Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I want to start tinkering with electronics

  1. Mar 20, 2012 #1
    I would like start doing some electrical tinkering/engineering as a hobby. In particular, I want to be able to build my own FM radio transmitter (some time in the far future, most likely, I realize it is an advanced goal from where I am now). I don't have the money or time to enter any kind of college course.

    What kind of textbooks can I grab that will give me at least an beginner-intermediate level of electrical engineering starting from the most basic of basics? Also, how much math should I know before starting to learn about EE? I know some basic calculus (derivatives, integrals), is this enough?

    So far I have downloaded some e-textbooks on the subject:

    1) Electrical Engineering 101, Darren Ashby
    2) The Art of Electronics, Horowitz & Hill
    3) Hambley Electrical Engineering Principles, Allan Hambley

    Any feedback at all is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2012 #2
    You should be able to do a lot with algebra and trigonometry. Your basic calculus will help you a lot to get through some of those text books, since they pretty much do not go much farther than the basics.

    I know a lot of people say good things about The Art of Electronics but that might be a big leap if you didn't learn basic circuit theory.

    I guess google circuit theory, there's a lot of good tutorials and websites for it.

    Also, you might want to find a good resource on digital electronics since there's a lot of fun and useful projects with digital chips.
  4. Mar 20, 2012 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Let us know how Horowitz & Hill works out for you. I like the way it goes from very basic concepts to more intermediate concepts (but I had an EE background before I read it the first time).

    BTW, how did you download an e-book of H&H? Is it for a Kindle or something? How much does the e-book cost?
  5. Mar 20, 2012 #4
    I'm starting with Electrical Engineering 101, before I read Horowitz and Hill. EE 101 seems to do a very good job of introducing very basics concepts first, so that when I start on H&H I won't be totally lost.

    I download the H&H ebook from << Illegal website name deleted by Moderator >> if I remember right. It came in a PDF, but didn't seem to want to transfer onto my kobo ereader. I'll probably try and find it at my community college library though - it's a lot nicer to read from a physical textbook rather than a screen.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2012
  6. Mar 20, 2012 #5


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How far back would you like to go, Nox? Some basic circuits with tubes can teach you a lot, and then you learn how to adapt them to solid-state. It can be instructive to learn how to transition from circuits controlled by varying voltage to circuits that are controlled by current-based inputs. Once you get to ICs, things get a bit more complex.
  7. Mar 20, 2012 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We do not support copyright violations here on the PF. Downloading pirated PDF copies is illegal. Please do not bring up this type of behavior here on the PF again.

    Check your PMs.
  8. Mar 20, 2012 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  9. Mar 21, 2012 #8
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook