When I was 10 years old, I purchased an introductory electronics book at a local pharmacy. I cherished this book because I knew it contained marvelous and fascinating knowledge about electronics—an awesome, mysterious, and exciting field that was to become the literal foundation of the next step in human progress. Unfortunately, after carrying my beloved electronics book back and forth to school every day for months and spending countless study-hall hours trying to decipher the strange terms and symbolism, I finally became discouraged and concluded that it was beyond my comprehension.
In reflecting on that experience, I recognize now that it would have been almost impossible for me to understand that book. As with so many other introductory electronics textbooks, too many assumptions were made regarding the reader’s educational background, especially in regard to mathematics. In part because of my childhood experience, I became very excited (and grateful) when the project of writing this book was offered to me by the people at McGraw-Hill. For years, I have wanted to write the book that should have been available in that small town drugstore. In a sense, you could say this text was written through the eyes of a 10-year-old; the awe, mystery, and excitement are still there!
Understanding Electricity and Electronics has been designed to be the best “first book” for anyone interested in becoming proficient in the electrical/electronics fields. The beginning chapters provide guidance in establishing an inexpensive electronics workplace and in acquiring all of the informational and mechanical tools needed. The succeeding chapters combine electronics projects with the appropriate text, both of which advance at an easy-to-digest pace. Expensive electronics text equipment is not required for building, testing, or utilizing the projects; the only essential piece of equipment needed is a volt-ohm meter. The appendices provide a handy reference for commonly used equations, symbols, and supply sources. In short, Understanding Electricity and Electronics contains everything the novice needs to know, to have, and to do to become a competent electronics hobbyist and experimenter.