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Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition

Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition

Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition
By Paul Scherz, Simon Monk

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(504 customer reviews)

Book Description


"If there is a successor to Make: Electronics, then I believe it would have to be Practical Electronics for Inventors....perfect for an electrical engineering student or maybe a high school student with a strong aptitude for electronics....I’ve been anxiously awaiting this update, and it was well worth the wait."--GeekDad (

Spark your creativity and gain the electronics skills required to transform your innovative ideas into functioning gadgets. This hands-on, updated guide outlines electrical principles and provides thorough, easy-to-follow instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Find out how to select components, safely assemble circuits, perform error tests, and build plug-and-play prototypes. Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition, features all-new chapters on sensors, microcontrollers, modular electronics, and the latest software tools.

Coverage includes:

  • Resistors, capacitors, inductors, and transformers
  • Diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits
  • Optoelectronics, solar cells, and phototransistors
  • Sensors, GPS modules, and touch screens
  • Op amps, regulators, and power supplies
  • Digital electronics, LCD displays, and logic gates
  • Microcontrollers and prototyping platforms, including Arduino
  • DC motors, RC servos, and stepper motors
  • Microphones, audio amps, and speakers
  • Modular electronics and prototyping

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #75337 in Books
  • Published on: 2013-01-31
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 10.50" h x 8.25" w x 1.50" l, 4.25 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 1040 pages

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Scherz is a physicist/mechanical engineer who received his B.S. in physics from the University of Wisconsin. He is an inventor/hobbyist in electronics, an area he grew to appreciate through his experience at the University's Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics and the Department of Plasma Physics.

Dr. Simon Monk has a degree in Cybernetics and Computer Science and a PhD in Software Engineering. Monk spent several years as an academic before he returned to industry, co-founding the mobile software company Momote Ltd. He has been an active electronics hobbyist since his early teens and is a full time writer on hobby electronics and open source hardware. Dr. Monk is the author of numerous electronics books, including 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius and Arduino + Android Projects for the Evil Genius.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

272 of 280 people found the following review helpful.
3Great book, but a fail on the Kindle...
By Andy Henderson
For a little background, I own a previous paperback edition of this book from years ago which is buried in storage. As I look into making several projects now that my 3D printer build is complete, I find myself in need of a refresher. I was overjoyed to see a new edition of this book had been released and was available on kindle. Now 20 minutes and 14 pages into the book I've given up and will be buying the paperback edition. In those first 14 pages I encountered 2 places where example calculations should have been displayed and an instance where the symbol for a battery was to be shown. All three situations just had a blank space with references in the text to the missing information the only indication that something was missing . As a result it's not worth my time to continue since I'm not willing to deal with the frustration of this which I assume will continue through out the text.

It's a shame too, since I thought the index was well laid out, liked the hot links within the text that take you to other referenced sections of the book and know that the content of the paper edition is probably outstanding. Thank goodness that Prime will get the physical book to me quickly.

04/20/16 Edit: I've raised the rating of this book from 1 to 3 since I received the physical edition of the book which is awsome and I realize the 1 rating was a little harsh. That being said, I firmly believe that if you are going to publish a kindle edition of a nonfiction book, it must be identical to the physical edition. Someone purchasing the kindle edition should be able to receive the exact same information in a kindle edition as in a physical edition. If you can't publish a book like that, I don't think it should be published as a kindle at all.

I've also added a couple of images from the physical and the kindle edition of the book to illustrate the issue that I'm talking about.

318 of 321 people found the following review helpful.
5BEST Book Out There for Electronics
By P. Fulmer
I teach an introductory class in electronics at a small university. The class is intended for scientists, not electrical engineers; so the emphasis is on basic knowledge, practical troubleshooting skills, and design. I've used the Second Edition of this book a number of times with some satisfaction simply because the book covered most of what I needed. It was a great reference book for just about anything someone would want to know about electronics.

However, there were some notable gaps in the Second Edition that I typically teach in an electronics class; specifically, I teach a section on transducers and microcontrollers. With the Third Edition, there are new sections on sensors (transducers) and microcontrollers, and now this book has everything in it that I could possibly want to teach. I've been using the Arduino for class the last couple of years because most scientists would use a microcontroller to design a piece of equipment instead of discrete gates and logic chips. So with these new additions, I cannot imagine any other book that would be needed for a class. So from this point forward, I will be using this book for EVERY electronics class that I teach.

The detail in the book is in-depth enough for folks who want to know how everything works, BUT the person who wants to skip past the theory can certainly do that and STILL learn a lot from this book. As I teach, I tend to skip around within the book to cover what is important to me. The chapters are designed to be somewhat modular; for instance, I can teach the basics of analog electronics and transistors and then move to microcontrollers without necessarily having to spend a lot of time time on discrete logic chips.

There are lots of illustrations and graphs; so those who need to see something to understand it will be pleased. There is also a lot of detail on practical things like motors that generally are NOT in an electronics book.

The sections on household electricity are excellent and very useful, since some equipment/inventions would require mains power. So knowing how to be safe around it and how to use it properly is important.

I haven't read every single page yet and marked it up. In a book this size, I am sure there will be some typographical errors along the way and maybe even a mistake or two in explaining something. But I would still say this book is the BEST practical book on electronics out there. Kudos to Mr Scherz and Dr. Monk. You've taken an excellent book and modernized it in a great way for the current day.

In short, for a 1000 page book, anyone who buys this is getting a bargain. It's the BEST.

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful.
5And It Just Keeps Getting Better!!
By P. Fulmer
I have been using this book to teach a university introductory electronics class for several years, starting with the second edition, through the third edition, and will now start using the Fourth Edition this fall. It is an excellent book at an excellent price. The real value of this book, as I shared with my previous reviews, is the breadth of information that is covered. This is a book that should be on the shelf of any engineer who will ever have to deal with any question of electricity or electronics. Does it cover every topic in exhaustive detail? No, and that is part of its strength. It gives enough information for the novice to get the concept along with ways to find more information. A new chapter has been added on programmable logic, which continues to grow more day by day.

In addition to the traditional material on electricity concepts such as voltage, current, and resistance, there is a lot of useful day-to-day information. There is a section on electric motors, a section on home electrical wiring, a section on electrical safety, and lots more. There is a chapter on sensors that is more up to date with the recent advances in less expensive modules that can be used by microcontrollers like the Arduino. Again, no exhaustive detail, but the information is present to spur the reader on to find more detailed information on the internet and in other references.

Thankfully, this book is NOT written like a traditional textbook with lots of theories and derivations of equations. It presents what you need to work with electricity and with electronic components. It's a gives you the basics so that you then know how to find the information when needed. At over 1000 pages, there's a high probability that any topic the reader wants to know about is at least mentioned along with the means to find further information.

Paul Scherz started with a classic book with the first edition. With Simon Monk's addition to the team for the Third and Fourth Editions, this book is destined to be the new standard for electronics instruction.

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