Is Practical Electronics For Inventors worth it?

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
108
I am a recent electronic engineering graduate and currently work as an electronic engineer. In my spare time I am a electronic hobbyist. I am always building things with Arduino's, RPI etc but I want to take my hobbyist skills to a more technical level. As in, I want to build more circuits with more complex components, architectures etc. Such as digital circuits, op-amps, etc. The reason for this is that I want to understand more about the components in the circuits. I was thinking of purchasign Practical Electronics For Inventors ( I can get it here for around 30EUR). Would it be worth it? Is it a good book for going in depth in the topics I was talking about? I glanced through the table of contents on a PDF and it seems fairly in-depth and useful. But I would like some opinions.
Thanks.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
30,824
Any textbook on theoretical or practical electronics would probably do the job. I would prefer to go with a subscription of a hobbyist magazine such as Nuts & Volts. I cut my teeth on Practical Wireless and Popular Electronics.

My recommendation would be to build more than study more. Start by building things based on concrete objectives. You learn more by doing and experimenting. When you are stuck, come right here to AAC for guidance and solutions.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,943
If you have an AS or BS in electronics, your skill level should already be beyond that book.

The awkward attempts to use water analogies is a turn off to me. Anyone who needs that crutch needs to look for a different hobby.
 
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I like it, even though it is very American. I mean, it's not an advanced theory book, it's more like first-second-year electronics degree for the lab or HND/FdEng (UK qualifications) level. For an actual electronics degree, you will need other books with more maths and more abstract theory.
It has some useful practical stuff for technicians. It's more aimed at hobby and work (for operational technicians rather than designers).

I bought a copy of it years ago, and enjoyed reading bits of it. I had about 30 other theory books on different topics for when I was at uni.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,170
DISCLAIMER: I have not read this book, it is quite possible I would have a different opinion if I actually slogged through what turned out to be the author’s leaden prose, or irrepressible need to make bad puns (the bad kind of bad puns, not the good bad ones), or even just-plain-bad pedagogy. So note the basis for my opinion as expressed along side the opinion itself.

Having looked through the extensive ToC, I would estimate that the author is a competent electrical engineer and understands the foundations of an electronics education as well as many of the concerns of a person trying to create practical electronic devices. I would consider it a low risk to purchase the book since it appears to have a high level of utility for reference and even assisting others to understand important concepts.

I am a recent electronic engineering graduate and currently work as an electronic engineer.
But, I have to admit to being a little confused. While some of the topics listed would be helpful to someone who has an “electronics engineering” education (since ABET accreditation requirements seem to have left little time for strictly practical topics to be covered) but it also seems that a very large part of the book would be redundant.

At the very least, it would be review and given your stated goals, I would think more specifically targeted books, magazine articles, and particularly datasheets and app notes would be more helpful.

What was your engineering curriculum like?
 
If you have an AS or BS in electronics, your skill level should already be beyond that book.

The awkward attempts to use water analogies is a turn off to me. Anyone who needs that crutch needs to look for a different hobby.
I disagree. I like the water analogies, I find them helpful, and I don't regard them as a crutch at all. However, I am also a bit mechanically-orientated.
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
108
If you have an AS or BS in electronics, your skill level should already be beyond that book.

The awkward attempts to use water analogies is a turn off to me. Anyone who needs that crutch needs to look for a different hobby.
Any recommendations
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
16,943
Any recommendations
No. I sometimes refer to my old text books and have studied bits and pieces from newer publications. There are none that I'd pay full price for. I got most of mine for free on Craigslist.

There was one book that had a section on glitch conditions in digital circuits and how to address them. I must have been dozing during the lecture where that was covered (if it was covered).
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
108
No. I sometimes refer to my old text books and have studied bits and pieces from newer publications. There are none that I'd pay full price for. I got most of mine for free on Craigslist.

There was one book that had a section on glitch conditions in digital circuits and how to address them. I must have been dozing during the lecture where that was covered (if it was covered).
What text books do you refer to?
 

Thread Starter

SeanV123

Joined Nov 12, 2020
108
Any textbook on theoretical or practical electronics would probably do the job. I would prefer to go with a subscription of a hobbyist magazine such as Nuts & Volts. I cut my teeth on Practical Wireless and Popular Electronics.

My recommendation would be to build more than study more. Start by building things based on concrete objectives. You learn more by doing and experimenting. When you are stuck, come right here to AAC for guidance and solutions.
What do you mean by "cut my teeth"
 

Irving

Joined Jan 30, 2016
3,897
I'd say its a basic "aide-memoire", fairly in-depth on some things eg op-amps but lightweight on others eg switch-mode power circuits, having just dived in a couple of times
 
No. I sometimes refer to my old text books and have studied bits and pieces from newer publications. There are none that I'd pay full price for. I got most of mine for free on Craigslist.

There was one book that had a section on glitch conditions in digital circuits and how to address them. I must have been dozing during the lecture where that was covered (if it was covered).
Art of Electronics is good... there's no single book that has everything... it's horses for courses.
 

Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
9,170
Concerning the evergreen controversy around the water analogy for electricity, it is almost nearly impossible to mount a good defense of it because its biggest detractors are unquestionably well informed and, for the most part, consider the idea just too silly to entertain the possibility there is any merit to it.

I found this video quite interesting, and because the creator doesn’t have to argue with detractors in realtime he has the chance to make a case for this personal love of the analogy—with some evidence in support.

 
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