Paperback: 872 pages
Publisher: For Dummies (February 1, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #13,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #15 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Electrical & Electronics > Electronics #19 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Telecommunications & Sensors #44 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Reference
I've a coding background, and have a few ideas for projects that require more non-virtual skills like electronics. I thumbed through this at a B&N cafe one night, and really liked the style, so I ordered it off of .Doug Lowe is a lot of fun - most of the "For Dummies" writers are (even if I still get uncomfortable and mock-offended at the implication of the series title every time I read one of these!). The info and exercises are very cool, and I'm getting a good "from the ground up" knowledge, just what I'm looking for. He shies away from some of the complex stuff that I'd actually *like* him to get into, but I head to the Web to fill in the gaps.I wouldn't mind a little more in-depth "Here's what's happening in the circuit for this exercise" - early on, I fried a resistor and blew a fuse when seeing what I could try to change things up on one particular circuit, which was at least partly my fault for not doing the math (!), but might have been avoided if I'd had a little more detail on what I *could* experiment with and what I *shouldn't*.Over all, the book is great...but there's one big drawback: editing.It becomes very, *very* obvious that a lot of the passages *and the exercise instructions* were done using quick cut-and-paste jobs. This makes sense given how interrelated everything is, but it can trip things up if it's not carefully edited! As an example: the equations for finding total capacitance in series are identical to those for finding total resistance (or inductance) in parallel...and in the section on one, in several spots they used the units for another! (Though not consistently, making it even more confusing, if slightly more accurate.
I am a semi-experienced amateur looking to learn more. I am not a professional or an electrical engineer, just a mechanically inclined guy who likes to tinker with things.This review is for “Electronics All-In-One Desk Reference For Dummies” by Doug Lowe. Be aware there are a couple other very similar titled books in the 'for dummies' series that are not the same.This book is a bit unique in that it is actually 8 separate mini-books in one. It starts off assuming you know nothing and takes you to the point where you can understand and build basic circuits. If you already know the basics you can jump right to the mini-book that interests you as they are independently written. The first time through I just read all the books. The second time I read them and constructed all the circuits up to the last mini-book, which I just re-read.Each mini-book is well written and reads somewhat like an everyday tech manual. Electronics is a complicated subject so it is not possible to explain it without getting tech-ish but the author uses every terms beside technical terms to help convey the message. Mini-books 1 thru 6 are very good and these alone are well worth the cost of this book. Mini-books 7 & 8 are merely ok so if your primary reason for buying this book is the last two mini-books be sure to read my specific comments on them below.The components chosen for mini-books 1 thru 6 are common low to moderate cost items you will need if you plan to have this hobby, and because of this you will need to buy items like these regardless of what electronics book you choose. My only real problem with mini-books 1 thru 6 is the circuit examples are in black & white and do not label the components with their schematic names.
I really like this book. Yeah, there may be a couple spots that aren't exactly perfect, and I agree that for the cost of this book they could have sprung for colored pictures, but I don't think any of that takes away from the rest of the wonderful aspects of this book. It is split up nicely into 8 "mini-books." The table of contents was done nicely as well. I can definitely see myself coming back to this book simply as a reference. You forget what a symbol was on an electrical drawing? Just review the table of contents to find out which page standard electrical symbols are on, check it out, and keep going with what you were doing.Like most "for Dummies" books, this is presented in a very down to earth, layman's terms format. The analogies the author uses are very helpful when trying to mentally picture certain concepts. Within the first 100 pages your understanding of the generic term "electricity" or "electronics" will grow immeasurably.The author also frequently name drops Radio Shack for components and other materials, which I don't personally have a gripe with considering that having part numbers for folks to be able to write down, bring to their local shop, and purchase for the projects in the book can be very handy for beginners. Not a con in my opinion.Just as a note, and I'm sure this has probably been mentioned by others, if you don't already have ANY tools/components, then it could probably be a little spendy to get the basics needed for the projects contained within this book; consequently, if you're looking to start playing around with electronics, you're going to need to get that stuff anyway. As a note, I picked up the Mastech MS8268 digital multimeter right here at for about $30.