[code] [Contents] [Errata]

Buy on Amazon

This is the web page for the first edition of Hacking Electronics. There is now a second edition.

Buy a kit of parts designed for this book from MonkMakes.


cover_medThis is my first full-color book. It explains electronics in a way that is easy to understand and concentrates on those areas of electronics that you really need to make or modify electronic equipment  while avoiding a load of theory that you might never use.

As you might expect, as well as the basics, there is  plenty about Arduino in there too.



Chapter 1: Getting Started

1.1 Getting Stuff
1.2. How to Strip a Wire
1.3. How to Join Wires Together by Twisting
1.4. How to Join Wires by Soldering
1.5. How to Test a Connection
1.6. How to Hacking a Computer Fan to Keep Soldering Fumes Away

Chapter 2: Theory Guides
2.1. How to Assemble a Starter Kit of Components
2.2. How to Identify Electronic Components
2.3. What are Current, Resistance and Voltage?
2.4. What is Power?
2.5. How to Read a Schematic Diagram

Chapter 3. Basics
3.1. How to Make a Resistor Get Hot
3.2. How to Use Resistors to Divide a Voltage
3.3. How to Convert a Resistance to a Voltage (and make a light meter)
3.4. How to Hack a Push Light to Make it Light Sensing
3.5. How to Chose a Transistor
3.6. How to use a Power MOSFET to Control a Motor
3.7. How to Select the Right Switch

Chapter 4: LED Hacks
4.1. How to Stop an LED Burning Out
4.2. How to Select the Right LED for the Job
4.3 How to Use a LM317 to Make a Constant Current Driver
4.4 How to Measure the Forward Voltage of an LED
4.5 How to Power Large Numbers of LEDs
4.6 How to Make LEDs flash
4.7 How to Use Stripboard (LED Flasher)
4.8 How to Use a Laser Diode Module
4.9. Hacking a Slot Car Racer


Chapter 5: Batteries and Power
5.1. Select the Right Battery
5.2. Charging Batteries (In General)
5.3. How to Charge a NiMh Battery
5.4. How to Charge a Sealed Lead Acid Battery
5.5. How to Charge a LiPo Battery
5.6. Hacking a Cell Phone Battery
5.7. Controlling the Voltage from a Battery
5.8. Boosting Voltage
5.9. Calculating How Long a Battery Will Last
5.10. Battery Backup
5.11. How to Use Solar Cells

Chapter 6: Arduino Hacks
6.1. How to Set up Arduino (and Blink an LED)
6.2. How to Make an Arduino Control a Relay
6.3. How to Hack a Toy for Arduino Control
6.4. How to Measure Voltage with an Arduino
6.5. How to Use an Arduino to Control an LED
6.6. How to Play a Sound with an Arduino
6.7. How to Use Arduino Shields
6.8. How to Control a Relay from a Web Page
6.9. How to Use a Alphanumeric LCD Shield with Arduino
6.10. How to Drive a Servo Motor with an Arduino
6.11. How to Charlieplex LEDs
6.12. How to use a 7-Segment Display with an Arduino (I2C)
6.13. How to make an Automatic Password Typer

Chapter 7: Module Hacks
7.1. How to Use a PIR Motion Sensor Module
7.2. How to Use Ultrasonic Range Finder Modules
7.3. How to Use a Wireless Remote Module
7.4. How to Use a Wireless Remote Module with Arduino
7.5. How to Control Motor Speed with a Power MOSFET
7.6. How to Control Motors with a H-Bridge Module
7.7. How to Control a Stepper Motor with an H-Bridge Module
7.8. How to Make a Simple Robot Rover
7.9. How to use a 7-Segment LED Display Module
7.10. How to use a Real Time Clock Module


Chapter 8: Hacking with Sensors
8.1. How to Detect Noxious Gas
8.2. How to Measure Something’s Color
8.3. How to Detect Vibration
8.4. How to Measure Temperature
8.5. How to Use an Accelerometer
8.6. How to Sense Magnetic Fields

Chapter 9: Audio Hacks
9.1. Hacking Audio leads
9.2. How to use a Microphone Module
9.3. How to Make an FM Bug
9.4. Selecting Loudspeakers
9.5. How to Make a 1W Audio Amplifier
9.6. How to Generate Tones with a 555 Timer
9.7. How to make a USB Music Controller
9.8. How to Make a Software VU Meter

Chapter 10: Take Electronic Devices Apart
10.1. How to Avoid Electrocution
10.2. How to Take Something Apart AND Put it Back Together Again
10.3. How to Check a Fuse
10.4. How to Test a Battery
10.5. How to Test a Heating Element
10.6. Finding and Replacing Failed Components
10.7. How to Scavenge Useful Components
10.8. How to Reuse a Cell Phone Power Adapter


Chapter 11: Tools and Testing
11.1. How to Use a Multimeter (General)
11.2. How to Use a Multimeter to Test a Transistor
11.3. How to Use a Lab Power Supply
11.4. Introducing the Oscilloscope
11.5. Software Tools



Page 41 Figure 3-15 is missing a wire from row 15 to GND. The figure should look like this:



Page 44, Figure 3-22 has both resistors labelled R2. I think the top one should be R3. (thanks to Alan Jones for finding these two).

Page 84 writes 1/100 of an hour, then 6 minutes in brackets. It should be 36 seconds. (thanks Alan).

Page 86, Table 5-2. The third row (less than 5A) says AAA for all the batteries, this should be AA.

page 90 it says “the charge time for NiMH natteries is about 3C times the charging current”, but this should be “3C divided by the charging current”

Comments are closed.