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Old 10th July 2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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Default Please suggest reading material for "Left Brainers"

I have Horowitz' "Art of Electronics" and Student Manual that I just started to read. As "uncomplicated" as these books supposedly are, I'm finding it a little difficult to follow; I'm wondering if there are other books that might be easier to understand for someone who is really horrible at math and who does best with things like comic books. :-)
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Old 10th July 2012, 10:32 PM   #2
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Getting Started In Electronics by Forrest Mims III would be my recommendation to you. It begins with some basic physics that H&H skip over, but is most helpful when it comes to learning active devices.
Ohm's Law is most fundamental in electronics. It and series, parallel, and reactance formulae aren't usually difficult but can't be ignored. Software can replace a lot of the pencil work, but you need to understand the math in order to make use of it.
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:36 AM   #3
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

Unfortunately being horrible at Maths takes you out of the mainstream of understanding anything, nevermind electronics, just about all engineering.

Its not something you can sidestep, you cannot access physics without
mathematics, and your physics is always limited by your mathematics.

H&H is a great book regarding electronics, I bought it nearly 30 years
ago, but you have to have the maths (from physics) to understand it.

You can't avoid the maths as a means of explanation.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:55 AM   #4
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I have recommended this book to folks that describe themselves as you have:

There Are No Electrons: Electronics for Earthlings [Paperback]
Kenn Amdahl ~ $10.00

The book is frowned on by some academic types but - I have received positive opinions from "visual" learners.

This just might be what you are looking for.

Cheers.

ZAP

Last edited by zapnspark; 11th July 2012 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 11th July 2012, 02:05 AM   #5
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Yeats is good for starters. Don't try anything Homeric.
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Old 11th July 2012, 02:56 AM   #6
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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And stay away from Finnegan's Wake.


Math is no doubt important, but I think a lot of the conceptual stuff can be explained by description and analogy. Analogy breaks down, but if it describes the relationship between a couple of things, it has done its job.

Like many others of my age bracket, I learned my basic electronics from the ARRL Radio Amateurs Handbook. You can find it in libraries, used at ham radio gatherings, new at book sellers. It comes out new each year, and is constantly updating. The 1962 edition covers mainly tube circuits, and not so much those new-fangled semiconductors. The 2002 edition covers mainly the silicon stuff with a little tube thrown in. But the basics are the basics regardless of the year. It has math but is not too hard to understand. Look into it. You may not need the shortwave antenna chapters, but audio circuits are covered as are power supplies, and also things like construction, components, and of course the basics.

Everyone is different, and everyone reacts to texts in different ways. Keep looking, and some book or other resource is going to speak your language and appeal to you.
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Old 11th July 2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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And not least, there are web resources: forum member Perry Babin's website, the free PDF series Lessons in Electric Circuits by Tony R. Kuphaldt, etc., etc.
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Old 12th July 2012, 10:42 AM   #8
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Old 12th July 2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreten View Post
Hi,

Unfortunately being horrible at Maths takes you out of the mainstream of understanding anything, nevermind electronics, just about all engineering.

Its not something you can sidestep, you cannot access physics without
mathematics, and your physics is always limited by your mathematics.
Hmmm I consider myself maths challenged, I barely scraped through 3 unit maths at school, but I managed to get a High Distinction in 1st Semester Physics at University.

I never got calculus, and I've completely forgotten integration. (and never needed it since school).

I think as long as the OP can do basic algebra it should be fine to start a hobby in electronics

Tony.
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Last edited by wintermute; 12th July 2012 at 11:20 AM. Reason: slight change to wording.
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Old 12th July 2012, 12:41 PM   #10
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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H&H has less maths than most electronics books. "Foundations of Wireless" by Scroggie has even less. However, if you can't do maths then you will never understand electronics, although you may convince yourself otherwise. Fortunately, it is possible to make some progress in electronics by using rules of thumb etc. - just don't assume that these are somehow equivalent to real understanding. Of course, it is possible to do all the maths and still have no understanding; maths is necessary but not sufficient.

Bare minimum to even start is arithmetic and simple algebra. To understand AC (including distortion) you need some trigonometry. To understand things like supply cap bleeders you need calculus. To understand loop stability requires complex numbers.

Having said all that, many people enjoy making DIY electronics without worrying too much about understanding the circuits.
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