Author Topic: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!  (Read 7984 times)

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Offline roguewave2112

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  Hello,
   I am very new to the world of electronics and am looking for a user-friendly book to get me started. I would like to build some synth type analog noise boxes and etc. I have forest mims book but I really don't care for the look of the words and it seems faded. I want to learn electronics basics, soldering, how to build simple circuits and etc. No arduino yet or things of that level. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and have a great holiday! Daniel f
 

Offline NegativeONE

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 08:48:37 pm »
The Art of Electronics, by Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hilla - this is probably one of the best book to learn electronics. Don't waste money for something like " Electronic for dummies" or something like that, better spend it on parts.

To learn soldering watch this 3 part tutorial:

Start with looking for some basic schematics on internet, choose few, buy parts, try to build it and learn by failing :) The best way to learn is having fun by playing with electronics :)
ONE never notices what has been done;
ONE can only see what remains to be done;

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Offline robrenz

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 11:43:02 pm »
Practical-Electronics-Inventors 3rd edition will serve you very well. If I could only keep one book this would be it. Look thru the table of contents on the amazon link.

Offline Kohanbash

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2013, 03:43:17 am »
Practical-Electronics-Inventors 3rd edition will serve you very well. If I could only keep one book this would be it. Look thru the table of contents on the amazon link.

I have the earlier version of this book and would also recommend it.

I think Art of Electronics while a great book can be intimidating and expensive for a beginner. Just my opinion.
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Offline Kappes Buur

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2013, 05:00:20 am »
Ok, you are just starting out with electronics, but are you also starting out with mathematics?
It is one thing to kludge together some circuit from a schematic found on the internet. It is whole different ballgame to make something yourself from scratch.

For DC theory you can use the basic math functions. However, for AC theory and signal analysis the math becomes a bit more complicated.

While it is a necessary evil, learning from a book is usually the way to go.
However, having a course such as the edx video series https://www.edx.org/course-list/allschools/electronics/allcourses is invaluable.

I recommend https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-6-002x-circuits-electronics-1130 .
Register for it and learn at your own pace. The course takes you from very simple DC concepts through circuit analysis up to Laplace. From resistor networks through BJTs, MOSFETS to OpAmps. By registering you also have free access to the online textbook.

Should you find that some math concepts are too heady, there is also https://www.khanacademy.org/

[edit]
If the above is too advanced, then why not experimenting with Arduino.
For example, the book http://www.elektor.com/products/books/microcontrollers/mastering-microcontrollers-helped-by-arduino.2577385.lynkx has many hands-on circuits which teach the use of some basic components. Instead of a Solderless Breadboard you can always you a Prototyping PCB. This way you learn to solder, how to handle components and to boot how to program. But it will not teach you how to design or analyze circuits.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 05:30:23 am by Kappes Buur »
 

Offline nanofrog

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2013, 05:01:14 am »
I think Art of Electronics while a great book can be intimidating and expensive for a beginner. Just my opinion.
I'd have to agree with this.

I look at AoE as written for EE's (students or pros), or other technical professionals that have a similar level of math and physics background. And @ ~$106 for a new hardcover on Amazon, it's not exactly inexpensive. Even the paperback versions are going for ~$65 new.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2013, 05:43:30 am »
  I want to learn electronics basics, soldering, how to build simple circuits and etc. No arduino yet or things of that level.

Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery)

Excellent - from the ground up- learn by doing book. :-+

For a more comprehensive textbook type of book, I can also recommend "Practical Electronics for Inventors" as others have.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 05:49:49 am by mtdoc »
 

Offline BytesGuy

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2013, 10:56:24 am »
Practical-Electronics-Inventors 3rd edition will serve you very well. If I could only keep one book this would be it. Look thru the table of contents on the amazon link.

That book looks really good. Might pick it up myself, been a while and I am quite rusty on the basics!
 

Offline filip_cro

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 12:24:47 pm »
Best thing you can do is take MOOC. I took Introduction to secrets of life and it was amazing.
 
Look at this course: https://www.edx.org/course/mitx/mitx-6-002x-circuits-electronics-1130
It started already so you can't gain certificate but you can watch all lessons and try homework assignments I started it but it was stuff I learned in school so I gave up...

I said something about Arduino. Take this programing course and try to stay away from Python unit you know C. 
https://www.edx.org/course/harvardx/harvardx-cs50x-introduction-computer-1022

Look at this article for more about MOOC.  http://www.iflscience.com/technology/take-college-and-university-courses-online-completely-free
You will need all you can get from math, physics (mainly magnetism and electric fields), programing and anything what includes electrical engineering.

Take this, it's must know: https://www.coursera.org/course/circuits
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 12:34:35 pm by filip_cro »
 

Offline tanstaafl

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2013, 12:37:09 pm »
I think Art of Electronics while a great book can be intimidating and expensive for a beginner. Just my opinion.
I'd have to agree with this.

I look at AoE as written for EE's (students or pros), or other technical professionals that have a similar level of math and physics background. And @ ~$106 for a new hardcover on Amazon, it's not exactly inexpensive. Even the paperback versions are going for ~$65 new.

You can get the international version for ~$40 on ebay, paper quality might be a bit worse and cover is different. But apart from that it's the same book
 

Offline Sasja

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2013, 12:47:55 pm »
Hey Daniel,
i'm also getting into analog synthy stuff at the moment, it's awesome. But compared to arduino stuff it seems to me the learning curve for beginners is more like a err brick wall. (How did they do it in the old days???) Well it's mainly a community thing i guess, lot's of support/tutorials out there for arduino things. Now i'm trying to build analog synth stuff and i find myself looking at scanned papers from electronics magazines from the 70's for schematic ideas and such  :P. Also analog synthy stuff involves a bit of mathematics so having a background/interest in some abstract math helps a lot. Don't be discouraged but if you're very new to electronics, consider putting the analog synth thing in the fridge for a while and do whatever you can find good/fun tutorials for online. O well, maybe theres plenty of introductory analog stuff out there that i dont know off, like all the guitar effect circuits and all... i dunno, good luck!

a picture in the book that came with the arduino that got me started i really liked:
http://quantumprogress.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/screen-shot-2011-06-09-at-12-49-03-am1.png
 

Offline PA4TIM

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2013, 01:42:20 pm »
I used the ARRL handbook and a Dutch book about building receivers as first start in electronics. Learned a lot while repairing, building and using test gear. My number one bible for allround electronics is The art of electronics. I refreshed math by following the YouTube math tutorials at Kahn academie. http://www.khanacademy.org/

I think the Terman books are very good, but  as addition because they are over 60 years old (I have 3 of them)
After that I read many, many books.

Here are a few points/ways/suggestions.

Start with some special field and learn from there. I started with RF to become a HAM. Learned at first only the RF related basics  But RF is not the most easy thing in electronics. Playing with something lake an arduino is also a way. Very big community for help and info. Others start with things like a robot

Start with the bare basic theory, like the art of electronics.

Start playing around, something like electronics for dummies and a breadboard.

Or build some kits and learn how they work.

repairing stuff can be very educational, for most if you want to know how things work and study the things you find related to that. And then I mean not the repair done by poking around with an ESR meter or blind changing a lot of parts in the hope you also change the bad one.

Things also depend on your goal. I know a man who is 70 and  started 5 years ago, as he retired, building some kits, later builded some schematics from internet and is completely happy with that. He does not want do design things or know in dept how they work. He likes fiddeling around with is solder iron and build simple things.

It also depends on your education and skills. If you only have done a basic school as a kid and that was allready hard work the some parts of electronics can cost you lots of swet and tears, or maybe it is to complex. But maybe you turn out to be a wizzard with the solder iron and make the most beautifull things without knowing the "secrets".

Or you understand the things just by looking quick at them. But can't hold your hand steady enough and have a to bad vision even to build something with tubes.

And there are many, many ways in between. Most start because they like it, are fascinated by it and know up front what they want and search their way with that goal in mind. And often those goals change in time. At first I was fascinated by tubes. Restored and build tube transmitters and receivers. Then I repaired a 2m transceiver and needed a better scope. A friend gave me some very usable but not working instruments because he moved to a smaller house and I started repairing those and since then I'm most interested in repairing/restoring test gear, calibrating and component behaiviour because I also wanted to use that gear. My interest in RF is since then moved towards network analyse and I like designing stuff (most measurement related and most times with many opamps in through hole and SMD, tubes only for restauration. I'm no restoring an early 40's GR-605B standard generator with tubes. Just for fun, not because I need one or want one. If it's ready it probably will move at some moment to a new home.
www.pa4tim.nl my collection measurement gear and experiments Also lots of info about network analyse
www.schneiderelectronicsrepair.nl  repair of test and calibration equipment
https://www.youtube.com/user/pa4tim my youtube channel
 

Offline M0BSW

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 07:42:57 pm »
I have the art of electronics which is a brilliant tool, if your a real never done it before try this one , it, from maplin UK, and its called Starting Electronics by Keith Brindley , there's probably a newer version, I found this the most useful book on starting out, its written in plain English.Also try a book called build your own test equipment, it an American book  very, very good, plus you make some really good test gear so that one is a double bonus.
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Offline roguewave2112

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Re: Suggestions for a comprehensive electronics book for a beginner?!
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 05:11:46 pm »
Thanks a lot for all of the great suggestions! Dan
 


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