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Illustration 31.1: Circuit Builder

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Circuit Builder can be used to build and analyze DC and AC electrical circuits. Circuit Builder was written by Toon Van Hoecke at the Universiteit Gent.

If you want to change the size of the circuit grid, change the number of rows and columns and then press the "Set grid" button. Be aware that all components on the screen will disappear. The "Show ->" button is used to visualize arrows representing the chosen current direction. New components for the circuit are entered by a drag-and-drop method. Press the button of the component you want to add, hold the mouse button, and release it on the position where you want to put this component. Once you drop the component on the circuit grid, a box will appear that will allow you to change the parameters of the component. Any horizontal or vertical position between two black dots can be taken.

The following direction-independent (no positive or negative side) components can be added:

Some components are polarized and thus have a positive and a negative side. The direction can be set by choosing "+ down/right" or "+ up/left" on the Direction list item. The following direction-dependent components can be added:

The "Calculate" button is used for recalculating data. A number of Step # data points is calculated iteratively with a step size of Step (s). The step size is entered in seconds (default is 1e-6 s).

The "Start/Pause" button and the "Reset" button are used when a real-time clock is necessary. This is in situations with slow varying sources or the displaying of voltage or current graphs. The number of frames per second is 1/(10*step size). This is in real time up to step sizes of 0.01 s.

You can move a component to another position by using drag and drop. Other actions are available as options on the popup menu that appears when you click the right mouse button on the component's icon in the circuit. The possible options are only enabled if they are relevant:

Illustration authored by Toon Van Hoecke.
Applet authored by Toon Van Hoecke.

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