Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2016
Having taken several Electrical Engineering courses as a part of my Software Engineering degree, and developed a keen interest in embedded systems, I wanted to pick up a book for reference on designing and building circuits. I was looking for something that would be useful both for reviewing topics and occasionally teaching myself something new, without wading through pages of examples and exercises, as is common with many full-blown textbooks. I read the description for the book, and it seemed to fit the bill, so I put it on pre-order and waited. It arrived around a week ago, and thus far it seems to be everything I was looking for, and more. If you don't want to sit through the rest of my review, I'll summarize by saying that this book is well worth the price. It is a big book, and covers a wide variety of topics in circuit analysis and design, from basic theory to electric motors to audio electronics. Each chapter includes an overview of the theory and big ideas of the subject, plus practical information for those looking to implement the ideas. I certainly was not disappointed.

As I mentioned, this is a large book, checking in at nearly 1000 pages. "You could hurt someone with it," as my old literature teacher used to say. It may weigh heavy on the scale, but is light on your wallet, in the $20-$30 range for a new copy. Another reviewer has pointed out that the low price is partially enabled by printing on rather low-quality paper. This is true; the paper is not of particularly great quality, but in my opinion this does not detract from the book's worth. By no means is the book in danger of falling apart, so I would not let this minor issue deter you from picking up a copy.

Now, regarding the content: this book is broken up into 16 chapters, or 17 if you count the three or four-page first chapter. The first "real" chapter is truly colossal, and fills almost 250 pages with the theory of electronic circuits. This alone is worth the price of admission. This is followed by another large chapter that deals with the basic components that are used in circuits everywhere, and includes many useful tables, diagrams, and sketches of almost every variation of the components imaginable (for example, the chapter describes 8 different styles of switches). From here, the book branches out into several areas of circuits. You can continue through the chapters in order, to learn about semiconductors, optoelectronics, and sensors; or you could jump ahead to chapter 12 to start on digital electronics, then continue to microcontrollers and programmable logic. In general, each chapter starts with a basic introduction to the topic, followed by subsections that dig deeper into the specifics. If there is anything to complain about structurally, it would be the rather odd placement of "hands on electronics," which is chapter number 7. The chapter itself focuses on the physical construction of circuits, including safety, diagrams, breadboards, and other lab equipment such as multimeters and power supplies. Given the content of the chapter, I feel that it would have made more sense to place it after the chapter on basic components, rather than wedged between sensors and op-amps. However, I certainly prefer to have the information in a strange location than not at all.

All in all, this is an excellent reference for someone who wants a one-stop shop to review any of the wide variety of topics that are covered. This book does seem to be more focused on breadth of topics than depth, so it may be more useful to hobbyists than professionals. In either case, the book should be a valuable pickup for anyone in search of a solid overview of electronic circuits.
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