Basic Electronics: Theory and Practice 2nd Edition
The study of electronics can be a little overwhelming when you start out. But without assuming that you remember everything from your general science classes, we take you through it all step by step so that you will gain confidence in your understanding of the material. This doesn’t mean that we give you an oversimplified version of electronics, but it does mean that we cover the topics in a more digestible style. We believe that by making the effort to wrap your head around some of the more difficult topics, you will find it easier to progress into further study of electronic theory or hands-on experimentation.
We believe that a new revolution is under way. Electronics has always had a thriving hobbyist population, especially in the 1960s and the 1970s. There were magazines, corner electronics stores; and clubs where enthusiasts could meet and share their creations. It had its subcultures from amateur radio enthusiasts to model rocket builders. In the 1980s, this culture grew to include people building personal computers before such companies such as IBM and Apple began to mass produce them.
The hobbyist field changed as electronics advanced. The increasing sophistication and miniaturization of electronic components and the products built with them made hobbyist-built electronics pale in comparison to their flashier, mass-produced competition. But those same advances are now putting the design and production back into the hobbyists’ hands. Perhaps egged on by battling robots out of university engineering departments, a new generation of electronics buffs is tinkering with technology. With affordable microcontrollers and a wide range of products and information available online, the hobbyist can design and build machines that recharge the ideas of homebrew and do-it-yourself. We can all become Makers.
How This Book Is Organized
Part 1: The Fundamentals covers electronics basics from the atoms up. You learn about currents, AC and DC voltage, and find out how they all work together to power our world.
Part 2: Your Workspace and Tools introduces the tools of the trade, from the lowtech soldering iron that makes your connections to the high-tech digital multimeter, and offers advice for setting up a shop and working with electricity safely.
Part 3: Electronic Components gives you the nitty-gritty on circuits, capacitors, diodes, transistors, and power supplies. These components are the workhorses of electronics, keeping things powered, amped up, and running smoothly.
Part 4: Getting to Work keeps you busy soldering parts together and creating your own power supply. Once you have these skills under your belt, you’re ready to start building—and inventing—your own electronic devices.
Part 5: Going Digital teaches you to think like a computer. You learn how integrated circuits put digital signals to work and how to use memory to store the instructions that run your gadgets.
Part 6: Electronics in Practice covers motors and controllers, sensors and electronic communication.
Part 7: Constructing a Robot (covering both Arduino and Netduino) helps you use everything you learned from the previous parts to create your own robot—one that can move on its own and sense its environment. We then introduce the Raspberry Pi to give you the option to connect a small computer to your electronics projects. What will you build next?
The Appendices provide you with a glossary, a timeline of electronics, a review of mathematics, careers in electronics, electronics resources, answers to the oddnumbered exercises, and the directory of video labs included on the companion disc.
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