- Paperback: 872 pages
- Publisher: For Dummies (February 1, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0470147040
- ISBN-13: 978-0470147047
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Electronics All-in-One For Dummies
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From the Back Cover
From Ohm's law to building projects, get going in electronics with this All-in-One guide!
If you, like Doug Lowe, were always fascinated by electronics but didn't make a career of it, this book is for you. Here are clear, concise explanations of all the important concepts and directions for building simple, fun projects you can actually use. Each minibook covers the basics of a key topic, so you can jump in anywhere and get started!
Safety first — be sure to read Chapter 4 of Book I and follow all safety precautions as you tackle your projects
Building blocks — learn how conductors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors work and how to use them
The full circuit — explore integrated circuits, digital circuits, logic circuits, and programmable circuits
Plug it in — find out how to build power supply circuits that let you run circuits on household current
Wonderful wireless — get the whole story on radio and learn to build one of the most interesting devices: a crystal radio
Open the book and find:
Important safety standards
Ohm's law and other electronics concepts
What a 555 timer chip does
How to work with alternating current
Where a crystal radio gets its power
How infrared light is used in wireless communication
What a Basic Stamp is
A project teachers can use in the classroom
Visit the companion website at www.wiley.com/go/electronicsaiofd for code samples you can use when creating programmable circuits.
About the Author
Doug Lowe still has the electronics experimenter's kit his dad gave him when he was 10. Although he became a programmer and has written books on various programming languages, Microsoft Office, web programming, and PCs (including 30+ For Dummies books), Doug never forgot his first love: electronics.
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Now, before I tell you why, allow me to tell you a bit about myself.
I’m a retired physics teacher with 40 years of experience. In that time I’ve used, reviewed and even made some contributions to physics books. I know my stuff when it comes to technical teaching materials.
In all those 40 years I have never once ever encountered a book with so many typos and editing mistakes as this one!! They are so common as to make the book unusable for the beginner wanting to learn electronics.
There are incorrect symbols for electronic devices. There are lots of good projects however the parts list does not match the schematic and schematics are incorrectly labelled. It goes on and on. They even got the nationality of a famous physicist wrong. The book cannot be trusted to give you correct information. You’re not going to believe this one: in the days of spell checkers there is even a spelling error. There’s even a place where the instructions for one project has been cut and pasted into the wrong project. They even got the units for capacitors (farads) and inductors (henrys) mixed-up.
It’s obvious that Doug Lowe did not write portions of this book or even read it before publication.
Was it really proofread? Did the people in the Acknowledgments even see this work? Hard for me to understand how so many errors could make it past so many of those people.
There’s also the issue of corporate responsibility. I have twice contacted Wiley regarding this book and all I ever got back was a form survey. They’ll take your money but won’t be accountable for all its defects. They just don’t seem to care about their readers.
If you bought this book I advise you to contact Wiley at 1-877-762-2974 and vociferously complain. (Please note that the person to whom you speak is only the representative of Wiley, not the one responsible for all the errors. Be firm but polite). Demand your money back or insist that they hire competent proofreaders to fix this book and post the results online. If I were the CEO of Wiley I would dock the paycheck of the people who did not do their paid work. They need to give a copy of “Proofreading for Dummies” to all involved.
I have found about 50 errors. I’m sure there are a lot more. I do not plan to post them. Let the people who were paid to publish this book be held accountable and do the job for which they were hired. I do not plan to subsidize their incompetence. Wiley needs to do this job, not the people who paid to buy the book.
Allow me to say that the basic text of the book is actually very good, Kudos to Doug Lowe, he’s a talented writer. I wonder how he feels, personally, that such an error-laden disaster was published under his name. If it weren’t for all the errors I would have given this book a 5-star rating.
DON’T BUY THIS BOOK!! To quote another reviewer “you’ve been warned.”
1) I borrowed a copy the 2nd edition of this book (2017). About half of the errors have been corrected for a grade of 50%. So, both the 1st and 2nd edition get failing grades.
2) I recently bought a copy of Make: Electronics, 2nd ed. (2015), Charles Pratt, Media Maker Inc, publisher. It is dedicated to all those readers who helped him improve the 1st edition. There are also many ways to report and find out about errors in the book. What a difference between that and the indifferent incompetents at Wiley.
Like most "for Dummies" books, this is presented in a very down to earth, layman's terms format. The analogies the author uses are very helpful when trying to mentally picture certain concepts. Within the first 100 pages your understanding of the generic term "electricity" or "electronics" will grow immeasurably.
The author also frequently name drops Radio Shack for components and other materials, which I don't personally have a gripe with considering that having part numbers for folks to be able to write down, bring to their local shop, and purchase for the projects in the book can be very handy for beginners. Not a con in my opinion.
Just as a note, and I'm sure this has probably been mentioned by others, if you don't already have ANY tools/components, then it could probably be a little spendy to get the basics needed for the projects contained within this book; consequently, if you're looking to start playing around with electronics, you're going to need to get that stuff anyway. As a note, I picked up the Mastech MS8268 digital multimeter right here at Amazon for about $30. Granted it's not going to be the industrial standard of something like a Fluke, but if you're just starting out, or you don't use multimeter daily for your job, it will fit the bill nicely. It even lights up the terminals you need to use based upon what you're trying to measure.
At the end of the day I am just thrilled what I got. Met and exceeded my expectations. I will recommend this book to any of my friends/family looking to get involved in such a fun hobby.
I will occasionally keep this review updated with critical error fixes I find throughout the book as I come across them.
Error Update 1:
The "Coin Toss" Project - Page 111: There are actually 2 errors on this page.
The first error is under step # 4 "Install the Resistors," where it lists which resistors to put in which PCB holes. The very first one is for the 1k Ohm resistor to be placed from strip 9 to strip 10. In fact it should be placed from strip 15 to strip 20, which can be confirmed by reviewing the completed image on page 112 or 120.
The second error is step # 6. The entire step can be ignored. It appears as though it is an accidental copy from the prototype build step # 2 on page 99.
Error Update 2:
Page 218: Project 2-1: Using a Current-Limiting Resistor: There is an error in the parts list. The lamp & lamp holder parts can be deleted, for what you actually need is a 5mm 1/4W LED.
Error Update 3:
Page 265 "Example" Paragraph - Line # 1: Replace "capacitance" with "inductance"
Page 265 "Example" Paragraph - Line # 4: Replace "farads" with "henrys"
Page 265 "Example" Paragraph - Line # 5: Replace "0.1 F" with 0.1 H"
Error Update 4:
Page 314: The completed project image shows 2 unused resistors in the bottom-left. These can be deleted/ignored.
Page 315, Step # 3: The 330 Ohm resistor is listed as being placed in hole J15, but it should actually be J16.
Page 315, Step # 4: The cathode (the shorter of the two leads) should go in hole J11, and the anode (the longer of the two leads) should go in hole J6.
Page 315, Step # 7: The entire paragraph about the BASIC stamp board can be ignored.