- 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: 120 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,021 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.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Doug Lowe is a lot of fun - most of the "For Dummies" writers are (even if I still get uncomfortable and mock-offended at the implication of the series title every time I read one of these!). The info and exercises are very cool, and I'm getting a good "from the ground up" knowledge, just what I'm looking for. He shies away from some of the complex stuff that I'd actually *like* him to get into, but I head to the Web to fill in the gaps.
I wouldn't mind a little more in-depth "Here's what's happening in the circuit for this exercise" - early on, I fried a resistor and blew a fuse when seeing what I could try to change things up on one particular circuit, which was at least partly my fault for not doing the math (!), but might have been avoided if I'd had a little more detail on what I *could* experiment with and what I *shouldn't*.
Over all, the book is great...but there's one big drawback: editing.
It becomes very, *very* obvious that a lot of the passages *and the exercise instructions* were done using quick cut-and-paste jobs. This makes sense given how interrelated everything is, but it can trip things up if it's not carefully edited! As an example: the equations for finding total capacitance in series are identical to those for finding total resistance (or inductance) in parallel...and in the section on one, in several spots they used the units for another! (Though not consistently, making it even more confusing, if slightly more accurate.) Similarly, many of the exercises have cut-and-pasted components lists from a previous exercise...but they are *not* the correct list for the exercise into which they've been pasted. Serious attention to detail is required on my end, as somebody experimenting with electronics - I'd say some serious attention to detail should be expected on their end as well, as the editors of the book.
Worse than that, though, are spots where information (like important equations!) is mistyped or outright *omitted*. (In one spot, the paragraph introduces the background of an equation, and then presents it by saying "Like this:" - with the colon - but the equation is not printed. The copy moves right along to the next paragraph. Oops.) In most of these cases, simple logic will tell you what's *correct* (or, if you're not up on your skills, a quick Web search), but it started getting a bit unfortunate after a handful of these. I've been writing the correct info into my copy of the book, but I'd feel awful for somebody who didn't have Web access and didn't remember the basics to be able to correct all of these errors.
Since this book is "for dummies," it seems wrong that said dummies are expected to fill in the gaps themselves to get everything right.
Despite those problems, I still dig the book, and it's been very helpful - starting (before opening the book) from only a basic knowledge of household wiring and repair, and some decent fundamentals in physics and basic electronics, I'm now well on my way to working on the projects I had in mind, and I'm only halfway through the book. It's a good "crash course" on the subject, and - aside from the editing problems - presents everything I was looking for so far.
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.
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