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In celebration of Maker Week, which began with MakerCon and moves like an Arduino-powered steam rocket directly towards Maker Faire Bay Area, all Make ebooks and videos are 50% off through May 19.

One of our newest titles takes the ordinary magic of electronics and the new magic of sensors to lead you further into today’s ordinarily magical future.

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Make: More Electronics is the sequel to author Charles Platt’s 2009 release, Make: Electronics, which, despite its five years on the shelf, remains a perennial bestseller. (Charles is also the author of another long-tail best-seller, Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Vol. 1. )

Building on the lessons laid out in Make: Electronics, More Electronics takes the reader to an intermediate understanding of electronic concepts.

We are publishing Make: More Electronics in conjunction with this weekend’s Maker Faire Bay Area. If you’re planning to attend, also plan to pick up a hard copy of this new title onsite in our Maker Shed.

According to Charles Platt, the sleepy little topic of hobby-electronics has always been inhabited by people with rigorous, formal education. By contrast, Make: Electronics was written by someone who claims to have no qualifications at all, and who invaded the field with a completely different approach, resulting in a best-seller for four years and counting.

We checked in with Charles, a regular Make: Magazine contributor, recently about this book.

“Other books teach theory and then, maybe, you get to verify it,” Charles laughs. “My book asks the reader to do hands-on work from the start. You put components together, see what happens, and learn from the outcome. I don’t think anyone else teaches electronics this way. Plus, there’s an emphasis on having fun. I don’t take everything seriously.”

Q: Who is Make: More Electronics written for?

Charles: Young people who want the satisfaction of putting components together and making them do amazing things. Also, parents of these young people. (Actually, I suspect that parents are the key audience.) Also, readers of the first volume who want to go deeper into electronics. Really, anyone who enjoys hands-on construction projects will enjoy this book.

Q: What’s the most exciting thing happening in the electronics space?

Charles: The most interesting things in hobby-electronics are sensors. Smart phones have created a huge demand for sensors, and this has driven down the cost. A high-quality microphone, for instance, now costs under $1. In my book, I discuss magnetic, optical, heat, motion, humidity, and other sensors.

Q: What are some of the best take-aways from this book?

Charles: There are many. Here’s a short list:

• With a small handful of components, build a linear feedback shift register that will generate evenly balanced, pseudo-random numbers on the same basis as professional encryption algorithms. Use it to test your telepathic abilities (if you think you have any).

• Build a half-adder and a full-adder with basic logic gates—and then learn an alternative method using nothing but switches.

• Learn about game theory and apply it to three different electronic versions of the old Rock, Paper, Scissors game.

• Make a coin game that consistently gives you a 12.5% advantage over your opponents, after you learn its secret.

• Build “The Rotational Equivocator,” a fortune-telling circuit that offers three predictions: “Maybe,” “Maybe not,” and “I’m not sure.” Ideal for anyone seeking political office.

• Explore the fascinating field of magnetic sensors, optical sensors, heat sensors, and other sensors that you can use in projects of your own.

“The 36 original projects that I have developed are unique,” Charles concludes. “Comparable circuits do not seem to exist elsewhere. Encoders, decoders, multiplexers, counters, and shift registers are all included. Most of all—the projects are games that are fun to play.”

While not everyone can travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to pick up a hard copy of Make: More Electronics hot off the presses at Maker Faire, everyone can take advantage of the great ebook sale live through May 19.

Other New Titles from Make

Make: Sensors The definitive introduction and guide to the sometimes-tricky world of using sensors to monitor the physical world, replete with dozens of projects and experiments. Build sensor projects with both Arduino and Raspberry Pi and learn about touch sensors, light sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, magnetic sensors, as well as temperature, humidity, and gas sensors.sensors

Make: Basic Arduino Projects This companion book to MakerShed’s Ultimate Arduino Microcontroller Pack provides 26 clearly explained projects that you can build with this top-selling kit right away–including multicolor flashing lights, timers, tools for testing circuits, sound effects, motor control, and sensor devices.

Make: AVR Programming Atmel’s AVR microcontrollers are the chips that power Arduino, and are the go-to chip for many hobbyist and hardware hacking projects. Set aside the layers of abstraction provided by the Arduino environment and learn how to program AVR microcontrollers directly. In doing so, you’ll get closer to the chip and you’ll be able to squeeze more power and features out of it. Each chapter is centered around projects that incorporate that particular microcontroller topic. Each project includes schematics, code, and illustrations of a working project.

Gretchen Giles

Book publicist for Maker Media.


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