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Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery) 1st Edition

347 customer reviews
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ISBN-13: 978-0596153748
ISBN-10: 0596153740
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Editorial Reviews


A "magnificent and rewarding book. . . . Every step of this structured instruction is expertly illustrated with photos and crisp diagrams. . . . This really is the best way to learn." --Kevin Kelly, in Cool Tools.

Book Description

Burn things out, mess things up-that's how you learn.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1st edition (December 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596153740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596153748
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (347 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

Make: Electronics Make: More Electronics Encyclopedia of Electronic Components: Vol. 1 Encyclopedia of Electronic Components: Vol. 2 Encyclopedia of Electronic Components: Vol. 3 Make: Electronics Components Pack 1
Minimum Tools Required Wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, multimeter Wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, multimeter n/a n/a n/a Wire cutters, wire strippers, pliers, multimeter
Other recommended Tools Soldering and desoldering tools Soldering and desoldering tools n/a n/a n/a Soldering and desoldering tools
Includes Hands-On Experiments
Includes Reference Charts
Component-by-Component Reference Circuits
Ideal for Beginners No (Read 'Make: Electronics' first) No (Read 'Make: Electronics' first) No (Read 'Make: Electronics' first) No (Read 'Make: Electronics' first) No (Read 'Make: Electronics' first)
Introductory Electronics Tutorial
Covers Fundamental Electronic Components
Advanced Logic Chips
Covers Sensors

More About the Author

Charles Platt is a Contributing Editor and regular columnist for Make magazine, where he writes about electronics. He is the author of the highly successful introductory hands-on book, Make: Electronics, and the sequel, Make: More Electronics, which was published in May, 2014.

Platt's ambitious reference work, Encyclopedia of Electronic Components, will consist of three volumes. The first volume was published in October, 2012. The second volume is expected before Christmas, 2014. The third is currently in preparation.

Platt was a Senior Writer for Wired magazine, and has written various computer books. As a prototype designer, he created semi-automated rapid cooling devices with medical applications, and air-deployable equipment for first responders. He was the sole author of four mathematical-graphics software packages, and has been fascinated by electronics since he put together a telephone answering machine from a tape recorder and military-surplus relays at age 15. He lives in a Northern Arizona wilderness area, where he has his own workshop for prototype fabrication and projects that he writes about for Make magazine.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

249 of 258 people found the following review helpful By R. Severson on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I recommend this book strongly for anyone just starting out in electronics. Many other books introduce the subject of electronics by talking about the early discoveries concerning amber rods, Leyden jars, and static electricity. This book dives right in using parts that you can pick up at a local Radio Shack, or can easily order on-line. And it uses a fun almost playful approach to experimentation. Your first experiment involves touching a battery to your tongue! Man, that will either annoy you into quitting or completely intrigue you into learning more. My bet is it will spark (pun intended) your interest and excitement as it leaves you with a funny metallic taste.

This is exactly the hands-on approach that I was looking for to teach my son. Something that he can read on his own, or read with me. Easy experimentation, clear steps, good photography. No wondering if any of the experiments will fail because they were written only/mainly to think about. These were all written to be DONE by the reader. Getting into the nitty-gritty of learning is easy when you can actively experiment as you learn.

Highly recommended as a modern first book for electronics.

Edited: Added in the comments section that I keep buying copies of this book to give away...
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96 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M. Osier on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
O'Reilly has been churning out technical literature of unbeatable quality for as long as there has been a real IT industry. In recent years, they have branched into hobbyist and educational material, particularly including the Make series of periodicals and books that has not only reignited numerous hobbyist markets but also spawned its own set of conferences, the Maker Faires. DIY is enjoying a renaissance, and Make is at the forefront. I love pretty much everything about Make, but one of the most recent books under the Make brand exceeds even the high bar they have already set for themselves. I am referring to Charles Platt's Make:Electronics, which I have finally managed to pry from my 12-year-old's eyeballs long enough to review.

I was sort of obsessed with electronics when I was a kid. I read anything I could get my hands on, which unfortunately ended up being the Radio Shack catalog and a set of musty library books that seemed as though they were written in a foreign language. I pored over schematics and took things apart, much to my parents' dismay, in a vain effort to figure out just what made all those wires and components tick. I would have to say that, overall, I failed. I did manage to occasionally fix broken radios and such, but it was always by luck in finding a loose connection or a physically broken component. I simply didn't understand what all the little pieces did individually, so it was impossible to fathom what they did in concert.

Eventually I turned 16 and migrated to cars, which had actual moving parts, but a little part of me always pined to know how the solid state stuff worked.
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123 of 129 people found the following review helpful By D. Thomas on January 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough good things about this book! I learned more in the first 20 minutes with this book than I did after pouring through several other "electronics basics" books for countless hours.

Instead of starting with math and theory and circuit analysis, this book uses hands on exercises and explains the theories in very easy to understand language and metaphors. But, it still does then circle back to explain the math and theory upon which the practical examples are based.

I'm only about 1/3rd of the way through the book and projects, but I'm excited to get to the point of using IC's. I've browsed ahead enough to be confident that I'm going to be able to put execute on these projects and then put this knowledge to good use.

I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to do some tinkering with electronics of any sort. Personally, I'm experimenting with data acquisition systems in a race car, and I'd like to be able to create and wire up my own sensors instead of being limited to the plug-and-play variety that are very expensive. I believe that this book will get me enough of the basics so that I can tackle these projects. Or, at the very least, I'll be able to intelligently engage my EE friends for help!
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91 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on December 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Charles Platt is a widely published science fiction author, electronics and bioscience consultant and superior educator. This is a guidebook to Electronics worthy of Heathkit in its glory days. It offers a completely hands-on and hands dirty approach including examining and pushing components beyond their limits, and assembling and testing all of the topics you study in the handbook. The pedagogy is clear and succinct. Beautiful full-color illustrations show you how to do "it" and to fully know what to expect on your workbench. Because all concepts are conveyed in this excellent hands-on experimental approach some topics are presented in a different order than that experienced with a conventional introductory electronics textbook. For example, wave shaping based upon 555-timer pulses is fully illustrated, as well as the digital electronics necessary to construct electronic dice, and to experiment with microcontrollers, but operational amplifiers and active filters are omitted in this experimental handbook.

This is a superb introduction to electronics, which will provide the conceptual and experimental bench skills to yield a lifetime of enjoyment.
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