Forrest Mims Getting Started in Electronics electronic books on electronics basic electronics circuits experimental science tutorial instructional science fair. Thanks very much to site's reviewers or for their kind comments about my books. "Getting Started in Electronics," which has sold more than million. Forrest M. Mims III is an American amateur scientist, magazine columnist, and author of the . In Mims wrote two hobbyist project books for Radio Shack.
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Forrest Mims is a Rolex Award laureate and the most widely read electronics author in the world. His sixty books have sold over copies and have twice. His sixty books have sold over copies and have twice been honored for and can be ordered from the Master Publishing site at medical-site.info Forrest M. Mims III - Books and Projects. Forrest Mims has a base of enthusiastic, long-time followers. We heard from many customers that Forrest was a major.
I think I have all or nearly all of them as well. Great books. Mine are thoroughly dog-eared and splayed open. Harry Helms worked closely at Radio Shack with Forrest and helped produce the books. They became great friends. He told me how him and Forrest spend late evenings with those mylar sheets. I was able to share in a few conversations with Forrest through Harry and even mistakenly received one of his royalty checks instead of mine by mistake.
Unfortunately I have never met him. His books are great and got me started in electronics. I also have my full set of the original mini-books. He inspired me to write my books.
Chuck, thanks for remembering my best friend, Harry Helms. Harry came to Radio Shack from Texas Instruments. Harry watched as I found an empty office and sprayed each page with a protective coating. Minnie and I visited Harry shortly before he passed away. As usual, he had good advice about publishing, especially how to survive in the Internet era. Make your own modern notebooks with iPython Notebook.
You can include text, graphs and charts and data and generate graphs from equations. Latest version has a name change. Install Jupyter on Linux and check some tutorials. You can generate pages that go straight to blogs. I guess I liked how they were drawn and written. I used to draw nonsensical schematics because I thought the symbols looked cool. Today I am only slightly better educated when it comes to electronics.
Most or all existed elsewhere, they negotiated a deal, and Radio Shack would sell them in the store with a Radio Shack cover and a lower price. So in the seventies, you could get some National Semiconductor databooks and even application books, rather than make up some story to try to get them from National.
You could get books about shortwave listening and CB and building speakers that way. Some were perhaps truncated or modified, a have a thin book of speaker projects that looks like a Sams book, but is thin, and specifies parts from Radio Shack. He was selling them for a dollar each. A previous edition or printing, but still useful today, nice and thick. I used to love read his books in high school.
Had a really good electronics prof in high school too. Great post — very worthwhile to give Forrest some respect for these great books. I have a couple in storage somewhere, and much of the content is now in my bloodstream it seems. If you grew up with internet, it will be hard to imagine just what we did for information before it. If you were into electronics, you HAD to have several reference books around. Nowadays you can Google up a reference circuit for a astable.
But then? You either had the ratty dog-eared spec sheet somewhere… or you had the Mims book or Lancaster book. Bought these when I was a kid, still have them. But they never made any sense to me. Lots of circuit diagrams, but no explanation whatsoever of what each circuit component did, why the values were chosen, etc.
Just a little bit of general theory and a lot of diagrams. Absolutely zero information on how to design your own circuits. Everybody else seems to think they were the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I did like the looks of the diagrams and hand lettering. But I guess you had to be a lot smarter than me to actually learn anything from them. Not meant to learn basic electricity with them. They were books of projects, practical uses and ideas.
Radio Shack also sold some books on electricity and electronics that were from Texas Instruments. HaD would gain some real cred if they could persuade Forrest M. I guess I must be pretty dumb, but I got those books when I was a kid, still have them, and found them completely worthless for learning electronics.
A little general theory very basic and cartoonish with very few details , a whole bunch of hand-drawn circuit diagrams, but zero explanation of why the circuit components were chosen and placed where they were, zero information about how or why to choose particular component values, zero information on designing your own circuits. He shows plenty of resistors and capacitors in the circuits, with values, but not a word of how he arrived at those values, or even in most cases why the components were in the circuit in the first place.
Based on my experience with these books, which claimed to be an easy way to learn electronics, I decided electronics was actually the mysterious realm of people in the know, who had no interest in divulging their secrets. And I still feel that way. Like I said, I guess I must be stupid. Some people think that learning electronics means being able to duplicate a circuit that someone else designed and maybe combine a few example circuits into something larger.
Funny I had a similar but opposite impression of the Mimms books when I began teaching myself electronics back in the late 90s, right before the internet became useful for this sort of stuff. I found Ohms law and basic network analysis useless compared to timer circuits, op-amp circuits with vastly simplified values tables, and so on. Really the best approach for me with Mimms books was using them to learn how things work by starting from his circuit and changing things while using a oscope.
The circuits are great in proving the fundamentals you should have learned prior to building the circuit are valid. As well learned the basics we where also bread boarding circuits that showed us the basics we where learning where valid.
As time moved on we where bread bording simple circuits similar to those in the Mimms books, with the instructor quizzing use on why the circuit works and funtion the component in the circuit serve.
In the event you are go to archive. Good luck in acquiring what it is you wish to acquire. We had meetings about the best approach for a hobbyist book, and their orders were to use as many of their products as possible in circuits that worked. Experimenters who wanted to learn more could then find more formal references or textbooks. This is the difference between a technician and an engineer. Only THEN is math brought to bear on a problem, and complicates the matter to oblivion. This is not the difference between an engineer and a technician.
Something about the graph paper and the hand written look that invited me in to that world with such graciousness. Except, you were supposed to build up the circuits yourself, not download a piece of art. Doug, has anyone ever suggested that you are functionally illiterate? I grew up with f. I also agree with the comment about Don Lancaster and snake oil. Some of his projects were from another planet. I like it, nothing wrong with giving credit to those trying to revive interest in DIY electronics.
These beautifully designed boards are for guys who want a reminder of their early days in hobby electronics. Star sent me the very first prototype boards, which I thought were great.
But that was months before she finished the project and sent me the final boards, all neatly wrapped and accompanied by clever explanation cards. The new boards are beautiful. Those things are works of art! They make tingles run up my spine just seeing them in a video.
I can see lots of EEs and hackers and such wanting them for their library or den or living room. I pulled out your Engineers Notebook II for the first time in a while, just the other day, and now here we are in Cyber Space, chatting. The yellow and blue ones were 2. Extremely expensive if you manage to find copies, but still worth the cost…. I recently got volume 1 off site.
Plan to get the others, as my first electronics project was out of these books the FET touch switch. Three whole parts, but I was 14 and thought it was cool. The first thing I had to do with them is label the leads of a 3 terminal device and cross out the not-in-order numbers that were referenced in a disjointed table which the numbers were in order. Solid State Topics was a very good monthly series in one of those zines that also included Mims.
I believe you mischaracterize Mr. Mims when you state that he believes that Earth is flat. I found a discouraging new item some years ago, in which a doomsday virus eugenics-promoting U-texas professor had a big public argument with Mimms over the topic of overpopulation, with Mimms basically getting browbeaten in front of a large technical audience for having the audacity to suggest overpopulation may be a myth, or dependent on a consumption-paradigm exploitative of resources and citizens.
For the record I am not religious at all, but really despise overpopulation rhetoric, and reading that made me like Forrest even more, though I simply cannot relate to his religious beliefs. Noirwhal, I attended a lecture at the annual meeting of the Texas Academy of Science in which University of Texas professor Eric Pianka laughed about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and his hope that most of the human population would be killed by disease.
He specifically suggested Ebola. In response, a member of the Texas Academy of Science who was also present came to my defense at the risk of loosing the tenure status for which he was being considered. Flat earth? Who told you I believe that?
Great article! As others have said, these little books from Radio Shack were a major inspiration to my now 26 year old career in electronics manufacturing. Has anyone seen this: Salvation Army to the rescue!
I scored roughly 20 of these little books. Must have been a super hobbyist out there. I had the Engineers Notebook when I was younger too.
Gave me more than one idea for things I never did have the time or money to make. Then I ended up shifting away from electronics to focus more on my computer programming hobby more than anything else I think the fact that computer programming was a much cheaper hobby than electronics is probably why I ended up sticking with that.
Same here — hacking code has a lower barrier to entry than hacking circuits. Plus I always seemed to be able to get a computer to do what I wanted, but often had to fight to get a circuit to behave.
Ah, great memories. Learned so much from Mims. And this year will be my 30th year as an engineer. Thank you! Great flash back story. I know I had them all plus a yellow phone book sized catalog of circuits that probably came from RS also. Unfortunatly just this past summer it all went to the dump after finding the entire collection soaked from a roof leak.
But the great memories or learning before the internet will always be with me! I still have and use all of mine! Absolutely wonderful publications, makes electronics accessible to anyone. I started to really use these books when I was about 10 years old.
Stong that got me hooked. The pen and ink illustrations is what drew me in. First I agree Mimms books are great.
I as around age twelve I decided to spend my money on downloading education books in topics of my interest. Not that I was some sort of brilliant twelve year old. Also scan of old electronic magazines are available as well. Generally the electronics magazines give a decent detail of the project they feature. In the s, Radio Shack had one of the best selling PC compatibles.
The Tandy made by Kycera was one of the first laptop computers sold, and likely had the best keyboard ever put on a laptop computer. There was plenty of room for products, but instead there was wasted space. So true.
Every attempt I made to shop at radio shack resulted in a sales droid trying to sell me for a higher price a cell phone that I could download cheaper elsewhere. They would be disappointed when I told them I was there for parts even when I often would spend more on parts than the price of the phone they were trying to push. Hey, see this samsung flip phone that verizon gives you for free when you sign a two year contract? Yup been a fan for some time.
Useful Bits and pieces of a meal but few full courses. Full courses more akin to burger n fries. Some of the recipes right from AN-application notes. Most of which converted to pdf but the blue book still serves primarily as index in binder.
Enjoyed and appreciated. Sadly The Shack has gone away mostly. Some minor glory still left in a small parts drawer cabinet in back of stores few still open. Prices too high so that didnt go away. Some time ago I moved from electronics to science—where the electronics background has proved invaluable. This project uses an ultra-high gain opamp and various LEDs to detect aerosol layers km , the stratospheric aerosol layer km , the peak of the ozone layer km and even meteoric smoke km.
Recently a college professor wrote to explain why the circuit will not work due to the gigohm feedback resistor it employs. I only wish he had tried the circuit first. All three of my children did highly successful science projects that scientists told them would not work.
Forrest M. Mims III http: Let me guess: The college professor made sure to mention his qualifications as part of his argument?
I still have my engineer notebooks. I built many of the projects and learned how to build, debug and improve projects. I cherish them. They had a lot of reasons to give up on us besides trying to become a phone store and failing.
Originally, our sources of stuff IN USA were all mail order, scary surplus outlets, Digi-Key, Jameco etc and a handful of scattered one-off brick and mortar stores. This also happened with Computers. I still have more than one Color Computer. The sad fact is… what Radio Shack was selling us earned them less and less profit over time.
All the stuff you could ever want in a retail store and it seemed like only a handful of people even knew they existed.
This probably gave some folks at Tandy a black eye and they swore never again to have faith in makers keeping them afloat. At least that how it appeared to me based on their behavior when you would go in for parts. Supposedly Microcenter was started by two ex-Radio Shack employees. Realistically I know there will never be a large store filled with all the components one might need at affordable prices in every town.
The market will not support that. People talk about how the parts business was harmed by the internet and cheap imports from China but they somehow neglect the reality that cellphones are even worse. Who did they think they could compete with? On the higher end, people looking for a good quality phone are going to go straight to their cellphone provider.
They already have their own shops. The only people going elsewhere are the ones looking for a cheap phone. You can get those at any grocery store, gas station, mall kiosk or even liquor store.
This has been true for longer than cheap components from China have been available in hobbyist quantities on the internet. I think the Rat Shack executives just saw that everyone was downloading cellphones, dreamed dollar signs and totally neglected to look at how over-served the market already was. I can see how their self destructive decision making process and that of Radio Shack line up quite well! Second, why so many stores?
Really I hate to argue for closing stores. It means fewer jobs. Plus I would love to have a real parts store on every corner but come on! It was unrealistic to try to keep open so many locations. Each one is overhead! And that might partially explain my third point. Hopefully this link will give you enough resolution to see what wire goes where: I've got the left one stuck in the top columns 7,8,9, emitter, base, collector, respectively.
The right one is in the top columns 20,21,22, emitter, base, collector, respectively. A 20 uF electrolytic capacitor actually two 10 uF caps connects the collector of the left transistor to the base of the right transistor.
Hope this helps. The video is to prove it really does blink.
It has to be something simple that you are overlooking. Perhaps you are trying to use 2n transistors which are NPN.
Schematic calls for 2n which are PNP transistors. I mostly agree with orkasecurity. Are you using 22uF not point22 uF? Look for something simple. Hard to know what you're doing wrong without examining what you've done.
You do know that C1 connects from Q2's base to Q1's collector, and C2 vice versa -- the gaps in the lines indicate that these do NOT connect to the the other transistor's base -- right? You've checked the polarity on the capacitors, made sure you know which lead is which on the transistors and LEDs, and checked Yet Again that all the components are correct, right? If I put it together on a breadboard for you, it would look exactly like it does in the schematic, with wires and components replacing lines and symbols.
I haven't rechecked the circuit design, but it looks essentially reasonable -- standard multivibrator. Follow Asked by mcmahanly. LEDs circuitry schematics diagrams Forrest Mims.
Reply Upvote. Jack A Lopez 8 years ago.