HANDS ON - Resources for learning electronics

I’m pretty excited to get started with some arduino hacking, but before I do I really wanted to get a better understanding of some more basic electronics circuits.

Most of the books that I’ve tried so far are follow this general format:

  • Lots of chapters of electrical theory and math
  • Explanation of how individual components work
  • No example circuits showing WHY I would choose certain components for a certain real world task.

For example, some books show a circuit and say something like, “This circuit turns this type of x-shaped signal to a y-shaped signal”, but I’m left wondering why I would ever want to do that.

Are there any resources out there (books or online), that have a format along the lines of:

  • Here is a basic circuit, this is what it does, build it and see with these parts.
  • Now let’s go through step by step and figure out WHY and HOW it does what it does.
  • Repeat with a more complex circuit

Something like this would be really helpful. I know what resistors, capacitors, diodes, LEDs, etc… do, I’m just missing that final step of learning how to put it all together to make something useful.

The closest that I’ve found is: Hands-On Electronics: A Practical Introduction to Analog and Digital Circuits (http://www.amazon.com/Hands-Electronics-Practical-Introduction-Circuits/dp/0521893518), but it bases all of its projects on this specific prototyping board that has a variable power supply and frequency generator built in and costs $300+.

I’ve also looked at this resource: Arduino Tutorial - Learn electronics and microcontrollers using Arduino! and it would be great, but it is only half finished.

Anyone have any helpful ideas?


I’d love a book like this also.

Lez rite 1.

But yeah, I know what every part does, but when it comes to putting it together, I’m clueless.

You will likely get as many replies as people on this board. Everyone learns a different way.

I might suggest “The Art of Electronics” by Paul Horowitz & Winfield Hill
and / or
“Student Manual for The Art of Electronics” by Thomas Hayes and Paul Horowitz

I’m sure that there have been a few revs since I got mine. In the old days, “The Art” could be a text book or a book for EE graduates who still wanted to really get into the goodies, covered MANY topics. “Student Manual” was less detailed, lab oriented, and covered transistors, Op Amps, and the then-new microprocessor and supporting digital parts but not too much else.

$35-$110 on Amazon depending on condition. If you live in “civilization” you might find one in a library. My local library has romance and scifi. Technical? Hahahaha…