DC Branch Current Analysis
Network Analysis Techniques
Don’t just sit there! Build something!! 
Learning to mathematically analyze circuits requires much study and practice. Typically, students practice by working through lots of sample problems and checking their answers against those provided by the textbook or the instructor. While this is good, there is a much better way.
You will learn much more by actually building and analyzing real circuits, letting your test equipment provide the “answers” instead of a book or another person. For successful circuitbuilding exercises, follow these steps:
 Carefully measure and record all component values prior to circuit construction.
 Draw the schematic diagram for the circuit to be analyzed.
 Carefully build this circuit on a breadboard or other convenient medium.
 Check the accuracy of the circuit’s construction, following each wire to each connection point, and verifying these elements onebyone on the diagram.
 Mathematically analyze the circuit, solving for all values of voltage, current, etc.
 Carefully measure those quantities, to verify the accuracy of your analysis.
 If there are any substantial errors (greater than a few percent), carefully check your circuit’s construction against the diagram, then carefully recalculate the values and remeasure.
Avoid very high and very low resistor values, to avoid measurement errors caused by meter “loading”. I recommend resistors between 1 kΩ and 100 kΩ, unless, of course, the purpose of the circuit is to illustrate the effects of meter loading!
One way you can save time and reduce the possibility of error is to begin with a very simple circuit and incrementally add components to increase its complexity after each analysis, rather than building a whole new circuit for each practice problem. Another timesaving technique is to reuse the same components in a variety of different circuit configurations. This way, you won’t have to measure any component’s value more than once.
A transistor is a semiconductor device that acts as a constantcurrent regulator. For the sake of analysis, transistors are often considered as constantcurrent sources:

Suppose we needed to calculate the amount of current drawn from the 6volt source in this dualsource transistor circuit:

We know the combined currents from the two voltage sources must add up to 5 mA, because Kirchhoff’s Current Law tells us that currents add algebraically at any node. Based on this knowledge, we may label the current through the 6volt battery as “I”, and the current through the 7.2 volt battery as “5 mA − I”:

Kirchhoff’s Voltage Law tells us that the algebraic sum of voltage drops around any “loop” in a circuit must equal zero. Based on all this data, calculate the value of I:

Hint: simultaneous equations are not needed to solve this problem!
This transistor circuit is powered by two different voltage sources, one that outputs 6 volts, and the other that is variable.

Transistors naturally act as currentregulating devices, and are often analyzed as though they were current sources. Suppose that this transistor happened to be regulating current at a value of 3.5 mA:

How high does the voltage of the variable source have to be adjusted, until no current is drawn from the 6volt battery?
Hint: simultaneous equations are not needed to solve this problem!
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