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Post by QMAN » Tue May 20, 2008 10:27 am

As a new subscriber to Nuts and Volts Magazine, I enjoy the magazine. However, truth be told, I only understand a small portion of what is presented.

I am a rank novice. Any recommendations on books, DVD's etc... ??? other sources, that I can ulitize to learn electronics, programming, building circuit boards, motors, etc... as well as doing things in applications/hardware like PicAxe, would be appreciated. Thanks


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Michael Kaudze
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Post by Michael Kaudze » Tue May 20, 2008 11:20 am

You've come to the right place!

My first book suggestion would be:

http://store.nutsvolts.com/product.php? ... 348&page=2

Quickly and easily learn the hows and whys behind basic electricity, electronics, and communications –- at your own pace, in your own home

Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics offers easy-to-follow lessons in electricity and electronics fundamentals and applications from a master teacher, with minimal math, plenty of illustrations and practical examples, and test-yourself questions that make learning go more quickly. Great for preparing for amateur and commercial licensing exams, this trusted guide offers uniquely thorough coverage, ranging from dc and ac concepts and circuits to semiconductors and integrated circuits.

The best course –- and source –- in basic electronics

* Starts with the basics and takes you through advanced applications such as radiolocation and robotics
* Packed with learning-enhancing features: clear illustrations, practical examples, and hundreds of test questions
* Helps you solve current-voltage-resistance-impedance problems and make power calculations
* Teaches simple circuit concepts and techniques for optimizing system efficiency
* Explains the theory behind advanced audio systems and amplifiers for live music
* Referenced by thousands of students and professionals
* Written by an author whose name is synonymous with clarity and practical sense

Updated to reflect the latest technological trends! The Fourth Edition features new information on:

* Wireless technology
* Computers and the Internet
* Transducers
* Sensors
* Robotics
* Audio systems
* Navigation
* Radiolocation
* Integrated circuits

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Post by QMAN » Tue May 20, 2008 1:21 pm


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Post by kheston » Tue May 20, 2008 6:23 pm


I didn't like Stan's book very much, read it cover to cover (2nd Ed.).

It gives you a pretty good foundation in the physics/theory behind electronics but stops short of giving even a basic introduction to semiconductor circuit design. There are numerous statements in the book about leaving the designing of things up to a "trained engineer," which I found annoying. It's as though Mr. Gibilisco feels designing even the simplest of electronic circuits is beyond the grasp of the hobbyist. Building my own circuits was what I thought I was going to start learning to do after wading through all of the breadth material he presents, but the book never got to that part.

Perhaps after I've learned more I'll look back and see how valuable the book really is, but for now I'm a bit disappointed.

I'm not through reading through them yet, but so far I'm really happy with the stuff Tony Kuphalt has written. You can find it here: http://www.ibiblio.org/kuphaldt/electricCircuits/

Good luck!
Kurt - SF Bay

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Post by haklesup » Wed May 21, 2008 12:07 pm

I don't have a specific book but you will want to ask yourself if you prefer to learn theiry first than put that into ptactice or to practice making projects forst and then fill in the explanation with theory later.

If you are of the first type, Michaels suggestion might be just right. If you are more hands on then a book of projects might be more to your liking.

For self learning I usually advocate the find a project and learn what you need to complete it approach then save the theory first stuff for when you begin a formal education in a school.

Most projects contain aspects of a power supply, a PCB or other assembly substrate so a power supply project is often a good first try. You'll buy many books before you are through, just pick one written at your level about a topic you can appreciate.

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Post by Joseph » Wed May 21, 2008 4:16 pm

After reading about the fundamentals, you will like to get some wall wart adapters for power supplies, some breadboards, capacitors, 22 to 24 gauge solid hook-up wire, some T0-92 transistors, LEDs, 1N4148 diodes, and maybe some small hobby motors. Then you can build simple transistor circuits that you can check with a multimeter.

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Post by Dean Huster » Thu May 22, 2008 3:46 am

Most of us older folks got our start by dissecting a copy of The Radio Amateur's Handbook published by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). The handbook has changed over the years and has gotten a lot more expensive (from $5 in the 1960's to $35 for a more-current and less-useful edition). I suggest finding an older copy from the late 1960s or early 1970s and then a newer edition from the 1990s or later. The earlier editions packed in a LOT of construction articles from which you could learn a lot. Later editions have information on newer components and circuits but don't have near the construction they used to have. Although the content is aimed at the amateur (ham) radio operator, it has always been considered the "bible" of electronics hobbyists because of its broad-based content including a large section on basic electronics and sections on test/measurement, construction, data, etc.

Dean Huster, Electronics Curmudgeon
Contributing Editor emeritus, "Q & A", of the former "Poptronics" magazine (formerly "Popular Electronics" and "Electronics Now" magazines).


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