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4.3 out of 5 stars43
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 9 October 2009
Update: The long awaited 3rd edition of this text is apparently completed and being typeset, with a view to release mid 2014. You are advised not to buy this edition!

I am well aware that i am treading a dangerous line here. Many people fanatically swear by the "Bible" as it is so often called.

I'm sure that at some point, this really was the best book in the business. It has lots of detailed discussion, about almost every area of electronics, often including "real-life" components - very useful when designing circuits. Most of the content is still relevant and there is a great discussion about micro-power and some other subtopics.

The Art excels in its title. There is plenty of discussion about how to go about designing a circuit. Rather than simply give the reader a list of standard circuits (say the myriad opamp circuits, rectifying and regulating circuits, etc) and leaving out the application, the book deals strongly with how to actually put the designs into use. There are (usually in each chapter) often "real world" examples where a believable problem is laid out and a potential solution is carefully examined. Not many books do this and there are some real insightful passages.

Where it falls down, however, is age. Bear in mind that the most recent edition is now over 20 years old (as of last July). 20 years is a long time by most people's standards, but in a field like electronics, that is an age. For instance, this was published before the WWW took off, before OLEDs, etc. Nowadays people are interested in cheap radio frequency/wifi/bluetooth commmunication, components are replaced with more efficient or reliable models and the section on batteries is more or less totally obsolete (for instance Lithium based batteries are now practically standard in most portable electronics).

Sure, the basics of electronics stay the same. Fundamentally opamps are the same as they were 20 years ago, transistors follow the same rules and good old V=IR hasn't failed us yet. However, if you want a beginners introduction on electronics you could look elsewhere. I found that elementary electronics is pretty well explained, but there are better textbooks on the market (see Neil Storey, Electronics: A Systems Approach) for that.

In summary, it's a great book if you're interested in how to apply the principles of electronics - and indeed that is pretty much what it claims to do. However, i would not really recommend using this as more than an occasional reference (particularly with regard to named brand components - many of which have been succeeded). As it stands, perhaps 10 years ago this was the holy grail, but it's slowly becoming a doorstop in my opinion. If they do eventually release a new edition with updated and modern technology then i would certainly give a recommendation to buy.
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on 15 October 2002
As an electronics hobbyist, I must say that I can't rate this book highly enough.
It is a very good introduction to the fundamentals of electronics, such as how transistors behave, as well as having a large number of "cookbook" examples of good and bad circuits.
It is written in a nice, easy, informal style, without heavy emphasis on mathematics. Although it is the kind of book you can dip into, it is actually readable enough to sit down with and read whole chapters - and there are precious few reference books you can do that with.
There are sections on transistors, FETs, discrete analogue circuits, timers, op-amps, how DACs and ADCs work (essential if you are doing any serious work with them), how to drive logic signals over large distances and why you need special line drivers, RS232 and UART operation, address decoding for peripherals, driving multiplexed displays, and many others.
If there is a downside to this book, it is that the specific information in the microprocessor section is a little dated. (The reference design uses a 68008, for example, although it does list the 68040 and 80486 as available.) However, the general principles of logic-driven designs are still sound, even if some of the actual specific devices have changed.
It's not cheap, but it's the best £45 I've paid out in a long time.
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on 27 November 2000
I have worked as an Electronics Engineer for many years and thought I knew the subject well - until I brought this book that is. It must be said that this is the best book I have ever purchased on the subject, with clear, concise and down to earth information on many topics . This book is for people who want to learn REAL electronics. The coverage on transistor theory and design for example is superb, banishing away many of the myths of many circuit designs and how to design them properly. I assure you that you DO NOT know electronics until you have studied this book from cover to cover ! The book also covers many other topics which are a 'must-know' for anyone in the realms of electronic design and troubleshooting. The topics give real world answers to the problems experienced in everyday designs, and not just loads of text book garbage formula theory given in some books that I could mention. An indispensable book for which I cannot say a bad word. BUY IT !
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on 9 December 1998
This book is practically indispensable for anyone who either wants to get deep into electronics or who wants to just dip in and learn enough about a technique to use it. Unlike a lot of other electronics books which are full of formulas, the art of electronics adds rules of thumb and design shortcuts used by experienced engineers which take a lot of the drudgery out of design. The easy-to-read text and good, practically self-contained chapters make it easy to dive in and out of as needed. One of the major plus points of the book are the many 'good' and 'bad' circuit ideas, giving you circuit ideas and also showing you how NOT to do it. The digital side is slightly out of date (coverage of PICs and other cheap uPs would be nice) but still covers all the main points you'd need to know on small digital circuits.
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on 16 October 2001
I bought the first edition of this book in the late 80's as a 'wet behind the ear' engineer. I have owned the second edition since the early 90's and it is, without any doubt, the best general reference book on electronics available. It's informal style, helpful suggestions and non-mathmatical content make it a riveting read! My only comment is "when is the third edition coming out chaps?".
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on 11 June 2000
I have worked as a field engineer in marine electronics for 12 years. I don't know how I came to get my first copy of this book, but it was always the first source of information I reached for when confronted with a problem in electronics. That was the first edition. Subsequent editions have improved. The detail is occasionally sparse, but it will give you an overview of techniques, lead you to a viable solution, and advise as to further reading. Invaluable when dealing with the real world of electronics.
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on 11 March 2007
If you are thinking about buying a book about electronics don't wait any longer. It is the most popular and complete book you can have. You will find everything you may ever want to know about electronics, designing electronics circuits, calculations, etc. It is not a book for beginners, though. There are plenty of mathematics, charts, definitions. It is great as a compendium for engineers and something you should buy if you no longer want to be a beginner.
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on 28 December 1999
Although slightly out of date now, I would still rate this as my 'desert-island' choice of electronics reference books. OK, so it hasn't got all the theoretical backing - but if it did it would be far too unwieldy. As it is, it stands as THE quick reference that I and most of my fellow professionals use to identify a basic technique. The detailed theory can then come separately (from another source) if needed.
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on 28 October 2009
Though I am still following it, it is a remarkable book for self-study, calling for intuition and practice perception, which helps to understand better the theory behind, instead of exagerated usage of math!!!
By the way, do not look at the age, as it is still a very up-to-date piece of great information within the Electronics field.
Great choice!
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on 13 July 2014
The book I received is a knock-off copy (in my opinion). The cover does not match the one advertised. The usuall copyright and publication information pages are also missing. After having read a small section of the book, I found several pages printed in the wrong order. They weren't incorrectly bound, but actually printed in the wrong order. It makes me wonder what else is mis-printed. Still it's based on an original work that I wanted to read - but didn't want to pay the huge price - so it's okay. Just be aware that this may not be an original copy.
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