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Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars

on 19 January 2013
At some point I guess most electronics hobby folk want to prepare something better than point-to-point circuits so a PCB is in order. But then there's the proliferation of finding a PCB design software package which suits the pocket, that has a good bunch of features and is easy to use.

I have had a piece of such software (currently being used in Everyday Electronics) but found the library of components too limited. As I'm into micro-controllers I get a fair few bits from state-side (aka Sparkfun or Parallax). These guys use Eagle which has a free to use full package apart from limiting layers and board size. So I gave it a try and even following the Eagle getting started guide was finding it a little uphill.

This book is well structured and guided at a good pace between too much explanation and too jumpy. I could not get the example files on the included CDROM to open with my version of Eagle - but that really isn't a hindrance. It is probable time for an updated edition to be printed.

It pays to have the Eagle software running alongside the working your way through the book. Albeit a simple PCB design but I made a schematic PIC circuit with power supply regulator, crystal and capacitors in an evening (aka couple of hours). I got used to ripping up tracks and relaying them; working out which layers information was on. In the end I had a PCB design ready for printing. Sure - my pcb design certainly isn't professional but it would work.

I am still working my way through the book but m at a stage where I would rather spend an evening creating a schematic and pcb layout than tabulate all the ICs, R, C display pins and the cross connections; get the iron hot ....

I feel the book is at a good price point even though the CDROM seems unusable for Win7. It certainly gave me a guided route up the learning curve. The only shame is the book isn't so well known!
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on 30 August 2013
Summary of this review
This is a great book. I am 3/4 through the book and I can't understand a few of the negative comments so I will comment on the negative feedback other users have given as well as give my own positive and negative feedback.

Negative remark-The disc does not work on Windows 7 computers (from other reviews)
Get/Borrow a Vista computer, load the CD and transfer all the CD content onto a usb stick. The disc is not actually needed; it contains solutions to fairly straight forward exercises. As for the free version of Eagle software offered on the disc, this is outdated now and won't run on Windows 7, so download the new edition from the eagle website-note the front end of the software has not changed at all since the book was published so the book is still very relevant.

Positive remarks-Time saving (from me)
Reading through the book will take about 1/2 a week but the time is given back to you when you learn how you can automate tasks such as routing, component purchasing and the meaning of the buttons. Eagle has many fine points which are easy to miss despite the author repeating them several times, so even if you feel you can do without reading a chapter, I suggest you go through it just to make sure you don't wind up doing tasks manually over hours when they can be automated over seconds

Negative remarks-few examples (from me)
The book contains very few examples, this is because there is no need for an example for tasks as trivial as rotating a component(this is trivial but it is explained because there are several ways to rotate a component depending on what you intend to do some are quicker than others). I recommend working on your project while learning from the book once you are about 50pages into the book.

Negative remarks-the book took shortcuts (from other review)
Sorry, I don't see it-at least for what I was trying to do it seems to be a well explained book.

Negative remark-3D simulation (from me)
The book does not contain a section on circuit 3D simulation; once you have designed your circuit you can produce a 3D visualisation of the circuit using sketchup and a few plugins. Instructions on how to do this are available on the eagle CAD website([...] This can help you get a feel of what the circuit will look like and how much space their is between components. If you make your own libraries you can also test them out using this.
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on 3 September 2009
Excellent book to read especially if you are using Eagle cad 5 or do not have a routing program yet. Some explanations are excellent but it needs a bit of trial and error to do it yourself as the writer took shortcuts
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on 23 November 2008
I've been so confused with Eagle that I was on the brink of giving up, but not anymore. I've just bought this fantastic book which explains everything I need, in simple and logical language.

The first "Eureka Moment" was when I realized what was causing me such problems, to paraphrase the text in the book: Eagle's style of operation seems backwards compared with many Windows programs...

If you are having problems getting started, I can't recommend this highly enough. No connection with the author, just a very happy reader.
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on 14 April 2014
I wanted to refresh my out dated knowledge with some modern techniques. Came across the book advertised on Amazon quite by chance.
I cannot fault the vendors it was speedily delivered and it was in great condition.

BUT and it is a big BUT the book is far from up to date in regard to what is available for software for the design of PCB's quoting Eagle cad as Free (for a very crippled version ) as being the most easily & widely available CAD.

Eagle may be fine for the purchased version but the free version is old school inter face that is "clunky" and far from intuitive compared to say Sprint -Layout (yes it did cost money all of 40+euro's but even as a hobbiest it is cheap compared to Eagles commercial version) AND it took me all of 5 hours to go from install to finished Gerber files for the first PCB.

The rest of the book seems to be very much the same outdated info the only useful bit was a list of suppliers but even that was American centric nothing for the UK or Europe.

The book now resides in a charity book shop !
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on 2 October 2013
eagle cad can be quite difficult to learn, but Al Williams helps you over the first few hurdles and gives you are good grounding to this excellent program
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on 10 November 2014
if you are making printed circuit boards the this is not a bad book
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on 4 March 2015
Great buy
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