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Recommended Books for Foundations in Designing Circuits?

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Jessehk

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Hello everyone.

As I mentioned in a previous thread, I'm an Electrical Engineering student in Canada. While I have a good understanding of what components such as resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc, actually do by themselves, I have very little idea how to put them together to do useful things.

At the University I attend, there are a number of clubs which allow students to work on a variety of problems. However, I feel overwhelmed when confronted with circuit designs or components that I don't understand the rational behind. When I ask senior students how they learned, they shrug and say "practise".

The problem is that I don't work that way. Without a foundation of basic designs and knowledge of best practises, I am not confident enough to design circuits for important projects.

I learned programming about 5 years ago (in my spare time) by buying a REALLY basic book that included extensive explanations as to WHY certain choices were made in the code and a detailed explanation of each line. Since then, I am fluent in about 5-6 programming languages (C, C++, C#, Java, Ruby, Python, assembly on different architectures, etc etc) and the best practises for each.

Is there a book that teaches electronic circuit design in a similar way? I don't just want to be shown a diagram of a finished circuit and told to build it: I want the rational behind design choices.

For example,

This is project #1. We will be building a <...>. This type of circuit is useful for <...>. It requries this list of components and this breadboard. You can buy them <here>. We first make this connection. The resistor is there because <...> and we chose this resistor value because <...>. The reason we make this connection is to <...>. If we hadn't used this resistor then <...>)

What's so mystifying to me is that this type of format in programming books is so common, yet I've really struggled to find something similar for electronics.
 
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Tucson Annie

New Member
Hi Jesse,

I'm a noob, too...I'm really enjoying books by Forrest Mims III...he has a few, look them up on Amazon. He has great little circuits to practice on and mess around with. I cannot recommend him highly enough....you won't regret it! The book on timers and op amps is great!

Annie :)
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Electronic schematics are just as standardized as technical writing guidelines, you just need to learn to read the schematics first. The Art of Electronics by Paul Horowitz was a good book for me, lots of good real world examples using real world parts. The book is a bit old, but still very very useful for many common designs. I've never read any Forest Mim's stuff, but I hear good things about him. Electronics deals with real world devices which have real world problems that aren't as cut and dry as you'll find in software programming so regardless of your programming background it will definitly take a bit of adjustment. Grab some Forest Mim's stuff and The Art of electronics and either use the school lab or get yourself some components to play around with to build some circuits and then play around with them till you understand their function and teh reason for their particular designs.
 
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