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A hefty book. Like many, it skips a few steps here and there. It's challenging, not too simple but not too complex. I have ordered its theory companion which will help as they reference each other. 2500 pp all up should keep me entertained.
Review of Learning the Art of Electronics: A Hands-on Lab Course This weighty tome, comparable to The Art of Electronics itself, could have been considerably better if it had been a hands-on lab course aimed at the reader. It is instead a book about a particular course which requires physical attendance. This becomes apparent early on when the ‘reader’ is asked to identify two ‘black box’ components put together by the lab technician! The labs themselves occasionally fail to provide sufficient instructions or diagrams (circuits) which is not an issue for students attending the course but can be problematic for a reader. A good example is Lab 5L, confused by the addition of superfluous material but at the same time omitting essential detail. It also introduces an additional piece of equipment, a breadboard function generator, which is not specified anywhere. It is possible to set up this experiment but only if you make some significant assumptions. The preface notes that the course “requires no prior knowledge of electronics” – clearly not the case in this Lab. Other labs unfortunately have text inconsistent with diagrams e.g. 6L.10. It would have been useful to have had more oscilloscope screenshots of expected outcomes (too many times the reader is asked if a result is what was expected) – again I assume not an issue for those attending the course. For a 3rd edition published in 2017 I was surprised by the number of typographical and/or grammatical errors (some of which can be found via an internet search) but was shocked to find a mathematical error. Also, why include jargon words in supplementary notes before covering it in the main text e.g. Schmitt trigger? The most confusing lab was #16. This part of the book introduces the two routes to building a computer but at the same time sets out some of the details for producing a counter. It also requires the use of two specialised pieces of equipment (a keypad and a display) neither of which is available in the UK. So, I took time out to build and program my own versions of both. Having separated the issues in my head around which path to follow from the lab itself – building the counter, I managed to complete everything. The book poses the question, “Does the counter count?” on page 628. Of course not since some of the missing information includes setting up the FPGA and programming it! My version of the XC9572XL is a different package to that ‘described’ in the book (VQ44 instead of PC44) so has an entirely different pinout. Nonetheless a relatively straightforward process if you are conversant with the Xilinx ISE suite (getting this to work on Windows 10 is another story). Although I have a BSc in Applied Mathematics and a MSc, I am relatively new to electronics, so this book overall proved to be useful and generally well written. It does however require a much better index if it is to be used as a reference work – many times I could not find something I knew I had already read, having to resort to flicking through pages. There is a reasonably high cost associated with some of the components and equipment required for the Labs. You will need an oscilloscope, a function/waveform generator or two, a good power supply as well as some specific components.
It is 1149 pages masterwork of introductory electronics at this level of studies on good but bit thin paper. The text is a nice size for those with specs.
* H.N.D degree, post-degree graduation, Masters?
In my experience, this superb book is mostly towards H.N.D 1 - 2 and first /second-year degree level.
* What's the best bits?
This book is amazing. It builds from Ohms law, (yes really). Then component-level circuits such as in discrete circuit forms with building filters for example and their effects in series and parallel resonances. Then eventually used a system based approach to electronics, starting with transistors, and building simplified opamps into a painless transition into real self-contained Opamps. The effects of capacitive components with circuits is really closely examined and its a real head turner and designed to give you extra marks. MAJOR sections are explored into how to build circuits that are stable in both analogue and digital converter circuits. Again its brilliantly put across. It works with as many self-contained chips and makes systems from these. These are self-contained and clearly explained. This section with opamps have no limit as to what level of study is best, it will be H.N.D and above and I mean degree level upwards. Flip flops are explained as to why they are so important to computing devices. A huge chunk of the latter post half of the book is for microcontrollers and it's a masterwork as its balance what is useful and what not required until later. If your H.N.D project or above has a differing microcontroller than this one featured in this book you would still learn from the generic information.
This book is a special, closely examined and clearly explained the structure of fundamental electronic circuits and is worth the money and time spent reading it. It covers H.N.D and degree electronics in such details it's bound to give you great boosts in marks for your assignments. its a solid foundation for your degree level studies too and will help in degree level. Its a really well explained and observed book on circuits of analogue and digital designs and will do you well to learn from. It's taken me three weeks and a couple of hours per day to get through it. it's the real deal!
This is the best book you can buy for learning electronics by a long shot. Its easy to understand and hits the subject with a theory of how things work rather than a maths take on it like pretty much every other book. The only down side is to buy all of the equipment for the experiments cost quite alot of money but you can alway get a simulation software for your lap top to save a fortune.
Having bought the book and the lab book to support I found it very comprehensive. If you are not mathematical in nature there are a few bits that may work the had a bit hard but they have explained the calculations well. If you get stuck on any bit there are loads of resources on net, YouTube that go in at a very basic level to further support the material.