Forrest M. Mims III has written more than sixty books about science, lasers, computers, and electronics. In 1993, He received a prestigious Rolex Award for a simple instrument that he developed to measure the ozone layer. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Science Teachers Association, the Texas Academy of Science and many scientific organizations. When this guy put together a set of electronics reference books, we were excited to get them. The Engineer’s Mini Notebook series is a set of four handbooks that lay out, in plain language, the foundation of electrical and electronic knowledge. Our engineer’s here at SparkFun cited several things in these books that they remembered learning in school, stuff that turned out being really useful.
You can use the plans in Science and Communication Circuits & Projects to make a simple seismometer by hanging a magnet over a coil; build a sun photometer and make accurate measurements of haze in the atmosphere; study rain, lightning, clouds, sunlight, water, temperature, and other topics; and build a wide variety of lightwave and radio communication circuits.
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
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