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Practical Electronics for Inventors

4.1 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070580787
ISBN-10: 0070580782
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Editorial Reviews


never seen... electronics book this complete with such... breadth... well written... often... first source I turn to... encyclopedia for hobbyists. -- Robotroom.com, July 2004

About the Author

Paul Scherz is a physicist/mechanical engineer who received his B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin. His area of interest in physics currently focuses on elementary particle interactions, or high energy physics, and he is working on a new theory on the photon problems with Nikolus Kauer (Ph.D. in high energy physics, Munich, Germany). Paul is an inventor/hobbyist in electronics, an area he grew to appreciate through his experience at the University’s Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics and the Department of Plasma Physics.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 604 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/TAB Electronics (April 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070580782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070580787
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having limited financial resources, I checked this book out from my local university library before buying it and have been working my way through it to see if it is worth purchasing. I do expect to purchase this book despite its major flaw, i.e., poor proofreading and/or insufficient editing. Scherz employs a novel and useful approach, dealing first with basic DC and AC R, C and L circuits using math up to and including some calculus and differential equations. His discussion is reasonably thorough without being too detailed. Scherz stresses that, for those who do not wish to (or can not) follow the math in detail, he has the results summarized. His treatment of Thevenin Theorem applications is the best I've seen and his introduction of imaginary number equations for AC circuit analysis is an excellent primer. After the basics, Scherz switches to what he calls an intuitive approach to discussing electronic components and their application in circuits. This makes a lot of sense.
I did not find his use of water or rope analogies to electronic devices or circuits useful, but that is my personal preference.
The big problem with Scherz's book is poor proofreading and/or editing. One has to be on constant watch for errors. These range in degree:
From simple mislabeling
Missing a dT term in working out the relation of W to C and V
on page 22, referencing fig 2.37 in the third paragraph of
page 34 when Fig 2.37 is meant, giving 5/13 + j1/15 on page 33
when 5/13 + j1/13 is correct, mislabeling the right hand side
of fig 2.4, etc etc )
To simple math or verbiage errors
Substracting rather than adding 0.
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Format: Paperback
Like the other reviewers I found this book a great resource. It has great practical information and diagrams and whacks straight into what you can do with the components and what they are supposed to do without boring you to death with electron theory.
Now, I must say although I have a degree in electronics I am quite rusty on fine points and one thing I never did well and subsequently never used, were FETS. I have found unforgivable errors in diagrams and examples in the transistor chapter...mostly related to MOSFETS. When you deal with P and N channels and layers...YOU MUST NEVER make mistakes in a textbook...practical or not. I had to reread sections 10 times to realize that gate voltage polarities were reversed...and the worst..an n-channel depletion layer MOSFET turning on a relay when positive biased at its gate by an AND gate. Hello? An ENHANCEMENT n-channel sure..but like..what the heck???
Especially when new learners will be tackling this stuff, some find it hard enough to cram into their brains without it being explained wrong. This book needs fixed!! It is also not really designed for new learners...although I can say new people can gain a lot from it, but you really have to have some background or I could see getting lost fast on the loose use of formulae and Ohm's law (fundamental but we all had to at least learn and practice it first) SO...good book again could be THE greatest practical instruction book ever if it was cleaned up. I back up the previous reviewer who said that. ONE STAR for the glaring lack of responsibility. It really is a 4 and 1/2 star book but hopefully the bad reviews will kick start the author and McGraw into releasing the second edition.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The preface indicates that the book is primarily for electronic neophytes who, apparently, fill the ranks of inventors & hobbyists (?). I would think that the persons who would get the most out of this work would be those with some formal traning in electronic circuit design, perhaps those about to graduate or just grtting established in discrete, commercial circuit design. Also good for the older crowd to stay current.
What I see is a voluminous & varied amount of material focusing primarily on discrete circuit design & the IC's/components available for such work. There is very little math - calculus is avoided where possible. There is a lot of practical info on general circuit development. There is a good overview on digital, op amps, filters, PSs, stepper moters & microcontrollers among others. Some nuggets for the EE too. Remember how you rejoiced when they introduced Phasors during sinusoidal steady-state analysis? But after converting everything into complex numbers & solving the problem, why did you through away the imaginary part? See an elegant little explanation in Chap. 2.
Earlier reviewers have spent some time on the errors. Suffice it to say that there are many preventable, inexcusable errors. Many are typos & schematic errors, but others leave you wondering. How could an author with such an obvious command of this subject matter confuse electrical power & electrical energy or enhancement-type & depletion-type FESs? Fun for the EE's - How many errors can YOU find?
Other impressions: 1) If you're responsible for designing a special circuit - maybe a filter or switching PS & need some pactical info on the subject, would you not search out a book devoted to that single subject?
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