Electronics For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Electronics For Dummies, 3rd Edition

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3.78 (395 ratings by Goodreads)

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Build your electronics workbench-and begin creating fun electronics projects right away

Packed with hundreds of diagrams and photographs, this book provides step-by-step instructions for experiments that show you how electronic components work, advice on choosing and using essential tools, and exciting projects you can build in 30 minutes or less. You'll get charged up as you transform theory into action in chapter after chapter!

Circuit basics - learn what voltage is, where current flows (and doesn't flow), and how power is used in a circuit
Critical components - discover how resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors control and shape electric current
Versatile chips - find out how to use analog and digital integrated circuits to build complex projects with just a few parts
Analyze circuits - understand the rules that govern current and voltage and learn how to apply them
Safety tips - get a thorough grounding in how to protect yourself-and your electronics-from harm

P.S. If you think this book seems familiar, you're probably right. The Dummies team updated the cover and design to give the book a fresh feel, but the content is the same as the previous release of Electronics For Dummies (9781119117971). The book you see here shouldn't be considered a new or updated product. But if you're in the mood to learn something new, check out some of our other books. We're always writing about new topics!
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 189 x 233 x 26mm | 606g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd ed.
  • 1119675596
  • 9781119675594
  • 460,840

Back cover copy

Build your electronics workbench

This helpful guide is packed with hundreds of diagrams and photographs alongside step-by-step instructions for experiments that show you how electronic components work. Follow expert advice on choosing and using essential tools, and put that know-how into practice with exciting projects you can complete in 30 minutes or less! Learn what voltage is, where current flows, and how power is used in a circuit. Explore the ins and outs of digital electronics and discover why Ohm's Law and other laws are so important. You'll get charged up as you transform theory into action chapter after chapter!

Inside... How the parts manipulate current Exploration of popular components Amplify with transistors and switch current Clear instructions for creating circuits Safety tips for protecting yourself
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Table of contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Fathoming the Fundamentals of Electronics 5

Chapter 1: Introducing You to Electronics 7

Just What Is Electronics? 8

Checking Out Electric Current 9

Exploring an atom 9

Getting a charge out of protons and electrons 11

Identifying conductors and insulators 11

Mobilizing electrons to create current 12

Understanding Voltage 13

Let the force be with you 14

Why voltage needs to be different 14

Putting Electrical Energy to Work 15

Tapping into electrical energy 15

Working electrons deliver power 16

Using Circuits to Make Sure Electrons Arrive at Their Destination 17

Supplying Electrical Energy 18

Getting direct current from a battery 19

Using alternating current from a power plant 20

Transforming light into electricity 21

Using symbols to represent energy sources 22

Marveling at What Electrons Can Do 23

Creating good vibrations 23

Seeing is believing 23

Sensing and alarming 24

Controlling motion 24

Computing 24

Voice, video, and data communications 25

Chapter 2: Gearing Up to Explore Electronics 27

Getting the Tools You Need 28

Stocking Up on Essential Supplies 31

Getting Ready to Rumble 35

Using a Solderless Breadboard 35

Chapter 3: Running Around in Circuits 37

Comparing Closed, Open, and Short Circuits 38

Understanding Conventional Current Flow 40

Examining a Basic Circuit 41

Building the basic LED circuit 42

Examining voltages 44

Measuring current 49

Calculating power 50

Chapter 4: Making Connections 53

Creating Series and Parallel Circuits 53

Series connections 54

Parallel connections 56

Switching Electric Current On and Off 59

Controlling the action of a switch 60

Making the right contacts 61

Creating a Combination Circuit 62

Switching On the Power 66

What Do Circuits Look Like? 67

Part 2: Controlling Current with Components 71

Chapter 5: Meeting Up with Resistance 73

Resisting the Flow of Current 74

Resistors: Passive Yet Powerful 75

What are resistors used for? 76

Choosing a type of resistor: Fixed or variable 80

Reading into fixed resistors 82

Rating resistors according to power 86

Combining Resistors 88

Resistors in series 89

Resistors in parallel 91

Combining series and parallel resistors 93

Chapter 6: Obeying Ohm's Law 95

Defining Ohm's Law 95

Driving current through a resistance 95

It's constantly proportional! 96

One law, three equations 97

Using Ohm's Law to Analyze Circuits 98

Calculating current through a component 98

Calculating voltage across a component 99

Calculating an unknown resistance 101

Seeing Is Believing: Ohm's Law Really Works! 102

What Is Ohm's Law Really Good For? 105

Analyzing complex circuits 105

Designing and altering circuits 107

The Power of Joule's Law 109

Using Joule's Law to choose components 109

Joule and Ohm: perfect together 110

Chapter 7: Getting Charged Up about Capacitors 111

Capacitors: Reservoirs for Electrical Energy 112

Charging and Discharging Capacitors 113

Watching a capacitor charge 115

Opposing voltage change 118

Giving alternating current a pass 119

Discovering Uses for Capacitors 120

Characterizing Capacitors 121

Defining capacitance 121

Keeping an eye on the working voltage 123

Choosing the right dielectric for the job 123

Sizing up capacitor packaging 124

Being positive about capacitor polarity 124

Reading into capacitor values 125

Varying capacitance 127

Interpreting capacitor symbols 128

Combining Capacitors 128

Capacitors in parallel 128

Capacitors in series 129

Teaming Up with Resistors 130

Timing is everything 130

Calculating RC time constants 132

Varying the RC time constant 133

Chapter 8: Identifying with Inductors 137

Kissing Cousins: Magnetism and Electricity 138

Drawing the (flux) lines with magnets 138

Producing a magnetic field with electricity 139

Inducing current with a magnet 140

Introducing the Inductor: A Coil with a Magnetic Personality 141

Measuring inductance 142

Opposing current changes 142

Calculating the RL time constant 144

Keeping up with alternating current (or not!) 144

Behaving differently depending on frequency 144

Uses for Inductors 145

Using Inductors in Circuits 146

Reading inductance values 147

Combining shielded inductors 147

Tuning in to Radio Broadcasts 148

Resonating with RLC circuits 148

Ensuring rock-solid resonance with crystals 150

Influencing the Coil Next Door: Transformers 151

Letting unshielded coils interact 151

Isolating circuits from a power source 152

Stepping up, stepping down voltages 152

Chapter 9: Diving into Diodes 155

Are We Conducting or Aren't We? 155

Sizing up semiconductors 156

Creating N-types and P-types 157

Joining N-types and P-types to create components 157

Forming a Junction Diode 158

Biasing the diode 159

Conducting current through a diode 160

Rating your diode 161

Identifying with diodes 161

Which end is up? 162

Using Diodes in Circuits 162

Rectifying AC 162

Regulating voltage with Zener diodes 164

Seeing the light with LEDs 165

Turning on an LED 167

Other uses of diodes 170

Chapter 10: Tremendously Talented Transistors 171

Transistors: Masters of Switching and Amplifying 172

Bipolar junction transistors 173

Field-effect transistors 174

Recognizing a transistor when you see one 175

Making all kinds of components possible 176

Examining How Transistors Work 176

Using a model to understand transistors 178

Operating a transistor 179

Amplifying Signals with a Transistor 180

Biasing the transistor so it acts like an amplifier 182

Controlling the voltage gain 182

Configuring transistor amplifier circuits 183

Switching Signals with a Transistor 184

Choosing Transistors 184

Important transistor ratings 185

Identifying transistors 186

Gaining Experience with Transistors 186

Amplifying current 186

The switch is on! 189

Chapter 11: Innovating with Integrated Circuits 191

Why ICs? 192

Linear, Digital, or Combination Plate? 193

Making Decisions with Logic 194

Beginning with bits 194

Processing data with gates 196

Simplifying gates with truth tables 199

Creating logical components 199

Using ICs 202

Identifying ICs with part numbers 202

Packaging is everything 202

Probing IC pinouts 205

Relying on IC datasheets 206

Using Your Logic 207

Seeing the light at the end of the NAND gate 208

Turning three NAND gates into an OR gate 209

Hanging Out with Some Popular ICs 211

Operational amplifiers 211

IC time machine: the 555 timer 213

Counting on the 4017 decade counter 220

Microcontrollers 221

Other popular ICs 222

Chapter 12: Acquiring Additional Parts 223

Making Connections 224

Choosing wires wisely 224

Plugging in to connectors 226

Powering Up 228

Turning on the juice with batteries 228

Getting power from the sun 232

Using wall power to supply higher DC current or voltage (not recommended) 232

Using Your Sensors 235

Seeing the light 235

Capturing sound with microphones 236

Feeling the heat 238

More energizing input transducers 238

Experiencing the Outcome of Electronics 239

Speaking of speakers 240

Sounding off with buzzers 241

Creating good vibrations with DC motors 242

Part 3: Getting Serious about Electronics 245

Chapter 13: Preparing Your Lab and Ensuring Your Safety 247

Picking a Place to Practice Electronics 248

The top ingredients for a great lab 248

Workbench basics 249

Acquiring Tools and Supplies 250

Amassing a multimeter 250

Stockpiling soldering equipment 251

Hoarding hand tools 253

Collecting cloths and cleansers 254

Loading up on lubricants 255

Stocking up on sticky stuff 256

Other tools and supplies 256

Stocking Up on Parts and Components 258

Solderless breadboards 258

Circuit-building starter kit 259

Adding up the extras 261

Organizing all your parts 262

Protecting You and Your Electronics 262

Understanding that electricity can really hurt 262

Soldering safely 268

Avoiding static like the plague 268

Chapter 14: Interpreting Schematics 273

What's a Schematic and Why Should I Care? 274

Seeing the Big Picture 274

It's all about your connections 275

Looking at a simple battery circuit 276

Recognizing Symbols of Power 277

Showing where the power is 277

Marking your ground 280

Labeling Circuit Components 281

Analog electronic components 283

Digital logic and IC components 285

Miscellaneous components 286

Knowing Where to Take Measurements 288

Exploring a Schematic 288

Alternative Schematic Drawing Styles 290

Chapter 15: Building Circuits 293

Taking a Look at Solderless Breadboards 294

Exploring a solderless breadboard 295

Sizing up solderless breadboard varieties 297

Building Circuits with Solderless Breadboards 298

Preparing your parts and tools 298

Saving time with prestripped wires 299

Laying out your circuit 300

Avoiding damaged circuits 303

Soldering 101 304

Preparing to solder 304

Soldering for success 305

Inspecting the joint 306

Desoldering when necessary 307

Cooling after soldering 308

Practicing safe soldering 308

Creating a Permanent Circuit 309

Exploring a printed circuit board 309

Relocating your circuit to a perfboard 310

Making a custom circuit board 312

Chapter 16: Mastering Your Multimeter to Measure Circuits 315

Multitasking with a Multimeter 316

It's a voltmeter! 317

It's an ammeter! 318

Ohm my! It's an ohmmeter, too! 318

Exploring Multimeters 319

Choosing a style: analog or digital 319

Taking a closer look at a digital multimeter 320

Homing in on the range 322

Setting Up Your Multimeter 324

Operating Your Multimeter 325

Measuring voltage 326

Measuring current 327

Measuring resistance 329

Running other multimeter tests 336

Using a Multimeter to Check Your Circuits 336

Chapter 17: Putting Projects Together 339

Getting What You Need Right Off the Bat 340

Creating an LED Flasher Circuit 340

Exploring a 555 flasher 341

Building the LED flasher circuit 343

Checking your handiwork 345

Creating an LED Bike Flasher 346

Catching Intruders with a Light-Sensing Alarm 347

Assembling the light alarm parts list 349

Making your alarm work for you 350

Playing the C-Major Scale 350

Scaring Off the Bad Guys with a Siren 353

Scoping out the 555 siren parts list 354

How your warbler works 354

Building an Audio Amp with Volume Control 355

Creating Light Chasers 357

Building Light Chaser 1 358

Building Light Chaser 2 360

Red Light, Green Light, 1-2-3! 361

Part 4: The Part of Tens 365

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Explore Electronics Further 367

Surfing for Circuits 367

Getting a Jumpstart with Hobby Kits 368

Simulating Circuit Operation 368

Scoping Out Signals 368

Counting Up Those Megahertz 369

Generating a Variety of Signals 369

Exploring Basic Computer Architectures 369

Microcontrolling Your Environment 370

Getting a Taste of Raspberry Pi 370

Try, Fry, and Try Again 371

Chapter 19: Ten Great Electronics Parts Sources 373

North America 373

All Electronics 374

Allied Electronics 374

Digi-Key 374

Electronic Goldmine 374

Jameco Electronics 375

Mouser Electronics 375

Parts Express 375

RadioShack 376

Outside North America 376

Premier Farnell (UK) 376

Maplin (UK) 376

What's RoHS Compliance? 377

New or Surplus? 377

Glossary 379

Index 389
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About C Shamieh

Cathleen Shamieh is an electrical engineer and a technical writer with extensive engineering and consulting experience in the fields of medical electronics, speech processing, and telecommunications.
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395 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
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3 27% (108)
2 7% (26)
1 3% (11)
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