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Practical Electronics for Inventors Paperback – January 10, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0071771337 ISBN-10: 0071771336 Edition: 3rd

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Practical Electronics for Inventors + Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery) + Make: More Electronics: Journey Deep Into the World of Logic Chips, Amplifiers, Sensors, and Randomicity
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Scherz is a physicist/mechanical engineer who received his B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is an inventor/hobbyist in electronics, an area he grew to appreciate through his experience at the University's Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics and the Department of Plasma Physics.

Dr. Simon Monk has a degree in Cybernetics and Computer Science and a PhD in Software Engineering. Monk spent several years as an academic before he returned to industry, co-founding the mobile software company Momote Ltd. He has been an active electronics hobbyist since his early teens and is a full time writer on hobby electronics and open source hardware. Dr. Monk is the author of numerous electronics books, including 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius and Arduino + Android Projects for the Evil Genius.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1014 pages
  • Publisher: Tab Books; 3 edition (January 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071771336
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071771337
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (229 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book is very detailed, but easy to follow.
MouseR
I've used the Second Edition of this book a number of times with some satisfaction simply because the book covered most of what I needed.
J. Fulmer
The other great book for me was "Art of Electronics" by Horowitz.
Roy Ames

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

162 of 164 people found the following review helpful By J. Fulmer on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach an introductory class in electronics at a small university. The class is intended for scientists, not electrical engineers; so the emphasis is on basic knowledge, practical troubleshooting skills, and design. I've used the Second Edition of this book a number of times with some satisfaction simply because the book covered most of what I needed. It was a great reference book for just about anything someone would want to know about electronics.

However, there were some notable gaps in the Second Edition that I typically teach in an electronics class; specifically, I teach a section on transducers and microcontrollers. With the Third Edition, there are new sections on sensors (transducers) and microcontrollers, and now this book has everything in it that I could possibly want to teach. I've been using the Arduino for class the last couple of years because most scientists would use a microcontroller to design a piece of equipment instead of discrete gates and logic chips. So with these new additions, I cannot imagine any other book that would be needed for a class. So from this point forward, I will be using this book for EVERY electronics class that I teach.

The detail in the book is in-depth enough for folks who want to know how everything works, BUT the person who wants to skip past the theory can certainly do that and STILL learn a lot from this book. As I teach, I tend to skip around within the book to cover what is important to me. The chapters are designed to be somewhat modular; for instance, I can teach the basics of analog electronics and transistors and then move to microcontrollers without necessarily having to spend a lot of time time on discrete logic chips.
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224 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Georgia Green on May 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book--5 star content--but the tables and diagrams are essential to its usability. The Kindle version ruins it by providing low-resolution images that become unreadable if you try to enlarge them even just to their original size.

Buyers need to know the Kindle version is vastly inferior to the physical book. Amazon graciously allows a reversal of a Kindle purchase within 7 days. We reversed our purchase within the hour, but had we not immediately gone through the Kindle version and recognized the problem, we'd have wasted our money. Don't waste yours.
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful By TooCheapToBuyCheapGoods on August 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've never been so humbled by a book. I've only read about 250 pages but felt compelled to put my 5 stars in.

Chapter 2 on Theory at 245 pages is worth the price of the book. Not content to tell you that a capacitor holds a charge, the authors give pictures of six types of capacitors along with their schematic representation, diagrams showing the open, charging and charged-but-not-charging state and another showing where the electrons are, formulae telling you what's going on in each of the diagrams and paragraphs describing how it works in theory. Then they move on to the real-world to include graphs showing the inductive and resistive elements that make a capacitor less like a capacitor. Then there are graphs showing how temperature affects the dielectric loss for six different types of capacitor. The variables (abbreviations) in the equations are defined, then described. You won't wonder what IR means. Concept after concept, component after component--the authors are relentless. Still, it's not dry--there's a point to all of it and you can skip the theoretical parts and just use the rest.

There's no condescension and no chit-chat. The authors are to be commended for skipping every useless story of how an inventor discovered an electrical principle or invented a particular component. The water analogy is sometimes used to illustrate WHAT a component does, but never to avoid telling you HOW something works. If the authors decide to tell you how something works, hold onto your hat! There will be sub-atomic physics. There will be line drawings with arrows going in several directions. You may see chemical equations. There will be equations and graphs and some calculus where needed.
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78 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Roy Ames on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I had a couple of electronics classes as part of my bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. We learned Kirkhoff's rules and how to solve node mesh equations. The results were numbers though, not practical circuits. This book show how to use transistors, gates, op amps and microcontrollers. If you want to build a little circuit to run a robot or a sprinker system, you need to understand a few simple things like input/output impedances so that you don't put more current though a device than it can handle. This book gives you this kind of understanding. It gives you what you need to turn datasheets into useful roadmaps for your projects... not a just set of numbers or equations but something that blinks, moves, or displays information.

The other great book for me was "Art of Electronics" by Horowitz. With these two books and a few hundred hours or so making gadgets, you can be reasonably adept. Maybe not an electrical engineer, but well able to make basic robots, 3D printers and things like that. That's about where I am now, and while I thumbed through a lot of others as well, it was these two books that helped me the most.
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