Electrical Engineering 101

Everything You Should Have Learned in School...but Probably Didn't


  • Darren Ashby, Electronics Product Line Manager, ICON Fitness, one of the world's largest consumers of embedded chips, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Electrical Engineering 101 covers the basic theory and practice of electronics, starting by answering the question "What is electricity?" It goes on to explain the fundamental principles and components, relating them constantly to real-world examples. Sections on tools and troubleshooting give engineers deeper understanding and the know-how to create and maintain their own electronic design projects. Unlike other books that simply describe electronics and provide step-by-step build instructions, EE101 delves into how and why electricity and electronics work, giving the reader the tools to take their electronics education to the next level. It is written in a down-to-earth style and explains jargon, technical terms and schematics as they arise. The author builds a genuine understanding of the fundamentals and shows how they can be applied to a range of engineering problems.

This third edition includes more real-world examples and a glossary of formulae. It contains new coverage of:

  • Microcontrollers
  • FPGAs
  • Classes of components
  • Memory (RAM, ROM, etc.)
  • Surface mount
  • High speed design
  • Board layout
  • Advanced digital electronics (e.g. processors)
  • Transistor circuits and circuit design
  • Op-amp and logic circuits
  • Use of test equipment

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Engineering students and beginning engineers. Experienced engineers needing a refresher; engineers from other disciplines needing a practical introduction to EE principles.


Book information

  • Published: August 2011
  • Imprint: NEWNES
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-386001-9


From Amazon.com reviews:

"This is a great book because the author is taking basic theory and providing the reader with some good intuitive tools to gain a foothold on how components work.

Many textbook authors in the circuit analysis arena (or electrical engineering as a broader area) tend to do one of 3 things:
a) Over explain a concept until the reader loses track of what he is doing
b) Skip too many steps in showing the derivation of a formula or the solving of a problem.
c) Place more emphasis on the mathematics associated with specific problem rather than the problems significance.

The author clearly avoids these traps. His text is reminiscent of a bygone era where engineering books actually sought to explain concepts and their significance."

"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in electronics. This book helped me understand concepts that I struggled with in class and for years after school."

"This is what more educational institutions need - someone who can take a subject and simplify it so that it is easy to recall. I have a BSEE and these topics were always taught from just a mathematical standpoint. The author takes the subject and teaches it in a way that is easily memorable."

"My background is Mechanical Engineering and I found this book to be extremely useful and interesting. I purchased this book in order to get a better understanding of the EE basics. Like most universities a ME takes an EE 101 course that is essentially a weed out course. The problem with a weed out course is that in the end you don't have a solid understanding of what the underlying basics are. If this sounds familiar, you should definitely buy this book."

"This book is an easy read after you've gone through EE. Makes you see the forest from the trees. Spend so much time in early circuits classes just trying to figure out currents, gains and voltages that all I could do was the math (the trees). This book has helped not only to review concepts, but to help me see what these components are doing (the forest). Enjoying the book."

"I enjoyed this book very much. I especially liked the software on the CD, which had nice tools to work with. I enjoyed the clarity in the writing and the informal style. I was having trouble grasping concepts in some of the more formal books on EE, which made it sound more like magic than science. The way the author related EE concepts to mechanical ones helped tremendously. I recommend this book highly, if you are new to electronics."

Table of Contents

Chapter 0: What is Electricity Really?Chicken vs. EggWhat is Electricity Really?The AtomNow What?A Preview of Things to ComeIt Just Seems MagicalChapter 1: Three Things They Should Have Taught in Engineering 101Units countHow to visualize Electrical ComponentsLearn an Intuitive Approach“Lego” EngineeringChapter 2: Basic TheoryOhm’s Law Still Works, Constantly Drill The Fundamantals It’s About timeBeam Me Up?Keep It Under ControlChapter 3: Pieces PartsPartially Conducting ElectricityPower and Heat ManagmentThe Magical Mysterious Op-AmpNegative FeedbackPositive FeedbackIt’s Supposed To Be LogicalMicroprocessor/Microcontroller BasicsInput and OutputChapter 4: The Real WorldIt Takes a Little D to A to Get a Little A to DMaking Stuff Move —The Electromechanical WorldPower Supplies Chapter 5: ToolsMaking the Invisible VisibleSimulatorsSoldering IronsPeople ToolsChapter 6: TroubleshootingGetting Ready For The HuntGhost in the Machine - EMICode Junkies BewareChapter 7: Touchy-Feely StuffPeople SkillsBecoming and Extroverted IntrovertCommunication SkillsEspecially For ManagersEspecially for EmployeesHow to Make a Great ProductAppendix