Customer Reviews: Schaum's Outline of Electric Circuits, Fifth Edition (Schaum's Outline Series)
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on July 24, 2001
I have thoroughly read a few introductory textbooks on electrical engineering, but none of them really comes close to Schaums Electric Circuits in terms of helpfulness or clarity. This book can be used as an independent textbook because of the clarity of the presentation and the completeness of the material. Great attention has been paid to signs and polarities in the circuits, unlike some other textbooks which are sometimes frustratingly vague about polarities in their circuit explanations. As a result, some subtle things have been clarified for me, e.g. about transformers. The solved problems are especially helpful because some of them develop the theory further. The attention to precision, as well as its helpful intuitive explanations and a good selection of problems, makes this book a best buy. After buying this book, I no longer need one or two other bestselling textbooks, whose titles I would prefer not to mention. Even now, as a full-time electrical engineer, I keep on referring to this most helpful book.
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This is an excellent study guide for electrical engineering students that will serve them well in their two-semester DC circuits sequence, linear circuits, electronic circuit design sequence, and power circuits. It is another one of those Schaum's outlines that is clear and complete enough to double as a textbook on the topic of circuit analysis and design. It starts out defining basic electric circuit concepts and terms such as potential, charge, current, resistance, capacitance, and inductance. It then moves on to circuit laws and then circuit analysis methods. It then explains the amplifier model in terms of components that have already been defined, and from there describes the operational amplifier and shows how to design using this device. The chapter on waveforms and signals is an excellent one, and is a topic often overlooked and shortchanged in most electrical engineering textbooks. The chapters on first-order and higher-order circuits do an excellent job of venturing into the world of linear RLC circuits and shows how to use calculus and differential equations to solve for the voltage and current equations of these types of circuits. Included also are more direct methods of analysis including complex frequency and pole-zero plots. The next major topic to be broached is that of analysis and design of power circuits. This is an often ignored subject in the electrical engineering curriculum, and the two chapters are good foundations on the topic. Besides just explaining polyphase power circuits, the outline actually takes the time to explain why such circuits are desirable when power generation is the goal. The next three chapters do some clean up on miscellaneous circuit analysis and design topics - frequency response, two-port networks and their characteristics, and mutual inductance and transformers, which is the basis of courses on electromechanical machines. The chapter on mutual inductance is the weakest chapter in the book, with less explanation than in the rest of the outline. There is a good chapter on using the industry standard Spice and PSpice software for circuit design. The final two chapters are applied chapters on the Laplace and Fourier transforms and their use in circuit analysis and design. For those whose basic mathematics may be rusty, the appendices cover basic matrix algebra and the mathematics of complex numbers.

I used the first edition of this outline in the late 70's to help iron out concepts that were not clearly presented in my undergraduate textbooks. I kept it around over the years to serve as a reference. I just recently upgraded to the current fourth edition, and the subject matter and organization of material has changed over the years but not the high quality of the content. I highly recommend this outline to undergraduate electrical engineering students who want a high quality supplemental textbook that will serve them from their sophomore year until graduation. One reviewer lamented that there were quite a few errors in the solved problem sections. However, this review was very old - 1999 I believe - and was written before this current fourth edition was written. I have not found any errors in the solutions so far, so apparently this latest edition has cleared up that past problem.
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on November 9, 1998
I bought Prof. Edminister's earliar Electric Circuits book when I took his class in college over 20 years ago. I learned far more from his book than any other book on electric circuits. This book belongs on the bookshelf of every practicing electrical engineer. I've referred to Edminister's book more often than any other engineering book I own. The clear exposition and the terrific depth of solved example problems make this book a "keeper". -Rick Lyons- author of "Understanding Digital Signal Processing"
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on December 28, 2001
This is book is a very good supplement for a class in introductory circuit analysis. The techniques are explained in a clear and concise manner. The examples and exercises provided are very appropriate and serve to provide a good understanding in the subject matter. My only complaints about the book are that some areas are not covered as thoroughly as I would have liked (for example, the section on Thevenin and Norton Equivalents) and that some techniques of circuit analysis were left out. However, many other things that were not clearly explained in textbooks were made comprehensible with the help of this book.
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on October 15, 1999
This book utilizes the Schaum's method, wich i personally think is one of the best: read the thory in two pages, take a look at a thousand examples, and go ahead and solve a thousand more problems... Excelent for beginers.
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on November 27, 2012
This book assumes you know some advanced math and doesn't go over basic concepts with much detail. It does present good information for more advanced circuit analysis techniques and is a great book for someone looking to review or touch up on material.
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on February 21, 2006
Most reviewers would suggest using this book as a supplement to a college text. This book is a strong start; if you need amplification consult a college textbook. I like the numerous solved problems, which aren't available in most EE textbooks. It also clarifies material which instructors gloss over. Control systems are important to me, so I found the chapters on higher order circuits and complex frequency very useful. This includes solving second order DE's with undetermined coefficents. Again, most texts gloss over this, leaving the material to a math class. For the price, it's a steal...

If you want to learn circuit design, especially analog circuit design, you should consult product handbooks published by chip vendors, like Analog Devices, Maxim, etc. Moreover, microwave technology is not covered.
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on April 22, 2012
The book is very well written with plenty of examples showing how the theories work in each chapter. I think this is a good supplement to the class room text in case you need to clarify some of the concepts.
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on August 3, 2003
This book's high marks comes from the chapter on circuit analysis techniques, and the chapter on op amps. The section on circuit analysis techniques like Mesh Currents, super position, and particularly the Node Voltage technique is will get you through a 1st semester Circuit Analysis course.
Op Amps were always slippery to me, however, this book made them a lot clearer.
I used it as a means of dusting off the cob webs that began building up a few years back. The Section on Thevenin's and Norton's Theorems cut to the chase and were effective.
There are some sections however, that are weak. Like on mutual inductance, and transformers. The author just fires these formulae at you, and draws conclusions at the end of the section. There's no derivation at all. I would've liked seeing a shorter and better explained derivation of whats in the text book. Something at least to qualify the formulas.
I don't know... looking through the book, it covers a lot of material i've long forgotten about like phasors, and locus diagrams, and reactance. yet somehow, I still seem not to be satisfied when i search for or read something in this book.
That's why 3 stars and a so-so rating.
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on September 19, 2007
This is the book that should be made as textbook for ECE textbook, instead of all those big, fat, and expensive ones. ECE textbooks should be like this! precise, to-the-point, clarity, lots of detailed examples! I hate schools that just want to make more profit from students by having them to buy those new expensive books. of course, there's no way to cover all those materials in those kinds of books.
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