Make Electronics: Learning by Discovery Paperback – 20 Dec 2009
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Burn things out, mess things up-that's how you learn.
About the Author
Charles Platt became interested in computers when he acquired an Ohio Scientific C4P in 1979. After writing and selling software by mail order, he taught classes in BASIC programming, MS-DOS, and subsequently Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. He wrote five computer books during the 1980s.
He has also written science fiction novels such as The Silicon Man (published originally by Wired books) and Protektor (from Avon Books). He stopped writing science fiction when he started contributing to Wired magazine in 1993, and became one of its three senior writers a couple of years later.
Charles began contributing to Make magazine in its third issue and is currently a contributing editor. Make: Electronics is his first book for Make Books. Currently he is designing and building prototypes of medical equipment in his workshop in a northern Arizona wilderness area.
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In case it helps others, I recommend as a next step: Hands on Electronics: A practical introduction to Analog and Digital Circuits by Kaplan and White. It deals very well with the bits this book skims over, particularly transitors and op amps. You will need a scope and will have to cobble together the right power supplies or buy an bench unit but there are good value versions available on Amazon (Rigol scope and Basetech BT-305 power supply are good).
A good text book will also help. I resisted buying the bible, The Art of Electronics by HandH, for ages because it is ridiculously expensive and out of date, but finally succumbed and did not regret it. The explanations and exercises are outstanding and only the component lists and computing parts date really badly.
This book is well bound with quality paper and the binding is excellent. The text is well sized for the pages.
* Target audience?
Its target audience i.m.h.o is anything from A level and upwards. To my mind this book has been written to help the following groups; the student who is coming to this for the first time and so is very well equipped with this book, or any student that's found these skills base is a bit rusty.
* What's it best features?
This book is another gem. There are places in your bookcases for down - to - earth, practical explanations of basic skills as explained within this rather wonderful book. Such as how to build discrete circuits on circuit boards with the ultimate in clarity using colour pictures and easier to comprehend explanations of, say, the well - known 555 timer using these skills and other designs, such as including transistors in circuits. The technical level has almost all the mathematical removed from the book, this to encourage the learner to concentrate on the clarity it going through to show. There are other books to help with the mathematical stuff. I read this book in two sittings and loved reading it.
This book explains the fundamental electrical skills you need to know, but in the highly competitive studies you may feel embarrassed to admit you do not know already. I wish i had this book when i did my studies as it would have accelerated my progression in technical reports and practical circuit building and designing.
This book needs to be read three times: First to find out what you will be doing and to order the components, second to rig up the circuit and actually do it and third, when you have moved on but need a reminder of how a technique worked. This is made easier by the many boxes, which give practical or historical insight but can be skipped over on subsequent reading. I like the progression which the book follows. For instance, Chapter 2 is on switching and starts with a simple switch, bringing in "pole" and "throw" before moving to a relay, a switch which is moved electronically. The flow brings in capacitors before moving to transistor switching and before you know it, you are building electronic circuits.
Stick with this book and you will learn how to think about electronics. I already feel less daunted by the GPIO on my Raspberry Pi and by the end of the book, I expect to have the ability to build something to connect to it.