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on November 21, 2000
This series contains thousands of schematics from a variety of sources. I'm quite sure that few, if any, were tested by the authors. However, based on the sources, most probably were tested by the originators. The explanations were sparse, and there were errors, some obvious. As such, these are probably not suitable for beginners. However, I find them to be very valuable, and I suspect that many experienced techs, engineers, hobbiests, and experimenters will as well. I often use part of one circuit as the seed of an idea for a circuit I am designing, with the end result bearing little resemblance to the original. These are filled with perhaps the most valuable of all resources - other people's ideas. I do wish the authors had been more careful to catch errors.
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on December 7, 1999
After puchasing volumes 1-6 as a group and testing some of the circuits I spent many hours correcting the mistakes and errors in these circuits. I threw the books into the closet and designed from scratch my own circuits, it took far less time and they work when I'm done. I wish you could hold the authors accountable for lost time I could hire a design staff larger than Microsoft.
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If you read ALL the reviews of ALL seven volumes of Graf's general encyclopedia series, PLUS Graf's 5 "specialty" circuit books (Oscillators, Amplifiers, Detectors, Measuring and Converters), you'll get a noticeable trend: these books are either for very new hobbyists or designers OR very experienced engineers!

Both are actually right, as the series depends on your goals. Since a lot of the info is outdated, it also means a lot is public domain, and you can find some real "gem ideas" that have been forgotten, and with modern component updates, can become the material for a new patent, or components thereof. Circle M's are usually abandoned within 9 years, and didn't even exist back then.

In that vein of advanced scanning, another advanced requirement is the ability to calculate missing values and spot mistakes. Eg. Graf gives a digital power monitor circuit with a missing reset switch and only one (R2) of two resistor values. You can use VSense=r1 + 10K/10K * 2.3, for example, to solve for r1, and use vsense over your VTP, with test values, to get your max voltage.

So, for the newbies, hobbyists and new inventors. Hey, with the right attitude, figuring out the mistakes (without blowing yourself up or burning your garage down) can be a challenge! If you compare circuits with online resources and the awesome McGraw Hill circuit (troubleshooting) series (volume 4 is awesome but very rare and expensive-- had to buy if from India: McGraw-Hill Circuit Encyclopedia and Troubleshooting Guide, Volume 4), you can become the Sherlock Holmes of the design world with this series! Think of it as a puzzle and you won't get as ticked off as some of this series' reviewers seem to!

I test circuits, especially for law firms and inventors, at payroy dot com, for reference, so my perspective and bias is new as well as experienced inventors. If you're an inventor and combine these series with, for example, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition, you'll have a wonderful and huge set of resources to compare TO the modern web or even smartphone app circuit resources. They say a chess grandmaster has 50,000 positions memorized, I'm guessing that the best inventors eventually have thousands of circuits in mind too! Learning to judge the bad from the good is what the other reviewers who trash this series know how to do-- but studying both good and bad is a GREAT way to learn the difference, as well as spot undiscovered or forgotten gems. Old isn't always bad!!!

Library Picks reviews only for the benefit of Amazon shoppers and has nothing to do with Amazon, the authors, manufacturers or publishers of the items we review. We always buy the items we review for the sake of objectivity, and although we search for gems, are not shy about trashing an item if it's a waste of time or money for Amazon shoppers. If the reviewer identifies herself, her job or her field, it is only as a point of reference to help you gauge the background and any biases.
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on April 7, 2006
I already had Vol 1. of this series from decades ago. I thought the author had maybe improved the content and accuracy of his books. Sadly mistaken. Schematic diagrams are routinely missing values for parts or lacking important information. I have been in electronics for several decades and I again am greatly disappointed with lack of quality. I don't know if the author received permission to reprint these circuits on the condition he left out part values or what. For the money your better off somewhere else. Large voume of circuits diminished by poor quality of information.
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on September 29, 2015
Amazon's "Look Inside" is a great feature when purchasing books, however in this case it it raised my expectations for this book. The Table of Contents had many subjects I'm interested in however the actual schematics for those subjects were thin and very outdated. Keep in mind, this book was published in 1999. On the good side - they have replaced most of the vacuum tube circuits. For example: as a photographer, I'm always looking for new projects. Of the 6 circuits, 4 were for darkroom and one was a slide projector controller both of which I abandoned many years ago. This will probably be my last printed book for schematics since the internet is the best place to find circuits using the latest components.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon December 5, 2005
Several readers have criticized this book for its lack of working circuits. Let me say that I too have run up against this problem while lifting circuits from this book. However, I like to look at this book as a great compendium of circuit ideas that are going to need some modification if they are to work as advertised. I particularly liked the sections on game circuits, sound-effect circuits, and sound/voice activated circuits. I have built several of these, and I had to make some adjustments to each one. The point is that the basic ideas were all there along with pretty good descriptions for each circuit. The author also takes the time to introduce electronic parts with which you may not be familiar. If you are not already familiar with electronics, this is not the book for you, since familiarity with electronics and circuit design is assumed. However, for only $40 I think it is a great value for those with the correct background.
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I ordered this book, Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits, Volume 7 [Paperback], to keep around for circuit studies. I can use it for reference and to look up circuits and be relatively sure they have been tried and proven to work. This book is, extensive and has circuits, named and explained, over a thousand of them and yet it is a shortened version of the hardbound. It is an invaluable reference tool for me, and I am just a hobbyist electronics technician rather than a professional. It just about has any type of circuit you might want to make or study. Organized alphabetically and by circuit type, this collection includes something for each circuit, you would find when you are doing experiments or study of electronics. With each circuit you'll find a brief explanation of its operation and more information regarding adjustments or alignment. This is a valuable tool for my work bench.
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on March 18, 2013
The set of Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits is a 7 volume set of copies of MANY different circuits copied from many sources. They are circuits covering almost every imaginable electronic device you could want. And if there are different ways of building the circuit, it will show them too. It will give you a exhaustive supply of building blocks to help you put together any device you might wish to build.
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on October 15, 2014
Many circuits are flawed in that they are poorly designed. e.g. Some won't work if the ambient temperature is high. Others are just lame. e.g. a "LED flasher" that consisted of a 5V regulator and a Radio Shack flashing LED. Most of the radio frequency circuits are pretty well useless as the circuit layout forms part of any RF circuit and no constructional details are given.
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on January 26, 2011
If you are into creating electronic gadgets or love tinkering with electronic parts, then this is the book for you.
There are lots of beneficial, as well as "just fun" projects, contained within this publication.
This book can also serve the "electronic dreamer" with lots of food for thought...a good volume to own if you are interested in electronics to varying degrees.
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