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Written by a technician for technicians, this book fills the gap between communications books that are either highly mathematical (suitable for engineers) or technically weak (not enough detail for technical learners). Using an algebra-based approach that does NOT sacrifice depth of coverage, it uses plain language and an abundance of examples and case studies to explore real circuits, systems, and their troubleshooting. Coverage includes electronic communications technologies, beginning with coverage of signals and modulation methods and ranging through the most current communications techniques, including cellular, PCS, GPS, and HDTV, and TCP/IP. The text gives comprehensive troubleshooting information as well as instruction in the correct use of test equipment in the field. This textbook is appropriate for undergraduate studies in analog and digital electronic communications and networking fundamentals, especially those courses aimed at practitioners in the field (technicians), but also possibly engineering technologists. It can be used to fulfill both analog and digital communications tracks in a curriculum.
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This is a textbook written by a technician for technicians. In over 12 years of teaching electronic communications to future technicians, I have used many other fine textbooks, with varying levels of success.
There is a real void in communications textbooks. Some entry-level texts, in an attempt to keep the subject matter understandable, avoid any detailed discussion of the circuits and systems being studied. The student is left with an empty feeling; he or she can certainly answer the questions in the book correctly, but cannot apply the knowledge to real-world circuits and situations.
Other textbooks cover circuits in adequate detail but tend toward moderate to heavy use of mathematics in their analysis of circuits and systems. At an engineering level, this is probably an acceptable treatment. For technicians, the purely mathematical approach fails miserably. It is not that technicians are not capable of grasping the mathematical concepts (they most certainly are, if the concepts are presented properly); it's just that advanced mathematical tools are not in their toolkits. In reality, people do not need advanced math to understand electronic systems. People can learn almost anything if it is presented properly.
This textbook has many features that should make it a valuable addition to any curriculum for electronic technicians:
The level of mathematics has been moderated so that only basic algebra skills are needed to work most of the problems in the text. (The only place where a bare minimum of trigonometry is required is Chapter 16, Fiber-Optic and Laser Technology.) This has been accomplished without sacrificing depth. Each concept is first explained in plain language and then carefully developed step-by-step. Every attempt is made to build on the student's already broad base of experience. Each new concept is supported by at least one example. Examples follow a progression from simple to challenging, always emphasizing fundamental ideas. Real-world examples and case studies are sprinkled throughout the text. Real circuits, systems, and their troubleshooting are emphasized throughout the text, with discussion of necessary safety procedures where needed. A systematic method of troubleshooting is emphasized. One hundred circuit diagrams from the text are included on a CD-ROM, and are made interactive using Electronics Workbench. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would like to acknowledge the assistance and advice of all those who helped during the production process. Thanks to Joe Baker, DeVry Institute of Technology-Long Beach and Ray Roswick, DeVry Institute of Technology-Phoenix for their reviews. My colleagues Dale Braathen, Robert Diffenderfer, Merc Boyd, Pete Kerckhoff, and John Trank provided me with much valuable feedback and insight. Kimberly Whittaker of Johnson County Community College provided constant encouragement and valuable guidance in development of the GPS chapter. Last but not least, I would like to acknowledge the excellent support provided by DeVry Institute of Technology-Kansas City during all phases of this project.
Electronic communications is an exciting and fun topic. I sincerely hope that this work will help to kindle that same spirit in students, our future electronic technicians.
Tom WheelerFrom the Back Cover:
Electronic Communications for Technicians, written by a technician, presents the world of electronic communications in an approach that is exciting and fun, without sacrificing depth or clarity. For example, every attempt is made to build on the student's already broad base of everyday experience, with real-world examples and case studies throughout. Real circuits and systems are emphasized, with their troubleshooting and necessary safety procedures. The level of mathematics has been moderated so that only basic algebra skills are needed to work most of the problems in the text. Included with this text is a CD-ROM that brings many of the circuits to life using Electronics Workbench®.
The following topics are developed in careful detail:
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