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Book recommendation?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Guest

    Hi all,
    Can anyone recommend a good book about how to connect different
    chips from different manufacturers into a single device? E.g., an
    RFID reader from TI, a microprocessor from Intel, and a wireless
    transceiver from somebody else. I don't even know what to look for...
    I've searched for "Electrical Engineering" on Amazon, but those books
    only tell you how to make each individual part, not how to connect
    them together. Basically I want to connect the chips without frying
    them (or myself) to a crisp, and get them to talk to each other. I
    have a degree in computer science, so I'd be comfortable with
    something above the "Let's meet Mr. Electron" level.

  2. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    It's more or less up to the individual data sheets. Check what protocol
    the peripherals use: parallel, async serial, SPI, I2C? What nominal
    family does the interface use: 5V TTL, 3.3V CMOS, 1.8V, LVDS? Many times
    the data sheets will also have a "typical applications" section that has
    example interconnections and layouts.

    Manufacturers generally try to ensure that their parts will play nicely
    with industry standards. There are also level-converter chips that can
    be used to glue incompatible families together, when necessary.
  3. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Guest

    Kidney transplants? Really? I'd think that's fairly textbook stuff
    -- I can imagine a lot of things that vary between people, but
    functionally you're just hooking up hoses to a new meat-filter.

    I'd say it's more like... Dr. Frankenstein. Putting together
    disparate stuff and making it work. Although I don't recommend
    lightning as a debugging process.

  4. Nobody

    Nobody Guest

    A book? That's like asking for a book which tells someone who has
    never studied computing how to write a replacement for MS-Office. For
    making a complex electronic device, you could easily need knowledge
    from half of the courses making up an Elec.Eng. degree.

    Even the most experienced EE would need to read the data sheets for the
    chips in question (and the data sheet for a CPU could be anywhere from a
    hundred pages for a simple 8-bit CPU to ten thousand pages for x86).

    And you would need a fair amount of knowledge before you can understand
    the data sheet. If a chip uses e.g. I2C or SPI for communication, the
    datasheet will assume that you are already familiar with that protocol.

    It will also assume that you understand basic electronic theory: voltage,
    current, resistance, capacitance, slew rate, EMI, thermal issues, etc.

    Ultimately, it's all learnable, but a Comp.Sci. background won't
    necessarily help as much as you might expect. Exactly how much depends
    upon the amount of low-level experience you have. Knowledge of assembler,
    digital logic, and communications will help, while knowledge of Java,
    SQL, AI and the like won't be of much use.
  5. Guest

    All of the above posts are valid.

    You'll still have to learn at the component level, but the basic
    starter text for a mere technician these days, is " Art of
    Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill, and expect to have to read all 1200
    or so pages. Get the 2nd edition and don't cringe at the 85$ price.
    Even H&H will leave you searching for more data. Then search for books
    by a fellow named Boylestad having the title "Electronic Devices and
    Circuit Theory". You'll need that for the moderate to heavy math
    parts when something goes wrong with the no theory, Ill just guess and
    pray idea. Then probably Robert A Pease's "Troubleshooting Analog

    For the software you'll have to do Arduino or PIC and GCC.

    Then you'll need a good oscilloscope (CRT model for beginners) and
    some other test equipment.

    Or just hire a skilled technician, there are a lot of us unemployed
    right now.It takes typically two years or more and at least half a
    grand of equipment to get proficient at the basics.

  6. Guest

    I think the only hope for what you want to do is to find boards with
    the functions you want that have the same interface standard, then
    drive it with a single board computer.

    For example, I've bought boards from
    Even with a MSEE, I know it's a hell of a lot easier to buy someone's
    board than to roll my own. Just making the PCB is a huge amount of
    work. I only roll my own for things that aren't available
    commercially, or the commercial price is insane.
  7. Bob Larter

    Bob Larter Guest

    Heh. Ain't that the truth!
    Not much of a help with digital circuits, though.
    Yep again.
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