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Get started in Electronics book for 14 year old

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by ElectronDad, Jul 29, 2005.

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  1. ElectronDad

    ElectronDad Guest


    Can anybody recommend a good "Get Started In Electronics" book set at
    a level suitable for an intelligent 14 year old boy.

    My lad would like to learn electricty and electronics and I have
    enough knowlege from my university days to help him with it. Can
    anyone recommend a book which would provide a bit of a framework to
    learn from. The book should be set at his level, fun to read and
    should would have some projects he could complete. He will just loose
    interest in a purely theoretical book.

    He is good with basic math (algebra etc but no calculus). Although he
    has had very little exposure to things electric I doubt Ohms law etc
    will mystify him for long. A particular interest is robotics so if the
    book was a bit oriented that way it would be a bonus.

    Kind regards
  2. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Getting Started in Electronics -- by Forrest M. Mims III

    Available at many libraries, also

    Good luck
  3. Tom Biasi

    Tom Biasi Guest

    Hi Dad,
    The book that Chris recommends is a good one, there are many good ones
    Rather than suggest a book let me suggest the internet. For free there is a
    wealth of information and many tutorials some with animations that books
    can't provide.
    There is also the advantage of getting the material from many points of
    That doesn't mean don't get a book.
    Here is a start:
    Good Luck,
  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Books are great - I cut my teeth on "The Radio Amateur's Handbook" -
    but get him something he can get his hands on.

    Reading can be a little dry - but when he slaps a transistor, a couple
    of caps and resistors, and maybe a coil, all onto a breadboard, and
    it makes noise, there's nothing to compare to the learning experience.

  5. Getting Started in Electronics -- by Forrest M. Mims III
    I heartily second that motion. That's the book that got me started, at
    about the same age, too. Radio Shack may still carry it. Very little math,
    lots of easy-to-understand diagrams that make you want to put all those
    projects together. What's more, EVERY CIRCUIT WORKS. This is different
    from electronics books published by TAB, who couldn't publish a schematic
    diagram without an error in it if their lives depended on it.

    Forrest Mims has written many electronics books in a similar format, and you
    won't go wrong with any of them. Check your local library.

    Matt J. McCullar, KJ5BA
    Arlington, TX
  6. Rolf Kleppe

    Rolf Kleppe Guest

    Hi ElectronDad

    I found some very good books on electronics a couple of years ago:

    As a hamradio-enthusiast these 6 books gave me a thorough understanding of
    electronics - I still enjoy looking up special topics - they have mainly
    been written by a teacher in electronics.
    Each one of the books starts at 'pont zero' - it should be possible for Your
    son to get a good start into electronics.
    There are a lot of books on the market written by people who can't explain
    the simplest things in a way for people to understand.
    If You help out with some of the math used i guess You might find them
    One of the books is about experiments - theory and experiments is the best
    way to learn/understand electronics.
    They are all for free download - some the files are huge - a DSL-connection
    might come in handy.

    Kind regards Rolf/Denmark
  7. Guest

    I am a 14 year old electronics hobbiest and enjoying the book "Tab
    electronics guide to understanding Electricity and Electronics second
    edition" by Randy Slone. There's a bit of math to get lost in and alot
    of technical vocabulary that the book explains but can get hard to
    remember but I'm loving it. I'm learning all of the different
    electronic principles, equations, component functions and designs, and
    circuit designs. The chapter about transistors gets a little boring and
    lengthy but taught me everything I need to know about transistor, (even
    if I have to refer to it everyonce in a while). Right in the begining
    it taught me what equiptment I would need. after reading the first two
    chapters my dad took me to an electronics store were I walked in, book
    in hand, and bought everything I needed for under 20 dollars and
    haven't needed to replace any of it yet. I also quickly learned about
    salvageing and what a reasonable price for different components is. The
    chapter about salvageing told what I should and shouldn't keep, and if
    your son is anything like me, you will praise that chapter when you see
    the amount of cluter that he realizes is just taking up space and makes
    it out to the trash. I still need to finish reading this book but the
    rest of the information sounds pretty interesting. Enjoy!
  8. PeteS

    PeteS Guest

    I heartily agree with all the comments about doing experiments. I
    remember getting a couple of 'radio kits' back in the early 60s (when I
    was still well under the age of 10) which actually gave me an incentive
    to dig deeper into mathematics and physics, beyond my natural
    inclinations and even overcoming the boring teachers we had at the time

    During the time I was teaching electronics (to ONC/OND level), the
    practical experiments were where my students really learned the subject
    (although the theory behind the experiments was necessary of course).

    That said, there's a point beyond which you'll need to understand at
    least some of the underlying physics and a decent grasp of mathematics.
    My favourite location for those materials are the various vendors who
    publish papers on their chosen speciality (to showcase their latest and
    greatest of course, but with the side benefit of a pretty good overview
    of the subject). Then there are resources at various educational sites
    (MIT comes to mind).

    If you want to find out just who is in the business of making parts,
    then even though Google is the search of choice if you know what you
    are looking for, I have found the semiconductor subway
    ( to be a useful
    resource if you want to find out who makes stuff.

    I have never found a similar map for passives, though.

    As for books, there are a lot of them out there but (speaking as
    someone who has reviewed such books) a lot of them are filled with
    non-intuitive details, and sometimes outright blatant errors. The ones
    listed above seem pretty good, though.

    Good luck - let us know how your son gets on.


  9. Go to your local Radio Shack (Tandy) store and get the "200 in 1" type
    electronics learning kit. You can't beat these, they will keep him
    interested for months before he can move out on his own using
    breadboards and PCBs etc
    These kits start out by building simple circuits "by the numbers" and
    then gradually encourage experimentation and then add the theory. They
    use spring loaded terminals too, much better than breadboards or
    soldering for beginners.

    Forget any book or kit that starts out with the theory, most kids will
    bore very quickly. But if they build stuff and flash some LEDs and make
    some noise, it's very addictive.

    Dave :)
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