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First electronics book for a complete beginner

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by chirieac, May 8, 2014.

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  1. chirieac


    May 8, 2014

    I'm a self-taught 28 years old programmer. I've decided to start learning electronics to expand my knowledge, but I don't know anything about it and my math skills are not good.
    With what kind of book can I start in this field?

    I was thinking to buy Make: Electronics (Learning by Discovery)
    But I've also saw Practical Electronics for Inventors, which is newer and on the description page there is this quote: "If there is a successor to Make: Electronics, then I believe it would have to be Practical Electronics for Inventors...."

    Which one would be better to start with?
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    When it comes down to a choice between two books, I would recommend that you take a look at both and make that decision for yourself. People have made mention of both here (and there is a sticky "book review" thread that may be of some use). I'd possibly go the more recent one, but I've not used either.
  3. daddles


    Jun 10, 2011
    I'm a scientist, not an EE, and I too have had to teach myself things about electronics. My favorite reference is the book "The Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill. There's no strong requirement for math (an occasional occurrence of a derivative is about all I remember) and it can give you both some solid principles and good practical information. The EEs will probably say many of the components discussed are obsolete, but the principles and good design thoughts are timeless.

    If you work around EEs, they will probably be happy to provide you with some help -- but only if they have some time, you don't waste their time, and you show them that you've been doing your due diligence.

    Another source of insight might be a good first-year college physics book. It won't get into the details of modern electronics, but it will give you a good grounding in the basic principles. The three main ones I use are Feynman (my favorite), Resnick & Halliday, and Sears & Zemansky (my copies are all decades old; no doubt there are lots of new authors on the title pages now).
    KrisBlueNZ likes this.
  4. chirieac


    May 8, 2014
    Thank you for the replies. I've decided to buy the Make: Electronics book because of the components pack 1 & 2. It will be nice to have all the components from the start instead of trying to find everything by myself. This way, once I buy the tools, I can start right away with the book.

    I'm wondering, would I be ready to start learning to use Arduino after that book?
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