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Make: Electronics: Learning by Discovery

Make: Electronics: Learning by Discovery PDF

Author: Charles Platt

Publisher: Make Community


Publish Date: October 12, 2021

ISBN-10: 1680456873

Pages: 326

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Make: Electronics reverses the traditional system for learning. Instead of beginning with a theory and then suggesting an experiment to verify it, I prefer to begin with an experiment and then encourage you to figure out the theory. I call this system Learning by Discovery, and I like it for two reasons:

– It’s more interesting.
– It’s closer to the way in which science is done in the real world.

In experimental science, observations can lead to a new understanding of some natural phenomenon. Why shouldn’t someone learning electronics enjoy a similar experience? Discovering how components work sounds more interesting, to me, than knowing the answer before you start.

The only disadvantage of my approach is that to get full value from it, hands-on projects are necessary. Fortu-nately, component suppliers have developed kits for this book so that you can obtain everything you need with one-stop shopping for a relatively modest price.

What’s New in the Third Edition

The first and second editions of Make: Electronics have sold hundreds of thousands of printed copies, and there are several foreign-language editions. I’ve been sur-prised and delighted by this success, but my book will only continue to do well if it satisfies the needs of read-ers. With this in mind, I have created the Third Edition.

Much of the text has been rewritten.

Most of the schematics and diagrams have been up-dated. Breadboard layouts now use clearer images of components.

Suggestions for tools have been updated, partly in re-sponse to feedback from readers.
Clearer photographs have been used in many instances.
Some experiments have been revised in response to feedback from readers.

A couple of the projects have been redesigned to use fewer components in circuits that I think are now easier to understand.

The last three chapters introducing the Arduino have been revised, and I added an overview of other types of microcontrollers.

I worked with a leading supplier of kits for this book in an effort to reduce and simplify the range of components needed in the experiments, so that you will be able to pursue them at lower cost.
One consequence of these improvements is that kits for the Second Edition won’t provide the exact range of components that you need for this Third Edition of the book. I will mention this repeatedly, because I don’t want readers to be disappointed if they buy an old kit, only to find that it doesn’t quite match the new text. Please look carefully for the words “Third Edition” if you buy a kit.

The Purpose of This Book

Everyone uses electronic devices, but many people are not clearly aware of what goes on inside them.
You may feel that you don’t need to know. You can drive a car without understanding the workings of an internal combustion engine, so why should you learn about elec-tricity and electronics?

I think there are three reasons:

– By learning how technology works, you become better able to control your world instead of being controlled by it. When you run into problems, you can solve them instead of feeling frustrated by them.
– Learning about electronics can be fun, so long as you approach the process in the right way. Also, it is affordable.
– Knowledge of electronics can enhance your value as an employee, or perhaps even lead to a whole new career.

Messing Things Up

One important aspect of Learning by Discovery is that you should expect to make mistakes. A circuit may not work, or you may burn out some components.
I think of this as a positive aspect, as mistakes are a valu-able way to learn. I want you to burn things out and mess things up, to see for yourself the behavior and limitations of the parts that you are dealing with. The very low volt-ages used throughout this book may damage sensitive components, but they will not damage you.
Never be afraid to make errors. Transistors and LEDs are inexpensive and easy to replace.

Will It be Difficult?

I assume that you’re beginning with no prior knowledge. Consequently, the first few experiments will be extreme-ly simple, and you won’t even use a prototyping board or a soldering iron.

I don’t believe that the concepts will be hard to under-stand. Of course, if you want to study electronics more formally and do your own circuit design, that can be chal-lenging. But in this book I have kept theory to a minimum, and the only math you’ll need will be addition, subtrac-tion, multiplication, and division. You may also find it helpful (but not absolutely necessary) if you know how to multiply and divide by 10 by moving decimal points from one position to another.

How This Book Is Organized

Most of the information is presented in tutorial form, with just a few sections that are intended for future reference.

I have introduced concepts and topics in a cumulative sequence. You can dip into the book at random, but the experiments in later chapters require knowledge that you gain in the earlier chapters, so I suggest that you proceed through them in numerical order, skipping as few as possible.



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