Electronics books - Next step after "Practical Electronics for Inventors"

Thread Starter

SavouryBromine

Joined Jul 1, 2023
19
I recently finished "Practical Electronics for Inventors" by Paul Scherz and Simon Monk, and I liked it a lot and would like to take a next step. Could any of you who have read or are aware of the Practical electronics book recommend some books which would be a reasonable next step in terms of complexity and detail (especially with a focus on semiconductors, signal processing, and maybe even some robotics/control systems)? Also while we're at it books with some info on using circuit simulators like PSpice or LTSpice, or technical computing languages like MATLAB would be ideal.

Sorry if this a bad question but I am still in high school and am self-studying electrical/electronics engineering, so I don't have much of an insight into books used for unversity courses :).
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,926
(especially with a focus on semiconductors, signal processing, and maybe even some robotics/control systems)
There are few people who will be successful in learning broad topics in electronics/electrical engineering through self-study.

It would be better for you to pick projects and learn what you need to complete them.

When you study/build circuits from schematics drawn by others, try to understand what every component does and why those particular parts/values were used. This was something Bill Hewlett tried to do while he was working on his master's degree at Stanford.
Also while we're at it books with some info on using circuit simulators like PSpice or LTSpice, or technical computing languages like MATLAB would be ideal.
My advice is to learn how design circuits without simulators before becoming dependent on them.

An analogy is teachers requiring you to learn to do simple arithmetic by hand before allowing you to use calculators. Dependence on aids will likely impede your developing competency in an area before letting if you let software/machines do your thinking for you before you've mastered the skill yourself. Even after you've developed competency, reliance on aids can make you so dependent on them that you can't design without them.
EDIT: edited to clarify thought.
 
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Thread Starter

SavouryBromine

Joined Jul 1, 2023
19
There are few people who will be successful in learning broad topics in electronics/electrical engineering through self-study.

It would be better for you to pick projects and learn what you need to complete them.

When you study/build circuits from schematics drawn by others, try to understand what every component does and why those particular parts/values were used. This was something Bill Hewlett tried to do while he was working on his master's degree at Stanford.
My advice is to learn how design circuits without simulators before becoming dependent on them.

An analogy is teachers requiring you to learn to do simple arithmetic by hand before allowing you to use calculators. Dependence on aids will likely impede your developing competency in an area before letting software/machines do your thinking for you. After you've developed competency, reliance on aids can make you so dependent that you can't design without them.
Thanks for the advice, much appreciated
 

Thread Starter

SavouryBromine

Joined Jul 1, 2023
19
Have you looked on Pearl-HiFi's website?
I was actually just digging a bit deeper, and found a new, hardcover copy for €80 from a reliable supplier near me. Not bad compared to the prices I was seeing on amazon. So you think I should go for it?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,926
Hahahahah fair enough, it isn't the most scholarly book but I found it to cover the basics in an effective way
If you comprehend most of the material from that book, you should be ready to analyze some circuits.

Do you understand what all of the components in this schematic do?
1703715103284.png
I added component designators that all schematics should have so we can talk intelligently about the circuit.

Can you see any issues with a resistor being used to set the zener current? How could you address variations caused by changes in the input voltage?

What type of transistor needs to be used for the "control element" if you wanted an output current of 5A? What impact does that have on Q2? D1?


It's okay for you to not know any of this. After all, you haven't had any formal electronics training. It will just help establish a baseline for helping you improve.

You can decide how you want to receive help. Do you want us to treat it as schoolwork and only give guidance? Or do you want us to just explain how something works and you do whatever it takes to understand it?


BTW, building a power supply is a good first project. It was the first piece of "equipment" I built. My second was a voltmeter using a commercial panel meter. My third was a "clock" generator using TTL, a crystal oscillator, and TTL counters. It also had a 5V supply.
 
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Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,849
Well, the alternative Classics for better transistor understanding with mountains of info about tricks and technics is Titze & Schenk. It is available in million places, too.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,926
focus on semiconductors
This isn't exactly what you asked for, but this article gives an overview of an NMOS fabrication process from the 1984 Intel Memory Components Handbook. It didn't mention any design rules, so it's still somewhat relevant.

Intel was using 4" wafers until the early 90's when they moved to 6". Don't know why Larry mentioned 5".

I was privileged to work with the author and knew, and worked with, 4 of the 6 people who authored the publication he referenced.

Intel started planarizing layers in the early 90's to avoid issues caused by having "hills and valleys".
 

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ApacheKid

Joined Jan 12, 2015
1,612
I recently finished "Practical Electronics for Inventors" by Paul Scherz and Simon Monk, and I liked it a lot and would like to take a next step. Could any of you who have read or are aware of the Practical electronics book recommend some books which would be a reasonable next step in terms of complexity and detail (especially with a focus on semiconductors, signal processing, and maybe even some robotics/control systems)? Also while we're at it books with some info on using circuit simulators like PSpice or LTSpice, or technical computing languages like MATLAB would be ideal.

Sorry if this a bad question but I am still in high school and am self-studying electrical/electronics engineering, so I don't have much of an insight into books used for unversity courses :).
I have that book and also Foundations of Analog and Digital Electronic Circuits, these two books are good, perhaps not upper echelon electrical engineering but still very good for a hobbyist like me.
 
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