First electronics book for a complete beginner?

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

  1. chirieac

    Thread Starter New Member

    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. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    These books are quite different.

    The first looks like a good hobbyists book, that concentrates on cobbling together some simple but showy circuits.

    The second is much more serious and has a much wider coverage (it is a large book).
    The depth is really too much for a beginner, but could be useful to take forward and has many useful things such as the coding charts, constuction techniques etc.

    An alternative that I like to recommend is by M Tooley

    This one is somewhere between the two. By studying and building useful circuits like power supplies signal generators and other things the reader develops not only a good basis in theory (without the difficult maths) but also some genuinely useful electronics kit.
  3. Sparky49

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2011

    The 'Dummies Guide to' series are quite useful, they tend to start off with very little maths, instead describing what each type of component does. Then they tend to just add a little bit of maths (like Ohm's law), but nothing trickier than multiplying two or three numbers.

    I've just seen this 8 in 1 book, which may be useful:

    I would advise against the Make books. Others may have different opinions, but I find they tend to be very light in both the maths and useful information. Especially for someone like yourself who has been programming for years, you would probably find you'd be done with the book in an evening.


  4. Setanta


    Mar 12, 2012
    Can't comment on Make books in general but for the complete beginner I think Make: Electronics is excellent. It gets the basics across in a understandable and interesting way. Just bear in mind you may have to consider buying the kits that go with it. Otherwise you could spend more time trying to source parts then you do learning.

    I agree Practical Electronics is also very good but more advanced. Consider it as as the next step after Make and your on the right track.
  5. McGuire406

    New Member

    Apr 28, 2014
    I would suggest trying to find a of Electronics Technology Fundametnals. If you can get one in good condition, used, I'd definitely pick it up.

    This is the book that I used for my first semester for studying electronics, and it was very helpful and useful. Hell, I'm even going back through it this summer so I can brush on and improve my knowledge even further. I don't know if anyone else on this forum has used it, but I feel like it's a good read.
  6. chirieac

    Thread Starter New Member

    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?