Thoughts on "The Art of Electronics" 2nd Edition by Horowitz & Hill?

paulktreg

Joined Jun 2, 2008
813
If I was to recommend anything it would be a reliable internet connection and a search engine! Who needs books these days for fact based stuff?
 

Veracohr

Joined Jan 3, 2011
764
True, but on the other hand an internet search can give you millions of results, with potentially dozens of those actually useful, and one can waste a lot of time reading through junk trying to find what one wants. Knowing that you can have a collection of good stuff all condensed into one book can be good. In my opinion, anyway, but I like books.
 

Ron H

Joined Apr 14, 2005
7,014
If I was to recommend anything it would be a reliable internet connection and a search engine! Who needs books these days for fact based stuff?
I agree that a resourceful searcher can find almost anything on the internet. Unfortunately, a lot of it is not vetted for accuracy. There is a lot of fiction out there that is presented as fact.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
An old thread I know.
Some time ago I acquired a copy of Art Of Electronics (ver 2) by Horowitz and Hill, as I heard this was the bible as far as Electronics was concerned.
After a cursory read through it, I unfortunately noticed a couple of omissions and incorrect notations.
The first thing that I noticed was the use in the book of just about every diagram showing the Earth ground symbol for power supply common.
Having been trained in to use the appropriate symbols I thought this rather strange that a book of this so called calibre would commit this mistake?

I then did a search in the book for details of electronic symbols and did not find any, including any of the different ground and electrical-common symbols
The other thing I would have expected to see in a book entitled Art of Electronics, was a chapter on typical schematic layouts, and the common method of display, from left to right and an explanation.
Apart from a couple of commercial examples in one of the chapters, there was very little.
I also would have expected an appendix showing current schematic symbols and a brief description of the illustration methods, i.e. why a non-polarized capacitor has two separate plate shape designations and why a transformer is shown with dots on the windings.
Just to illustrate a couple.
I came across an old PDF article of just a couple of pages from 1984 which illustrates my point, especially the comment on P21 left column!.

It also shows the methods used for schematic and wiring display complete with symbols listed, the only omission is the logic common which may be excused as this was from a Amateur Radio based article.

This book (Aof E) I believe is the one of the principle reasons that on practically all sites I go to now where some one has put up a schematic, invariably the common is shown with an earth ground symbol.
I imagine it as hard to write a book that tries to be all things to all people, but there are some basics which I would have expected.
The misuse of the P.S. common symbols and absence of the rest are my main beef.
Rant over.
 

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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
No, I don't think the use of the earth ground symbol as a generic symbol for the circuit common node is the fault of AoE. Remember that we are talking "electronics" and not "electical machinery". Rightly or wrongly, the distinctions between circuit common, chassis ground, line neutral, and earth ground are largely unknown/ignored in much (not all) of the electronics world. The people designing the circuits ignore it and it often causes no discernable problem. If it does, then it is someone much closer to the production rather than the design that deals with it. So the people teaching the stuff have never had to deal with it where it matters and so see it as much-ado-about-nothing and don't "complicate" their course with it.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,390
Look at the publishing date on AOE 2nd edition, 1980. They used whatever the standard symbols were at the time.

About a decade ago, One of the H's mentioned in one of the sci.electronics.xxxx NNTP newsgroups about edition 3. So it's still in the works and is expected to be available later in 2013 (according to wiki ... which used this reference http://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/the-art-of-electronics-3rd-edition-author-response/60/)

The wiki article is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Electronics
 

Sensacell

Joined Jun 19, 2012
2,985
I love the book, it's the way it addresses things in a practical, real-world style that got me hooked. The discussion of specific components is refreshing after slogging through the usual text books that never address any real parts or situations.

I helped me understand the creative beauty of electronic design.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
No, I don't think the use of the earth ground symbol as a generic symbol for the circuit common node is the fault of AoE. Remember that we are talking "electronics" and not "electical machinery". Rightly or wrongly, the distinctions between circuit common, chassis ground, line neutral, and earth ground are largely unknown/ignored in much (not all) of the electronics world.
But I think there is a certain responsibility to teach the 'correct' way.
Example: The CNC machine in now in the realm of DIY hobiests, with a very large following, this has become a marriage of Electrical/Industrial electronics and home built break-out boards and personal computers etc.
When all of these come together it is imperative to have some kind of standard, because I know from a fact of visiting and helping in these forums that it requires clarification many times over to explain there is a difference.
If the A.Radio guys could do it in 1984 I don't see why it cannot be instilled now.
I know from way back when I took Industrial electronics, it was instilled in us to use the right symbols when drawing schematics.
Also to use an identifying label for a particular 'Common' rather than using the all encompassing GND as is often done now.
Max.
 

jegues

Joined Sep 13, 2010
733
I've recently started reading through the book myself, and I love it.

Having already taken basic electronics courses at school, this book is perfect for linking the theory and mathematics of electronics to intuition and practical aspects of electronics design.

Definitely would recommend this book to anyone. (Although, it is probably better suited for those with a decent background in theory of basic electronics)
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
But I think there is a certain responsibility to teach the 'correct' way.
Example: The CNC machine in now in the realm of DIY hobiests, with a very large following, this has become a marriage of Electrical/Industrial electronics and home built break-out boards and personal computers etc.
When all of these come together it is imperative to have some kind of standard, because I know from a fact of visiting and helping in these forums that it requires clarification many times over to explain there is a difference.
If the A.Radio guys could do it in 1984 I don't see why it cannot be instilled now.
I know from way back when I took Industrial electronics, it was instilled in us to use the right symbols when drawing schematics.
Also to use an identifying label for a particular 'Common' rather than using the all encompassing GND as is often done now.
Max.
Who gets to determine what is "correct"? It might seem simple and obvious, but it isn't. The reality is that there are plenty of examples in which the same term is used by different fields to mean very different things. Usually this stems from a history in which the two fields start out completely unrelated but, as you noted above, fields don't always stay disconnected forever.

Also, I'd be willing to bet that there would be a number of other subfields of electronics or other areas that would have looked at what you were taught and be thoroughly dismayed by things you "weren't taught correctly", from their perspective. For an example, based purely on statistical probability, I would be willing to wager that you were not taught how to approach the use of units in your work properly, which is something I, personally, believe SHOULD be simple and obvious. But it isn't, in large part because some foundational fields (such as math education) aren't impacted by people dying when they get a wrong answer to a word problem.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
I would be willing to wager that you were not taught how to approach the use of units in your work properly, which is something I, personally, believe SHOULD be simple and obvious. .
Not sure how you came up with that conclusion??

I came up through many disciplines, Electrical, Industrial Electronics, Radio and domestic Electronics, and I can recall a time when it did not matter who you were talking to, if describing an electronic drawing or configuration, they could determine whether your various power connection were connected to earth ground or not.
Certainly not now by the misused universal term and symbol GND.
Also there is local and international standards that pretty much have conformed over time.
Just that they seem to be ignored now.
The ironic part is, where multiple pwr supplies are used, care is taken to label the respective + or 'live' voltages independently?
Max.
 
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MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
25,932
I have to admit that I am one of those who use the EARTH GROUND symbol all the time without paying attention to what is the "correct" symbol.

I must have over 200 books on electronic circuit design on my shelves. So I took a random sample of over a dozen texts to see what others use. Not a single one of the texts I examined used a symbol that was different from the one I customarily use.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
Not a single one of the texts I examined used a symbol that was different from the one I customarily use.
A very sad comment on the point I am trying to make!:confused:
It is very refreshing when you come across manufacturers prints that use conventional symbols and differentiate between commons especially when they are isolated from one another, which all don't abide by.
Max.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
I wouldn't lose sleep over it.
I won't.
But as I intimated before, there is a extremely large hobbyist community emerging in the CNC field that is becoming big business, this is mainly taken up by those that have either no, or very little, in the way of Electrical/Electronic know-how.
Their minimum knowledge in the electronic field is aggravated by all the opportunists building and selling all kind of interfaces etc, who practically all insist on using such uniform symbols and terminology that I have covered.
It gets very frustrating some times when attempting to provide help and support to those dealing with these products and instructions and instilling the fact there is a distinction.
Probably beating my head against a brick wall :p
Max.
 

#12

Joined Nov 30, 2010
18,223
I'm thinking about a "sticky" titled, "Is ground the same as common?"
A bit of a deceptive title, but enough to suck in the uninitiated, and the uninitiated are the target audience. This thread could be used to explain the various ground symbols and the differences between common, ground, bond, and neutral.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
It gets very frustrating some times when attempting to provide help and support to those dealing with these products and instructions and instilling the fact there is a distinction.
Welcome to the club. It's all in the mix along with people that think and discuss things interms of voltage flowing through something or current going over something. Not to mention the situation with units tracking.

Probably beating my head against a brick wall :p
Pretty much.

Doesn't mean that it is entirely pointless to keep doing so, just don't expect to foment any major changes. But, aside from getting the inevitable headache, you CAN at least score the occasional personal victory each time you influence the way one person approaches it or even just making them aware, in a meaningful way, that there IS a difference than is, at least sometimes, worth taking into account (and by "at least sometimes" I'm talking about from an "attitude" standpoint).
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
26,398
I'm thinking about a "sticky" titled, "Is ground the same as common?"
A bit of a deceptive title, but enough to suck in the uninitiated, and the uninitiated are the target audience. This thread could be used to explain the various ground symbols and the differences between common, ground, bond, and neutral.
I think that it's a good idea. Especially since it might foster comments on how people in different fields, such as IC design versus aircraft design versus utility grid folks, typically use the various symbols and terms.

Having said that, I wish we didn't have to many stickies in most of the forums. I would prefer to see a single sticky and have the lead post be a set of links to individual threads in a "Sticky Forum". This would keep the top of the forum lists clean of the clutter that forces you to scroll down to see the actual threads and would also make it easier for someone to peruse the Sticky Forum to see what key information is available or to search its posts for specific points.

Perhaps I'll suggest that to the powers that be.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,018
Doesn't mean that it is entirely pointless to keep doing so, just don't expect to foment any major changes.
Like many, I am aware the internet can be an excellent disseminator of information, but unfortunately also for mis-information, which often is taken as gospel.
But this is a case of a printed, considered by some, authority on the subject, so I would have expected a bit more from them.
Max.
 
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