Electronic Circuit Analogy Quiz
April 1973 Popular Electronics

April 1973 Popular Electronics

April 1973 Popular Electronics Cover - RF CafeTable of Contents

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

In this April 1973 challenge by Popular Electronics magazine's quizmaster Robert Balin, you need to match each electronic circuit on the left with its mechanical analog on the right. Most equivalencies you have probably seen before, like with circuit numbers 7 and 8. The mechanical equivalent for circuit number 5 might be either of two mechanical options, but one of them them is more obviously equated with another circuit. Don't be off-put by the vacuum tubes; simply imagine a transistor there instead. Familiarity with television circuits helps with circuits 2 and 4. The only mechanical equivalent drawing that presents a bit of a problem "getting," IMHO, is letter G. A list of all the quizzes I have posted is given at the bottom of the page.

Electronic Circuit Analogy Quiz

Electronic Circuit Analogy Quiz, April 1973 Popular Electronics - RF CafeBy Robert P. Balin

Electronic circuits perform functions that are similar in many respects to those of common mechanical devices. For example, a rectifier circuit produces unidirectional current while a ratchet and pawl produce unidirectional motion. If you can see an analogy between them, you probably have a good understanding of their operating principles. 

To test your ability to identify analogies, try to match the electronic circuits (1 to 8) on the left below to the related mechanical devices (A to H) which are depicted on the right below.


Answers below, No peeking.

Quizzes from vintage electronics magazines such as Popular Electronics, Electronics-World, QST, and Radio News were published over the years - some really simple and others not so simple. Robert P. Balin created most of the quizzes for Popular Electronics. This is a listing of all I have posted thus far.

RF Cafe Quizzes

Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes

Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes



1. High-pass filter   --------- H. Flour sieve

2. AGC keyer circuit   ------- E. Lock and key

3. Clipper circuit   ----------- C. Hedge clippers

4. Brightness control   ----- G. Venetian blinds

5. Wave trap   --------------- D. Drain trap

6. Clamping circuit   --------- A. C-clamp

7. Regulator circuit   -------- B. Centrifugal governor

8. Oscillator circuit   --------- F. Metronome



Posted February 8, 2024
(updated from original post on 10/6/2017)