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MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery
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MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 ratings  ·  45 reviews
"This is teaching at its best!"

--Hans Camenzind, inventor of the 555 timer (the world's most successful integrated circuit), and author of Much Ado About Almost Nothing: Man's Encounter with the Electron (

"A fabulous book: well written, well paced, fun, and informative. I also love the sense of humor. It's very good at disarming the fear. And it's gorgeous.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 17th 2009 by Maker Media, Inc (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,127 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Years trying to get into electronics but the tutorials online or other books just didnt do it for me.

THis book explains very well some concepts that other wise you would not understand.

The funny thing here is that i got this book for free on as pdf. when i was reading it i could not believe i got it for free.

Brian Salehi
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: electronics
Let me make a quick review for you all, Charles Platt books are a must to read.
Read all of the three encyclopedia and two electronic books even before you start the blinking LED project, because not only he will do that for you, he also will put you in a position where you find yourself making professional projects using what he taught you before you finish all of his books.
Thank you Charles!
Warren Gossett
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book gives a relaxed view of doing electronics without tearing your hair out. Of course you may have to switch components or discover that the little device or part you bought does not work exactly the way you read that it was supposed to. Of course it takes a bit more time to build and to test. Charles Platt's examples show that you can cope. Just be prepared and give your self time to ask questions and test the answers. Which may not be permanent answers. That is really good training for ...more
Apr 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's the best intro to building with electronics that I can imagine.

My only frustration has been adapting one of the circuits to a breadboard version (i.e. the LED blinking circuit - "A Pulsing Glow"); it's more a function of my limitations though than the limitations of the book.

The fact that it's so much better than other electronics books out there, (possibly combined), merits its 5-star rating.
I studied Electronics throughout Highschool and University. However, my textbooks and teachers did not make all the concepts clear to me. This book filled some of the gaps in my knowledge ("Why was a transistor invented? I know what a 555 timer does. but why does it exist? Who invented it and why?", etc.)
Vladimir Prus
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a very nicely illustrated and detailed introduction book about electronics. So, if you have no background, it's very recommended.

If you do have background, I am not sure. It might be too basic, and it also focus on building from discrete components. If you want to know how to hook things to your Arduino, it might not be very useful.
Milan Lazić
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Whether you have some electronics theory knowledge or not, if you have no practical experience, and you want it, get this book. An exellent beginers book, the only problem is that it makes you wanna work more and more electronics :)
JJ Lehmann
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Judging the writing isn't really appropriate, but I did learn a lot and he explains the concepts and experiments clearly and concisely. Definitely recommend to those who wish to learn about electronics.
Adrian McCarthy
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best educational books I've ever read. Very clear, very well organized, a logical progression of ideas. The "Learning by Discovery" approach has to be the best way to really learn this stuff. I'm so happy I've read this, and I'll keep it handy to return to in the future as well.
Alex Jahnke
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: make, diy
Even (or especially) if you don't know a thing about electronics, this book is for you. No boring theory, but simple experiments guide you through the fascinating world of electronics.
Jahn Juarez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Palmer
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I've ever read.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and practical introduction to electronics book. It would be nice to have more explanations about the used analog components and their values, and why they are necessary in the designs.
You do need the components, supplies, and tools to do the experiments, which is a good starting kit for after the book has ended. There are nice chapters on soldering, assembling an oscillator on a perforated board, and creating a box for your project. However, nothing about laying out a PCB design and
Filip Hlasek
Sep 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty good overview of basic electronics concepts, loving the illustrations, the book is structured in very logical parts and experiments.
On the other hand, I expected a bit more from all the hype and positive ratings. The concepts are not explained very clearly and therefore quite hard to understand. Missing some explanations of fundamentals and things are put to believe on faith / try and see that it works - but not clear why.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
All explanations are very clear. Author has a good narrative style. Pictures are excellent. More web resources would have make it even better, as such as a few parts with deeper explanations (for example, why I shouldn't do experiments with rechargeable batteries).
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect and must have book for practical electronics geeks.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book; clear and detailed explanation of electronics using interesting accessible project.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, stem, 2018
A lot of useful ideas for beginners in electronics. Somewhat more intermediate hobbyists may find something in here for them as well, but probably not the more advanced types.
Robin Dong
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easy to understand, and also very interesting!
John F
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great way to learn electronics! I got more out of this book than I’ve gotten out of traditional approaches.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well informed.
Paul M Erdmann
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good review had fun

Good review had fun.

I knew a lot from science class and personal experiments as a child.. This was part a good review.
Randall Rocha
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book for learning basic electronics, plenty of guides to follow.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is an amazing intro to electronics! I have learned so much from it.
Joseph II
Mar 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: electronics
The cover says it right: "Burn things out, mess things up - that's how you learn." This is what electronics is about. Charles Platt has given the electric shock to the Maker movement by writing an essential tome for novices and advanced experimenters alike. I love the O'Reilly standard fare inside the book (clear imagery, text boxes, photos, precise and concise explanations).

As for the imagery, there are schematic diagrams, bread-boarding layouts, hand drawings and color photographs - everythin
I have read through the entire book (and am going through again for projects that i think are helpful to what I am working on versus a rather broad base of topics) and i think what is really strong is how Platt really seems to want things to be accessible for his reader (versus some books which seem to want to obfuscate why things work); therefore no review
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book. I've wanted to tinker around with electronics for years and this book was a fun and simple introduction.
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very good book for beginners in electronics, which I am. Light on theory, heavy on hands on learning. Be prepared to break a few things. :)
Suresh Madhavan
i want to read this book
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From wikipedia:

Charles Platt (born in London, England, 1945) is the author of 41 fiction and nonfiction books, including science-fiction novels such as The Silicon Man and Protektor (published in paperback by Avon Books). He has also written non-fiction, particularly on the subjects of computer technology and cryonics, as well as teaching and working in these fields. Platt relocated from England t

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