystal display (LCD) elements, shaped like a figure
8, which can be
used to display decimal digits and other characters by turning on the
appropriate elements.

Small Outline IC

An IC package similar to a DIP, but smaller, which is designed for
automatic placement and soldering on the surface of a circuit board.


Metallic alloy of tin and lead that is used to join two metal surfaces.

Solder Bridge

The unwanted formation of a conductive path of solder between


Process of joining two metallic surfaces to make an electrical contact by
melting solder (usually tin and lead) across them.

Soldering Iron

Tool with an internal heatin
g element used to heat surfaces being
soldered to the point where the solder becomes molten.


The process of applying a thin coat of solder to materials prior to their
being soldered; for example, application of a light coat of solder to the
ents of a conductor to hold the filaments in place prior to soldering
the conductor.


Term derived from "transfer resistor." Semiconductor device that can be
used as an amplifier or as an electronic switch.