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What's Your EQ (Electronics Quotient)?
April 1963 Radio-Electronics

April 1963 Radio-Electronics

April 1963 Radio-Electronics Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio-Electronics, published 1930-1988. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

"What's Your EQ?" (Electronics Quotient, a la IQ - Intelligence Quotient) was a feature run in Radio−Electronics magazine for a couple years in the early 1960's. It was a quiz for challenging your knowledge of basic electronic circuit functions. Most of them are relatively simple exercises in voltage division, resistor-capacitor (RC) and resistor-indictor (RL) time constants, resonant frequency, and transformer input/output ratios (voltage and/or current and/or power). Sometimes, the first step in solving the poser is to rearrange the schematic into a more familiar configuration. Also, read the wording carefully to determine whether parts of the circuit can be ignored. Answers are at the bottom of the page. Note that I do not agree with the magazine's answer for the "How Much Voltage?" circuit. My solution is presented below with the rest of the answers.

What's Your Electronics Quotient?

What's Your EQ (Electronics Quotient)?, April 1963 Radio-Electronics - RF CafeTime constant

Suppose you have two 1-megohm resistors and a 1-μf 50-vdc capacitor. Using a 100-vdc supply voltage, how can you connect these resistors to provide a time constant of 0.5 second, without exceeding the 50-volt rating of the capacitor? - Earl H. Rogers

What's Your EQ? Series Circuit - RF CafeSeries Resistor Circuit

In the circuit shown to the right, the vtvm reads 24 volts. A 100-ohm resistor paralleled with R1 raises the voltmeter reading to 40 volts. The same resistor paralleled with R2 reduces the voltmeter reading to 20 volts. What are the ohmages of resistors R1 and R2 and what is voltage E?

- L. B. Hedge


What's Your EQ? Resonance - RF CafeA Problem of Resonance

Inductance L and capacitor C in the circuit to the left form a series-resonant circuit used in a radio command system. The L-C combination is driven by a variable frequency voltage source having a source resistance R and a peak output of 1 volt. What is the minimum permissible capacitor working voltage in such a circuit?

 - Phil Cutler


What's Your EQ? Voltage Bridge Circuit- RF CafeHow Much Voltage?

What is the steady-state DC input voltage, Ein, in the circuit to the right?

- E. R. Welsh


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



Time constant - RF CafeTime Constant

The maximum voltage the capacitor sees is the steady-state de voltage of 50 across R2. Using Thévenin's theorem, the resistance that the capacitor sees is between points A and B, looking back into the circuit with the source shorted, or the equivalent of R1 and R2 in parallel, or 500,000. Note the circuit is broken at points A and B when determining the Thévenin's equivalent resistance.


Series Resistor Circuit - RF CafeSeries Resistor Circuit

The solution is shown in image to the left.


That Resonant Problem

The capacitor voltage is maximum at resonance and equal to Q times the input voltage, E. The resonant frequency is 0.159/√LC = 159 cycles. The inductive reactance at resonance is 2πfL = 1,000 ohms. The circuit Q at resonance is Qr = XL/R = 100. Therefore the peak voltage the capacitor must withstand is QE = 100 volts.


How Much Voltage? solution by Kirt Blattenberger - RF CafeHow Much Voltage?

1. E across the two capacitors 0.9Ein - 0.6Ein

2. E across the 1-μf capacitor 2/3 (0.9Ein - 0.6Ein)

3. E across the 10,000-ohm resistor = 0.1Ein

4. 2/3 (0.3in) - 0.1Ein = 10 Therefore, Ein = 100 volts dc.

*** I disagree with the magazine's answer. See my solution to the right.



Posted February 28, 2023

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About RF Cafe

Kirt Blattenberger - RF Cafe Webmaster

1996 - 2024


Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

Copyright  1996 - 2026

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