Want to know how to use an electronic component? This first book of a three-volume set includes key information on electronics parts for your projects—complete with photographs, schematics, and diagrams. You’ll learn what each one does, how it works, why it’s useful, and what variants exist. No matter how much you know about electronics, you’ll find fascinating details you’ve never come across before.
Convenient, concise, well-organized, and precise
Perfect for teachers, hobbyists, engineers, and students of all ages, this reference puts reliable, fact-checked information right at your fingertips—whether you’re refreshing your memory or exploring a component for the first time. Beginners will quickly grasp important concepts, and more experienced users will find the specific details their projects require. 304 pages. PDF sampler here.
Unique: the first and only encyclopedia set on electronic components, distilled into three separate volumes
Incredibly detailed: includes information distilled from hundreds of sources
Easy to browse: parts are clearly organized by component type
Authoritative: fact-checked by expert advisors to ensure that the information is both current and accurate
Reliable: a more consistent source of information than online sources, product datasheets, and manufacturer’s tutorials
Instructive: each component description provides details about substitutions, common problems, and workarounds
Comprehensive: Volume 1 covers power, electromagnetism, and discrete semi-conductors; Volume 2 includes integrated circuits, and light and sound sources; Volume 3 covers a range of sensing devices.
Charles Platt became interested in computers when he acquired an Ohio Scientific C4P in 1979. After writing and selling software by mail order, he taught classes in BASIC programming, MS-DOS, and subsequently Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. He wrote five computer books during the 1980s.
He has also written science fiction novels such as The Silicon Man (published originally by Wired books) and Protektor (from Avon Books). He stopped writing science fiction when he started contributing to Wired magazine in 1993, and became one of its three senior writers a couple of years later.
Charles began contributing to Make magazine in its third issue and is currently a contributing editor. Currently he is designing and building prototypes of medical equipment in his workshop in a northern Arizona wilderness area.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.