Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
A great start
on 28 September 2012
This is the best introduction to practical electronics I have found. It is clearly written and well illustrated and the suggested experiments are interesting and help you learn. The problem is that it is written with US suggestions for parts. There is a parts kit available from a US shipper for chapters 1-4 but it is expensive and the shipping costs significant especially if you get hit with customs/VAT. Instead I ordered nearly all the parts from Maplin: their GCSE component kit is an excellent start and then you only need to add a few switches and potentiometers. If you read ahead a few chapters you can find what you need and Maplin have a small minimum order quantity. I thought the last chapter got a little esoteric and the computing part has dated quickly. However all in all, I strongly recommend this.
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 I resisted buying the bible, The Art of Electronics by HandH, for ages because it is ridiculously expensive and out of date, but finally succumbed and did not regret it.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.