Customer Reviews: Electronics For Dummies
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on March 28, 2005
Ok, so I've been looking for an electronics book that explains electronics in a way that I can understand. Not in technical terms, but in real understandable terms. Even simple concepts like a resister can become confusing for the beginner, with the way most electronics books are written... let alone tackling a concept like a transistor -- forget it. This book is unlike any other I have looked at or read. It speaks about everything in a way that seems so simple, you wonder "how could this have been complex to me?" I have to say, this author has done an astounding job of taking abstract concepts and making them real, to the point you are confident you have a solid and complete understanding. This book makes no claim to take you to the depths that a comprehensive textbook will (such as The Art of Electronics -- which this book recommends -- read bottom of page 154). However, this book does provide a solid footing, so when you pick up an advanced book, you feel in control. Things make sense. Even the things you thought you understood take on a more solid feel as you reread the sections. For the Electronics Engineering student (me), this book can make appearingly complicated and challenging subjects suddenly simple. For the complete rookie of electronics, this book will get you on your feet in no time.

If you really want to be convinced, I recommend you take full advantage of the "Search inside this book" feature here on Amazon, and search any topic that is daunting to you. This book will make feel at ease. It's so easy to read it is like a novel. I read about two hours straight the first time I picked it up and didn't even notice how long I had been at it. If you are turned off by the Dummies style, and think this book will be silly, think again. The author has written many other books (not in the Dummies series) including a robotics book that is considered a "must-have" for all robotics enthusiasts since the books first publish in 1987. This author has a lot of practical experience, which he shares as he goes along. He is by no means an inexperienced beginner, nor a nerdy scientist, and writes with a style that is appealing to both the technically inclined and the rank first-timer. This style is refreshing, no bs, and provides for pleasant easy reading.

Also worth a note, this Electronics book is brand new and in it's first edition. It is copyrighted 2005 inside the cover. Everything is very very current and up to date. This is no small tome, at 432 pages it includes coverage of practical subjects including how to etch your own boards, microcontroller programming, and many sample projects. And for this price, you can't miss!! This is a great book to accompany a more advanced book, such as The Art of Electronics. This book introduces you to the subject of electronics as a whole -- without making it intimidating. It is unlike any other I have found, and I have looked and looked.

I hope this review helps in your buying decision.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon November 22, 2005
It is hard for me to totally pan this book, since I believe its main failing is that its title is misleading. It would better target its audience if it was named "Hobbyist Electronics for Dummies" or maybe "Electronic Construction for Dummies". If you are an engineering student, however, you could no more find what you need from this book than a student of computational robotics could find what they need in "10 Cool LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Invention System 2 Projects". If you are a hobbyist or a technician who just needs to know basic electronics safety and circuit construction techniques without needing to know what exactly it is that you are building, this is a very good book for that target audience. The book is well written, well organized and clear. If you are an engineer or an engineering student and you are looking for a reference book on the theory and practice of electronics, instead might I recommend "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz. It contains tutorials on everything from basic circuit analysis to microprocessors to high-speed and high-frequency techniques. If you are a hobbyist or technician, you might want to check out the excellent "Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics" by Gibilisco. It will give you an idea of what exactly it is that those components you are soldering together actually do in a very accessible and readable style with no background in advanced mathematics being necessary.
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on August 2, 2005
This is the perfect book for gaining an understanding of the basics and the buzz words of today's electronic world. It covers everything from the how and why of electronic components (parts) and circuits (parts connected together to perform a desired result) to symbols, schematic reading, meter and oscilloscope use, tools, and more. Did you know that a choke, coil, and inductor are all the same physical component and why it's referred to with 3 different names? "Electronics for Dummies" is a book less on theory and more on practical. It includes breadboarding, creating projects and printed circuit boards--from 30-minute projects to a basic microcontrolled robot--all clearly explained and easily understood. After finishing this book, you won't be a rocket scientist, but you certainly will have a basic understanding of electronics--enough to gain a confidence for further study or enough to be an informed component in today's world of circuits.
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on October 28, 2009
Perhaps it'll help if I shortly give you an overview of my background.

I am an IT guy. The interesting thing about that is, that here in Switzerland, electronics fundamentals were a part of my education. We didn't go deep, but I know what resistors, capacitors and diodes are. I know what they're used for and what they do.

What I was looking for in a book was a refresher of the fundamentals plus a kick-start to building my own stuff.

This said, what I can say about this book is that it provided the former in a nicely presented way but completely lacks the latter. The book is well written and doesn't get too boring but the problem is it suddenly ends there.

The offered do-it-yourself-projects in the book are merely provided schematics for you to copy. They do not explain why they connect the timer IC the way they do. They just expect you to put the parts together and be happy about the flashing lights.

So what I don't like isn't particularly what the book contains but the description of its scope. As others who have left a review, I had expected a tad more from this book. I had expected to be presented a schematic and receive an explanation as to why the problem was solved the way it was.
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on February 10, 2010
I have an electronics degree and after 25 years I wanted a refresher course.This is a good basic electrical/electronics book.
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on March 22, 2012
I have read and own many "Dummies" books. I had come to depend on their authors to explain something I know absolutely nothing about in a manner that is easy to understand, having a managable amount of information included in them and a expressing a "can-do" attitude. This book is amazing and it is very detailed and very easy to follow. This book was read in a day! After reading it, I explored the internet for a specific project I have in mind. What I found was schmatic drawings for those projects and I now know how to read and understand them because of this book. It was a pleasure reading it too! I'm no longer a "dummy" about electronics!
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on June 10, 2012
I got this book after shopping for a good electronics text. I am studying for my Extra Class Amateur Radio exam (#3 of 3 levels). I will evaluate it from this perspective. I just didn't feel like I was understanding the electronics enough to answer questions which are in-depth and rather technical. Plus some of them contain the math formulas that I am admittedly weak in. Given that the exam covers over 700 possible questions, every bit of knowledge is good. I passed my Technician and General Class exams, but Extra is very difficult to people who don't have much of an electronics background. I have none, thus I basically tried to memorize the prior electronics questions for the exams. This time around, I want to actually understand what is happening.

Anyway, I like this book because it presents the information in a different manner than the textbook by American Radio Relay League. Don't get me wrong--ARRL writes books that teach the material word-for-word to match the questions. But, it isn't really explained to me. I didn't feel like I was getting it to the point I felt comfortable with.

Looking at them from different perspectives helps me understand it better. One reviewer commented that he didn't think it was much help on his workbench. I don't think it was meant to be a technical reference for practitioners per se. I think it serves the purpose it was written for quite well. As someone wanting a different perspective on the material, and as a pseudo-hobbyist, I really like the format. It will be the 4th book in my dummies/idiots series. I already have the GPS and Ham Radio for Dummies books, and found them quite easy to read, but also very enjoyable. That is the problem with my ARRL study books. The facts are stated in a very dry method. The Dummies book puts it in a bit more user-friendly perspective. I saw another book that specifically covered how R-L-C interactions affect different types of antennas. I wish it covered that in solid detail. However, the other book was much more dry in the approach, and had the same approach of just stating facts. Oh well...fortunately, there are lots of books on antenna design and theory.

The last chapters which have shopping lists for setting up your station, and ideas for projects is a nice add-on. Being able to read exactly what to get is very helpful, as I do want to tinker with some projects, especially with my son helping me. In the end, I felt like this was the right book for me.

I also bought the Gordon West Extra Class study manual as a companion to this one and my present ARRL book. The exam questions change on July 1, 2012, so knowing the few changes can make a difference. And, correlating the two together, reading the material from different perspectives helps with the learning curve. Hopefully, between this book, ARRL's and Gordo's book, I'll pass the exam in July with a great score. In any event, I'm enjoying reading it.
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on January 31, 2013
This is one of the better basic electronics books out there, in part because it is so basic. The author starts with electrons and goes from there in simple, non-technical language to introduce you to how the things around us work, Although the work starts at a very basic level, it builds through computers, control systems and schematics, grounding the reader carefully all the way. The treatment is about as non-mathematical as you can get when talking about electronics. It is also primarily not a project book. Just a clear explanation. A very good book to get you started in electronics.
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on May 6, 2006
I truly am the target audience for this book - a novice.

The problem with this book - the author is not thinking of the beginner. He jumps in and starts refering to components before explaining what each component is.

You don't teach reading before you teach the alphabet.

Sometimes a book needs to be edited by a novice and not an expert.
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on February 7, 2013
Electronics for Dummies is a wonderful book for people interested in understanding and considering getting into the field of electronic component repair (not computers, but repairing components such as radios, stereos, amps, etc.).

Unlike college text books (which I have recently used), it is not dependent on math, then more math. You can get through most of the book before having to fool with math, with most math being basic algebra. For basic component repair and hobby's, you'll rarely use math, so that is where this book excels.

The book teaches the reader about the individual components and how to identify them, what they do individually and how they work in conjunction with other components in a circuit, learning schematic and schematic symbols, using multimeters and other testing equipment. Again, this is what most of us want and need, not tons of math that would be needed if you were considering an "electrical design" path, but not needed otherwise.

Again, I recommend this book for anyone that is flirting with a career path or retirement income towards "electronic component repair" or just wanting to better understand how the components work.
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