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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've found yet!
I'm a systems analyst, and wanted to get into building *things* instead of just code. So, I bought a few electronics books and set out to learn. I quickly found out that many books expect a lot of background knowledge, or just briefly touch on something and then use the concept extensively later on. This all made learning quite frustrating.
That was until I found...
Published on March 3, 2003 by Matthew Hunter

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hit the wall with the transistors chapter...
Chapter 6 is where things get hard. I hit the wall at this point. The theory and usefulness of transistors is not explained well and is difficult to understand. Diodes, okay; transistors, not. Collectors, emitters, base? PNP vs NPN?
I've read this chapter three times and still don't feel comfortable with these concepts. And understanding much of the rest of the book...
Published on January 12, 2010 by Bruce E Bowman


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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've found yet!, March 3, 2003
By 
Matthew Hunter "Technology Geek" (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
I'm a systems analyst, and wanted to get into building *things* instead of just code. So, I bought a few electronics books and set out to learn. I quickly found out that many books expect a lot of background knowledge, or just briefly touch on something and then use the concept extensively later on. This all made learning quite frustrating.
That was until I found this book... This book is leaps and bounds above the others... The author explains things very clearly, and really starts from the begining. The writing style is very easy to read, and the projects in the book are actually useful. I've since bought this author's audio projects book, which is also very good.
Another thing that really impressed me about this book is that the author answers his email. I had a question about a modification I wanted to make to one of his designs, and he gave me a very detailed answer, and even sent me part numbers that would be appropriate for the task.
If you're setting out to learn electronics - this is definitely the book you want :)
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to practical electronics, January 28, 2006
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
For most people, this a probably the best book available to self-teach yourself electronics. It briefly introduces the theoretical concepts, but it is mostly focused on the practical side of things. The first two chapters deal with the basics-- setting up a workstation, selecting tools, briefly introducing each component (later chapters go into much more detail), and finally about 35 pages or so on the underlying theories & laws. From there on, each chapter introduces a specific component type, covers more of the theory relevant to those components, and in most cases the chapter ends with one or more projects that use the component. The projects range from short (one or two pages) circuits, to fairly involved projects spread over multiple chapters. Unlike some eletcronic books, most of these projects will be generally useful. In most cases, you are building tools that you will probably continue to use as you skills develop (The first project, for example, is a dual variable power supply that any electronics hobbyist will find quite useful.)

There are a few minor problems with the book, though none of them warrant deducting a star. The biggest thing that I've noticed so far is the lack of photographs. There are a few photos in chapter one and two showing each tool and examples of the components, but there are no photos at all showing any of the projects. The projects are illustrated with line drawings & schematics, but in some cases the instructions would be clearer with the addition of photos. The section on soldering has the same problem. The text is quite clear, but the addition of a photo or two would be beneficial.

Another reviewer complains about schematic symbols being used without being introduced. He's correct, Slone doesn't actually define any of the schematic symbols, nor does he include a section on reading schematics. That's clearly a pretty big oversight, and it should be fixed in a later edition. That said, all of the schematics are quite clearly labeled. While it may not be immediately obvious to someone with no electronic knowledge what T1 refers to on a schematic, it shouldn't be to hard to figure out that, considering you are reading a chapter on transformers, it probably means "the first transformer". Anytime that it's not obvious the component is labeled specifically.

The same reviewer also complains that the book is focused to heavily on projects, not enough on theory. Most people will probably think that's a good thing, but rest assured that you will learn enough theory here to get you started. Writing a book like this is a fine balancing act between introducing enough theory to make the concepts clear, but not so much as to turn off the casual hobbyist. This book does an outstanding job of walking that tightrope. If you still feel you need more theory after reading this book, you there are dozens of other books that you can graduate to from here, and this book will get the groundwork in place so you will be able to understand those books.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me through college!, November 30, 2004
By 
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
I want to say that this is the best electronics teach yourself book for beginners I have ever read (if this changes I will edit this review to reflect it). While I have advanced to more sophisticated books my footing is firmly planted in the theories and applications this book taught me.

After two years of electrical engineering schooling at the University of North Dakota I was doing well but always felt I didn't quite have a grasp on a lot of the basics (especially transistors, capacitors, and inductors). In engineering all we hear is theory and math and never is there anything really explained at a practical level (Such as for use in DIY projects). So I got this book without really knowing all that much about practical electronics principles. This book (along with Mr. Slone's other book (The Audiophile's Project Sourcebook)) got me through all of my labs and assigments in electronics (three semesters worth).

This book does not describe the nitty gritty theory of everything, but that isn't its purpose. The purpose of this book is to give the reader a working knowledge of electronics principles, and it does that VERY well. I wish I would have had this book many years ago...

As a compliment to this book I also read "Practical Electronics for Inventors" by Paul Scherz. In fact, I would be say that if you studied this book well and combined it with the previous two books (which will provide even more real world experience) you will come out of it with a better general knowledge of electronics than almost any electrical engineer out of college.

If you are reading this and ARE an electrical engineer or EE student you should seriously consider this book and the others to enhance your current breadth of knowledge if you feel you aren't quite connecting it all, as I wasn't at one point. If you are neither of these but rather somebody who is interested in learning about the field of electronics with the thought of creating your own circuits someday, this book will be invaluable to you.

Overall this book is excellent and very easy to read and I highly recommend it to beginners and experienced people who might need a refresher course. This book is very simple, and one should not expect to become an expert in the subject with just this. As for weaknesses, I cannot think of any, since this book is exactly what I needed to tie everything together in my mind. So for the inherent value of a "non-textbook" approach to electronics along with its easy to understand flow and do it yourself projects, I give this book a perfect 5 stars.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the job if you are willing to work at it., March 18, 2002
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
If you just read this, you will at least get a better idea of whats going on inside all those boxes around your housethat plug into the wall. If take the time to read and absorb the material you will be even more rewarded. But best of all, you should actually at least build the power supply that the author uses as a teaching tool. Even if you never build anything else, you will a lot more by doing this. Be warned, it is not like a kit where you just put all the pieces together. You will have a couple of problems to solve and most likely have to do some minor innovations.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mix of topics and well designed teaching method, January 27, 2002
By 
Keith Frey (Roswell, Georgia United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
My library of electronics books is huge, I have found myself having to buy many to get the information I need. I can only kick myself for not having bought Randy's book the minute it hit the shelves, as it would have saved me a lot of money and aggravation. Anyhoo, I have it now, and it is the book I use above all others. It is parked right next to my work bench. The topics struck me right away as the best mix that I have seen in any book. Randy actually writes in a way that you can sense he is trying to help you succeed in a career as well as teach you theory. He offers practical information about every aspect of electronics. Randy, I can't thank you enough for writing a book that allows any skill level reader to actual learn what they need.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wished I had read this book first., July 1, 1999
By A Customer
I spend too many dollars and wasted too much time when I began buying books to teach myself the basics of electronics and hopefully become knowledgeable enough to build my own projects. After making little progress because every book I read assumed you already had some electronics background I came across Randy Slone's book. What a difference. Randy does a great job of explaining things that people with little knowlegde or ability can understand. Not only does Randy write a great book but you can also ask him questions and just like in his book he can explain in terms you can understand. What other author gives you that.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Electronics Books Available!, March 9, 2005
By 
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
First off this is the first review of a book I've ever posted on Amazon.com this book is THAT good. I'm currently studying Electrical Engineering in College and I like to stay ahead and I find electronics very intresting. I've tried many books from the very basic to the very advanced and this book has it all in a very concise easy to understand format. Regardless if you are just starting out or already have a Masters in Engineering this book is great. It's easy to go back and touch up on forgotten formulas and subjects, Or even to just learn one certain thing. The writer consistantly keeps you from getting bored by giving you Circuits to design, Which he also explains step by step how they work which is very rare in books it seems. I always come back to this book and everytime I put it down I always feel the satisfaction of learning something new. If you have ANY intrest in Electronics quit reading my review and GET THIS BOOK!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars phil jones bass consultant electronic guru, September 25, 2005
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
Good book for learning the basics. Seems to lean toward the audio electronics stuff. Makes you want to work hard to find parts to build the projects, so you know what to expect while pursuing this hobby. No kits included, you have to search the net for your parts.

Covers alot of ground and you have to really want to study to learn it all, because it is a text book.

After years of taking stuff apart and wondering how to fix it, I feel like I'm on the right track to learning how to do that. I'm looking forward to trying to fix, rebuild or modify, and I also want to build, Audio equipment. Today, with the net you can get parts for anything.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hit the wall with the transistors chapter..., January 12, 2010
By 
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
Chapter 6 is where things get hard. I hit the wall at this point. The theory and usefulness of transistors is not explained well and is difficult to understand. Diodes, okay; transistors, not. Collectors, emitters, base? PNP vs NPN?
I've read this chapter three times and still don't feel comfortable with these concepts. And understanding much of the rest of the book -- anything not related to digital electronics -- depends on mastery of this.
The rest of the book is satisfactory and some of the projects are actually rather illustrative and cool. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to buy a second reference book in order to get over the transistors hump.
This could be the nature of the subject matter, I don't know. Nonetheless, it's my hope that chapter 6 will be rewritten for a future edition.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for beginners, but incorrect convention used, April 24, 2006
By 
Obaid Haqqi (Odenton, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics (Paperback)
I would highly recommed this book to anybody interested in electronics as a solid starting guide. A vast amount of material is covered and is covered on a basic level.

That being said, I do have to deduct a star based on the current flow convention used by the author. Conventional current flow as defined by IEEE (Institue of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) is from + to - voltage (or higher to lower reference voltage), which is the opposite of electron flow (electrons flow from - to + terminals). The author defines current flow to be along the same path and direction as electron flow, which any electrical engineering student will tell you is incorrect.
Other than the current convention problem and a few minor flaws, an excellent source of information.
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Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics
Tab Electronics Guide to Understanding Electricity and Electronics by G. Randy Slone (Paperback - July 21, 2000)
$24.95 $15.80
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