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Engineering Book Reviews

The reviewer is an individual who is interested in practical design knowledge, not high level block diagram descriptions, or books filled with pages of incomprehensible mathematics.  Titles are alphabetized.

Digital Design

  • VHDL: Programming By Example, Douglas L. Perry, ISBN: 0-07-140070-2.  Very good book.  Good examples, and good explanations. After reading this book, I was able to quickly implement some VHDL designs. Worth buying as a reference book.
  • Verilog HDL Synthesis, J. Bhasker, ISBN: 0-9650391-5-3.  A bit too concise. A questionable buy.
  • Advanced Digital Design with the Verilog HDL, Michael Ciletti, ISBN: 0-13-089161-4.  Okay, but not great.  Still looking for a good verilog book. 

Drivers

  • Developing USB PC Periferals, Wooi Ming Tan, ISBN:0-929392-64-7. Very out of date. Deals with win 98 only. Is mainly just a dump of some sample code.  Is very short - only about 80 pages.

Analog Filters

  • Analog and Digital Filter Design, Steve Winder, ISBN: 0-7506-7547-0. Is a good survey book, and high level overview.  Not much math, or derivations.  Good at telling you when to use the various topologies, and the design approach.  I would have bought it but it was pricey.
  • Design of Analog Filters, Rolf Schaumann, ISBN: 0-19-511877-4. Great book with good derivations, very practical, well written, easy to follow. I bought this.
  • Active Filter Cookbook, Don Lancaser, ISBN: 0-7506-2986-X. Okay book, very concise, a bit out dated. Cheap.

Power Supply and Transformer Design

  • Handbook of Transformer Design and Applications, William M. Flanagan, ISBN:0-07-021291-0. Very disappointing.  Not practical. Poorly written. Most people these days are designing switching mode power supplies, and this book doesn't say much about the subject.  Don't buy. 
  • Magnetic Core Selection for Transformers and Inductors, Colonel Wm. T. McLyman, ISBN: 0-8247-9841-4. This has a lot of practical information and many tables for magnetic core selection.  It's expensive, and so for me it would be a questionable buy.  
  • Power Supply Cookbook, Marty Brown, ISBN: 0-7506-7329-X,  Practical, and concise.  Well worth the price.  Buy it.
  • Switching Power Supply Design, Abraham I. Pressman, ISBN: 0-07-052236-7 , Comprehensive and very well written.  Covers all of the important topologies. Buy this!
  • Switchmode Power Supply Handbook, Keith Billings,  ISBN: 0-07-006719-8, Well written, good book, very practical and comprehensive. However, I like the Pressman book better. Buy this! 
  • Transformer and Inductor Design Handbook, Colonel Wm. T. McLyman, ISBN: 0-8247-5393-3. This is a very practical book, on the subject. It contains lots of practical advice on how to select your transformer, for various power supply topologies.  It is very well written, and has very good illustrations.  You can tell that this guy has actually designed transformers, and isn't just regurgitating other academic material.  Buy this one if you can afford it - it's pricey.

Motor Control

  • Electric Motors and Drives, Huges, ISBN: 0-7506-1741-1.  Not a lot of useful information.  No circuits. Just high level overview. Don't buy.
  • Motor Control Electronics, Valentine, ISBN: 0-07-066810-8.  Very good and extensive book.  Has schematics, and is extensive with 700 pages. Worth buying. 
  • Stepping Motors a guide to theory and practice.  ISBN 0- 85296-029-8.  Decent little book.  Explains some concepts that are sometimes difficult to understand.  Not sure I'd buy.

RF and Antennas

  • Antenna Engineering Handbook, Richard Johnson, ISBN:0-07-032381-X.  Decent as a handbook.  Somewhat disjoint. 
  • Antenna Handbook, Antenna Fundamentals and Mathematical Techniques,  Y. T. Lo, S. W. Lee. ISBN 978-0442015923. Great book if you like doing 3D integrals. Nearly pure math without descriptive text. Has some good tables of theoretical antenna properties.  It would be better with some real world examples.
  • Antenna Theory and Design,  Warren Sutzman and Garry Thiele, ISBN 978-0471025900.  Good book that doesn't get bogged down with excessive math.  Well written and coherent. Covers good topics.
  • Antennas For All Applications, Kraus, ISB: 0-07-112240-0.  This is the Antenna Bible.  I need to buy this one!!
  • Build Your Own Low-Power Transmitters, Graf and Sheets, ISBN: 0-7506-7244-7. Very good Book! Has lots of different lower frequency transmitters for AM, FM, and TV. Lots of working examples with actual component values, and very good circuit descriptions.  Buy this one.
  • Foundations of Interconnect and Microstrip Design, Edwards and Steer, ISBN: 0-471-60701-0.  This is a decent book.  Has some accurate formulas for microstrip design. Has an emphasis on intra-chip connections. I'm not sure I'd buy.
  • Microstrip Antenna Design Handbook, Garg, Bhartia ISBN:0-89006-513-6.  This is an incomprehensible, disjoint, dump of integral equations. Might be good for someone who already was an expert in the field. A fairly useless book from a design point of view. Don't buy.
  • Microstrip Antennas: The Analysis and Design of Microstrip Antennas and Arrays, Pozar and Schambert, ISBN: 0-7803-1078-0. This is just a dump of  journal articles. 
  • Microwave and RF Design of Wireless Systems, David Pozar.  ISBN 978-0471322825 . Decent book.  Discusses system level RF design, as well as lower level topics such as S-parameters, Friis Equation, etc.
  • Practical RF Handbook,  Hickman, ISBN: 0750653698.  Terrible, useless book. Nothing but vague block diagrams and vague descriptions.
  • RF Design Guide: Systems Circuits Equations, Vixmuller, ISBN 0-89006-754-6. Terrible, vague book, no useful circuits.
  • RF Practical RF Design Manual, Doug Memaw, ISBN: 1-891237-00-4. Okay book, but not great. Some useful circuits. I little math.
  • RF Circuit Design, Chris Bowick. ISBN: 07506-7244-7. This is one of the best RF books out there on the subject. It holds your hand through the complex process of using Smith charts, and S parameters. It gives a great explanation of how to create matching circuits. I just which that the book had been longer, and covered other topics in such great detail. If you are going to buy an RF book, buy this first.
  • RF Circuit Design, Reinhold Ludwig ISBN, 0-13095327-7. More of a text book. Good explenation of 2 port parameters. Lots of mat., not much real circuit design. 

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