Easy Electronics Paperback – 8 December 2017
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- Language : English
- Paperback : 50 pages
- ISBN-10 : 168045448X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1680454482
- Reading age : 10 - 15 years
- Customer reviews:
About the Author
Charles Platt is a contributing editor and regular columnist for Make: magazine, where he writes about electronics and tools. Platt was a senior writer for Wired magazine, has written various computer books, and has been fascinated by electronics since he put together a telephone answering machine from a tape recorder and military-surplus relays at age 15. He lives in a Northern Arizona wilderness area, where he has his own workshop for prototype fabrication and the projects that he writes about for Make: magazine.
Three Questions for Charles Platt
Why is it important for everyone to understand electronics?
I believe that if people have a better understanding of the world they live in, they become more empowered to deal with it. Electronics plays a significant part in so many aspects of our lives, understanding the basics is useful and important.
What first interested you in electronics?
When I was a teenager, I built audio equipment and electronic toys that entertained me. I even built a tic-tac-toe game using military surplus relays. Later I returned to hobby-electronics because new components, such as sensors, had opened up many more possibilities at a very low cost. I still find myself building very simple things that I can't find as off-the-shelf items, such as a low-intensity red flashlight that won't disturb someone who is sleeping, or outdoor lighting using 43 LEDs along the driveway.
This illustrated book is quite a departure. Why did you take this tack?
Two years ago I started wondering how electronics could be made ultra-simple, without any need for a meter, tools, soldering iron, or other equipment. I imagined a book that was so easy to understand, anyone at almost any age could have fun with it. I really think this is the easiest introduction to electronics that has ever been written, which is why I call it 'Easy Electronics'.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This introductory book jumps straight into low voltage direct current (DC) breadboarding experiments, using LEDs, resistors, capacitors, transistors, phototransistors, timer chips, switches, microcontrollers, and more. The project experiments go deeper as the book progresses and build up knowledge to the final project (elementary/middle school level reading).
There are a few materials required to use this book including the electrical components listed above, plus a breadboard, breadboard power supply (or batteries), jumper wires for breadboards, and the basic and popular 7555 timer chip.
After the projects are completed in this book, you're ready for the next book of experimental projects called "Make: Electronics 2nd Edition," by Charles Pratt (high school & college level reading).
Ready, set, go: Make things!
I also really like that this book includes a QR code that takes you to a one-stop shop for buying all the parts you need to work through it, as well as a traditional printed parts list. This is the right philosophy for interfacing online and traditional printed content: The book is a complete durable resource in and of itself, but has online support for the sake of convenience. In ten years, the links may be dead, but the links are not essential to understand and use the book--they just make it a bit easier to get what you need.
Likewise, designing a tool-free introductory electronics curriculum is a great idea that's very well executed here. You don't need high-priced branded kits with patented connectors to learn this stuff. Alligator clips and old-fashioned through-hole components will get you there just as well, for a heckuva lot less, without lining the pockets of a bunch of middlemen.
Finally, I want to call out Charles Platt's talents as an author and illustrator. He has a great gift for clear, precise, memorable prose, and also for juxtaposing words and images on a page. As I understand, this book was both written and illustrated by the man himself. He's a treasure.