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Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation

Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation

Lessons In Industrial Instrumentation

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Book Details:

Pages:3283 pages
Size:61.55 MB


I did not want to write this book . . . honestly.

My first book project began in 1998, titled Lessons In Electric Circuits, and I didn’t call “quit” until six volumes and five years later. Even then it was not complete, but being an open-source project it gained traction on the Internet to the point where other people took over its development and it grew fine without me. The impetus for writing this first tome was a general dissatisfaction with available electronics textbooks. Plenty of textbooks exist to describe things, but few really explain things well for students, and the field of electronics is no exception. I wanted my book(s) to be different, and so they were. No one told me how time-consuming it was going to be to write them, though!

The next few years’ worth of my spare time went to developing a set of question-and-answer worksheets designed to teach electronics theory in a Socratic, active-engagement style. This project proved quite successful in my professional life as an instructor of electronics. In the summer of 2006, my job changed from teaching electronics to teaching industrial instrumentation, and I decided to continue the Socratic mode of instruction with another set of question-and-answer worksheets.

However, the field of industrial instrumentation is not as well-represented as general electronics, and thus the array of available textbooks is not as vast. I began to re-discover the drudgery of trying to teach with inadequate texts as source material. The basis of my active teaching style was that students would spend time researching the material on their own, then engage in Socratic-style discussion with me on the subject matter when they arrived for class. This teaching technique functions in direct proportion to the quality and quantity of the research sources at the students’ disposal. Despite much searching, I was unable to find a textbook adequately addressing my students’ learning needs. Many textbooks I found were written in a shallow, “math-phobic” style well below the level I intended to teach to. Some reference books I found contained great information, but were often written for degreed engineers with lots of Laplace transforms and other mathematical techniques well above the level I intended to teach to. Few on either side of the spectrum actually made an effort to explain certain concepts students generally struggle to understand. I needed a text giving good, practical information and theoretical coverage at the same time.

In a futile effort to provide my students with enough information to study outside of class, I scoured the Internet for free tutorials written by others. While some manufacturer’s tutorials were nearly perfect for my needs, others were just as shallow as the textbooks I had found, and/or were little more than sales brochures. I found myself starting to write my own tutorials on specific topics to “plug the gaps,” but then another problem arose: it became troublesome for students to navigate through dozens of tutorials in an effort to find the information they needed in their studies. What my students really needed was a book, not a smorgasbord of tutorials.



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