As the circuits increase in size manual solution becomes time consuming and numerical simulation is the most convenient method for circuit analysis.

The circuit below has 22 resistors, 6 current sources, 5 voltage sources and 22 nodes. Modified nodal analysis would give a matrix equation with a 27x27 matrix.

One of the most used method for simulating this type of circuit is by using a SPICE netlist.

SPICE netlists consist of a set of statements specifying the nodes between which the component is connected, the type of component and the numerical value of the component relevant parameters.

In the applet below, DC circuits with up to 40 resistors, 10 current sources, 10 voltage sources and 40 nodes can be simulated.

Each resistor is entered as:-

R1 1 2 3

The first letter R denotes a resistor. The first 2 numbers refer to the node numbers between which the resistor is connected and the third number is the numerical value of the resistance of the resistor in ohms. For resistors the ordering of the nodes is not significant. Statement can be R1 1 2 3 or R1 2 1 3.

For current sources, the statement is :-

I1 2 3 4

I specifies a current source, 2 an 3 are the node numbers between which the current source is connected and 4 is the current in amps supplied by the current source. For current sources the ordering of the nodes IS significant. In this case the current supplied by the source is flowing from node 2 to node 3. If the current was flowing from node 3 to node 2 then the ststement would be I1 3 2 4.

For voltage sources, the statement is :-

V1 3 4 5

V specifies a Voltage source, 3 an 4 are the node numbers between which the voltage source is connected and 5 is the voltage in volts supplied by the voltage source. For voltage sources the ordering of the nodes IS significant. In this case the positive terminal of the source is connected to node 3 and the negative terminal to node 4.

The applet below is intended for illustrative purposes and contains only the minimum coding to simulate circuits. No error checking is carried out.

The first step is to enter the number of nodes Nd (excluding 0) and the number of voltage sources Nv. If the number of nodes is 22 then ALL nodes from 0 to 22 must have a minimum of 2 components connected to them.

To enter a resistor the row and col scrollbars must be adjusted to the desired resistor. The labelling of the resistors is not significant. Any resistor on the applet can be used to represent a circuit resistor provided the node numbers and component value is correctly set. When it is located, it is displayed as pink text. Nd1 and Nd2 are then used to set the node numbers and c1, c2 and c3 used to set the component value shown by the blue text at the top. When row, col, Nd1, Nd2, c1, c2 and c3 are correctly set then the right arrow of the Lock scrollbar must be clicked. The component text is shown in cyan and updated.

The image below shows how the change in node voltages can be seen when any component value is changed. Eg to change R1 to 5.5ohms set row = 1, col = 0, Nd1 = 2, Nd2 = 6, c1, c2 and c3 to 0.55, 0.0 and 1.0 respectively. soln can be left to 1. When the right arrow of the Lock scrollbar is clicked, the value of R1 and the solution is immediately updated. For more changes Lock and soln can be left at 1 and c1, c2, c3 used to change the component value.

The image below emphasises the nonsignificance of the resistor labels. R24 instead of R21 is used to represent circuit resistor R22 with the correct solution obtained.

This is true for the resistors and current sources but not for the voltage sources. If there are 5 voltage sources, then the first 5 components V50 to V54 MUST be used to represent them.

Copyright © 2010 Cuthbert A. Nyack.