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A Slightly Different Perspective for INVENTORS...
on March 22, 2013
If you read ALL the reviews of ALL seven volumes of Graf's general encyclopedia series, PLUS Graf's 5 "specialty" circuit books (Oscillators, Amplifiers, Detectors, Measuring and Converters), you'll get a noticeable trend: these books are either for very new hobbyists or designers OR very experienced engineers!
Both are actually right, as the series depends on your goals. Since a lot of the info is outdated, it also means a lot is public domain, and you can find some real "gem ideas" that have been forgotten, and with modern component updates, can become the material for a new patent, or components thereof. Circle M's are usually abandoned within 9 years, and didn't even exist back then.
In that vein of advanced scanning, another advanced requirement is the ability to calculate missing values and spot mistakes. Eg. Graf gives a digital power monitor circuit with a missing reset switch and only one (R2) of two resistor values. You can use VSense=r1 + 10K/10K * 2.3, for example, to solve for r1, and use vsense over your VTP, with test values, to get your max voltage.
So, for the newbies, hobbyists and new inventors. Hey, with the right attitude, figuring out the mistakes (without blowing yourself up or burning your garage down) can be a challenge! If you compare circuits with online resources and the awesome McGraw Hill circuit (troubleshooting) series (volume 4 is awesome but very rare and expensive-- had to buy if from India: McGraw-Hill Circuit Encyclopedia and Troubleshooting Guide, Volume 4), you can become the Sherlock Holmes of the design world with this series! Think of it as a puzzle and you won't get as ticked off as some of this series' reviewers seem to!
I test circuits, especially for law firms and inventors, at payroy dot com, for reference, so my perspective and bias is new as well as experienced inventors. If you're an inventor and combine these series with, for example, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition, you'll have a wonderful and huge set of resources to compare TO the modern web or even smartphone app circuit resources. They say a chess grandmaster has 50,000 positions memorized, I'm guessing that the best inventors eventually have thousands of circuits in mind too! Learning to judge the bad from the good is what the other reviewers who trash this series know how to do-- but studying both good and bad is a GREAT way to learn the difference, as well as spot undiscovered or forgotten gems. Old isn't always bad!!!
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