Book Covers Everything You Wanted to Know About Electronics


Basic Electronics Theory and Practice is a new book by Sean Westcott and Jean R. Westcott that lives up to its title, it covers the basics of electronics. It would be a good book for the high school or college student who wants to learn the fundamentals, components and systems employed in electronics. It could actually be a good review book for an electronics engineer.

In its description it states that it is “designed for both the student and hobbyist, this book is an introduction to the theory and practice of electronics, including advances in microcontrollers, sensors and wireless communications. Covering both the theory and its practical application, the text leads the reader through the basic science concepts underlying electronics, building basic circuits, learning the role of components, the application of  digital theory, and the possibilities  for innovation.”

The book starts out explaining the fundamentals and the theory of electricity in Chapter 1. How electricity works is the title of chapter 2. Continuing on with basic information, Chapter 3 covers currents and circuits. Chapter 4 and 5 look at the tools employed and the workshop environment.

Next, Chapter 6 describes some electromechanical components used in electronic systems, such as switches of several different kinds. Resistors and capacitors are passive component subjects covered in Chapters 7 and 8, respectively. Active components, diodes and transistors are Chapter 9 and 10 subjects.

Basic power sources and power supplies are covered in Chapter 11. Among the topics in this chapter are batteries, ac-dc power supplies, transformers, variable dc power supplies, switched-mode power supplies, and uninterruptible power supplies. Chapter 12 discusses soldering and printed circuit boards and then Chapter 13 goes back to power supplies describing construction of power supplies.

Chapter 14 makes a detour away from the previous subjects and describes digital theory. Subjects include analog vs. digital, truth tables, binary numbers, and logic gates. In Chapter 15 the authors discuss integrated circuits, such as analog and digital ICs, flip-flops, timers, counters, and mixed signal ICs. It also includes building decoder circuits and a guitar amplifier.

Memory is covered in Chapter 16. Among the subjects are analog vs. digital memory, parity bits, hexadecimal, Von Neuman computer model, registers, and volatile and non-volatile memory.

Chapter 17 answers the question of what are microcontrollers? It talks about inputs and outputs, programming, open source hardware, and the Arduino and Netduino platforms.

Motors and controllers are the subjects covered in Chapter 18, followed by sensors in Chapter 19. Brushed and brushless motors are described, along with stepper and servo motors. Sensors include accelerometers, gas sensors, and magnetometers.

Electronic Communication is the subject in Chapter 20. This includes the frequency spectrum, radio waves, microwaves, lighting, amplitude and frequency modulation.

The rest of the book that includes Chapter 21, 22, and 23 provides information related to the constructing a robot.  Covered are building Arduino and Netduino robots, with instructions on how to get the robots moving and adding sensors.

Appendices include:

·     Glossary

·     Timeline of Electronics

·     Mathematics for Electronics

·     Careers in Electronics

·     Resources

·     Answers for Odd-numbered Review Questions (included in the chapters)

·     Lab Video Directory for the companion disc with 18 video tutorials on currents, soldering, power supply, resistors, decoder circuits, etc.

This book is published by Mercury Learning and Information of Dulles, VA, (800) 232-0223, ISBN: 978-1-937585-41-9.   

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on Oct 1, 2016


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