Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery Second Edition by Charles Platt

Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery Second Edition by Charles Platt

Preface of Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery Second Edition by Charles Platt book

Most introductory guides begin by using definitions and theory to explain some fundamental concepts. Circuits are included to demonstrate what you have been told. Science education in schools often follows a similar plan. I think of this as learning by explanation. This book works the other way around. I want you to dive right in and start putting components together without necessarily knowing what to expect. As you see what happens, you will figure out what’s going on.

This is Learning by Discovery, which I believe is more fun, more interesting, and more memorable. Working on an exploratory basis, you run the risk of making mistakes. But I don’t see this as a bad thing, because mistakes are a valuable way to learn. Iwant you to burn things out and mess things up, to see for yourself the behavior and limitations of the parts that you are dealing with.

The very low voltages used throughout this book may damage sensitive components, but will not damage you. The key requirement of Learning by Discovery is that it has to be hands-on. You can derive some value from this book merely by reading it, but you will enjoy a much more valuable experience if you perform the experiments yourself.

Make: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery by Charles Platt

Fortunately, the tools and components that you need are inexpensive. Hobby electronics should not cost significantly more than a recreation such as needlepoint, and you don’t need a workshop. Everything can be done on a tabletop.

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How This Book Is Organized
An introductory book can present information in two ways: in tutorials or in reference sections. I decided to use both of these methods.
You’ll find the tutorials in sections headed as follows:

  • Experiments
  • What You Will Need
  • Cautions


Experiments are the heart of the book, and they have been sequenced so that the knowledge you gain at the beginning can be applied to subsequent projects. I
suggest that you perform the experiments in numerical order, skipping as few as possible.
You’ll find reference sections under the following headings:

  • Fundamentals
  • Theory
  • Background


I think the reference sections are important (otherwise, I would not have included them), but if you’re impatient, you can dip into them at random or skip them and come back to them later.

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