Don't Panic

The book has been written for artists. One advantage of using the CD-ROM format is that it is possible to include animations, video and sound.  There is extensive use of these media as well as drawings and photographs.

You may well have fallen asleep during maths and physics lessons at school but they were probably boring and you probably did not see any use for them in your career as an artist. You will need to understand some simple maths but it is explained using animations and is very simple.  I have designed the circuits so you don't have to. You will need the maths so that you can work out how long your batteries will last and in some cases, what component values to use in the circuits. It will also demystify the strange notations used in component catalogues. This is not complicated maths.  

You will need to have a basic understanding of electricity so that you can understand how the circuits work. There is a chapter on basic electronics and a chapter on electronic components. I could have simply given the circuits together with precise instructions on how to build them.  The problem with that approach, is that you would not be able to find out what was wrong with them if they didn't work correctly. Every circuit in the book has a test procedure, a circuit description and a fault-finding procedure. The circuits have been designed to be easy to explain to people who are not electronic engineers. There is a chapter on circuit diagrams, which explains what the symbols mean and how to read circuit diagrams. There are plenty of colour photographs and oscilloscope images to help you. Oscilloscopes are explained in the chapter on test equipment. They show you in graphical terms what your circuit is doing. Although oscilloscope images are used extensively to explain how the circuits work, there are only a few circuits that need an oscilloscope to enable them to be made and tested. The only test equipment you will need for most circuits is a cheap digital multimeter.

The fact that you are interested in making works using electronics shows to me that you are capable of thinking in those terms. You should not be scared of the electronics or maths in the book. The book is there to demystify and to enable you, the artists, to expand your artistic practise in terms of electronics.

I have studied both electronics and art. I found the art much harder.

If you have any difficulty with the circuits in the book, you can Email me on I will answer all reasonable Emails from individual purchasers of my book.

Bill Urmenyi