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Measure Electronic Waves: Waveforms Seen on an Oscilloscope

There are four basic types of waveforms that you'll run into over and over again as you work with electronic circuits. Waveforms are the characteristic patterns that oscilloscope traces usually take. These [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: How to Calibrate an Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope is an incredibly useful tool to have on your electronics workbench. Unfortunately, oscilloscopes are also expensive, costing at least a few hundred dollars. So most electronic hobbyists [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: How to Use an Oscilloscope

The basic procedure for testing an electronic circuit with an oscilloscope is to attach the ground connector of the scope's test lead to a ground point in the circuit, and then touch the tip of the probe [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Switch between Two Lamps

There is more than one way to switch the electronic circuit between two lamps or any other electronic power components. This shows two different ways to accomplish the task. [more…]

What Is an Electronic Circuit?

An electronic circuit is a complete course of conductors through which current can travel. Circuits provide a path for current to flow. To be a circuit, this path must start and end at the same point. [more…]

How Batteries Work in Electronic Circuits

The easiest way to provide a voltage source for an electronic circuit is to include a battery. There are plenty of other ways to provide voltage, including AC adapters [more…]

Switches in Electronic Circuits: Poles and Throws

Most electronic circuits contain an on/off switch. In addition to the on/off switch, many circuits contain switches that control how the circuit works or activate different features of the circuit. [more…]

Types of Switches in Electronic Circuits

Switches are an important part of most electronic circuits. In the simplest case, most circuits contain an on/off switch. In addition to the on/off switch, many circuits contain switches that control how [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build a Switched Lamp Circuit

Building a switched lamp circuit presents a simple electronics construction project that lets you explore the use of a simple on/off switch to control a lamp. [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build Series and Parallel Circuits

Whenever you have circuits that consist of more than one electronic component, those electronic components must be linked together. The two ways to connect components in a circuit are in series and in [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build Series and Parallel Switched Circuits

Just as lamps can be connected in series or parallel in an electronic circuit, switches can also be connected in series or parallel. For example, two circuits that each use a pair of SPST switches to turn [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build a Three Way Lamp Switch

Many homes and offices have hallways that have a light switch on both ends. You can turn the light on or off by flipping either switch. This kind of switching arrangement is called a [more…]

Electronics Components: Parallel Resistors

So how do you calculate the total resistance for resistors in parallel on your electronic circuit? Put on your thinking cap and follow along. Here are the rules: [more…]

Electronics Basics: Resistance

In the electronics world, resistance is not futile. In fact, resistance can be very useful. Without resistance, electronics would not be possible. Electronics is all about manipulating the flow of current [more…]

Electronics Basics: Measures of Resistance

You can measure resistance of an electronic circuit using an ohmmeter, which is a standard feature found in most multimeters. The procedure is simple: First, you disconnect all voltage sources from the [more…]

Electronics Measurement: Ohm's Law

The term Ohm's law refers to one of the fundamental relationships found in electronic circuits: that, for a given resistance, current is directly proportional to voltage. In other words, if you increase [more…]

Electronics Components: Resistors

A resistor is a small component that's designed to provide a specific amount of resistance in an electronic circuit. Because resistance is an essential element of nearly every electronic circuit, you'll [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Interpret Resistor Color Codes

Resistance is an essential element of every electronic circuit, so you will work with a lot of resistors as you explore electronics. You can determine the resistance provided by a resistor by examining [more…]

Electronics Components: Standard Resistor Values

Most resistors used in electronics have four stripes of color. The first three stripes indicate the resistance value, and the fourth stripe indicates the tolerance. Some resistors have five stripes of [more…]

Electronics Components: Resistor Power Ratings

Resistors are like brakes for current flowing through an electronic circuit. Like the brakes in your car, resistors work by applying the electrical equivalent of friction to flowing current. This friction [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Limit Current with a Resistor

One of the most common uses for resistors is to limit the current flowing through an electronic component. Some components, such as light-emitting diodes, are very sensitive to current. A few milliamps [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Combine Resistors in Series and Parallel

Resistors can be combined to form complex electronic networks in which some of the resistors are in series and others are in parallel. For example, a network of three, 1 kΩ resistors and one 2 kΩ resistor [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Divide Voltage with Resistors

Here is an interesting property of resistors that is useful in electronic circuits: if you connect two resistors together in series, you can tap into the voltage at the point between the two resistors [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Vary Resistance with a Potentiometer

Many electronic circuits call for a resistance that can be varied by the user. For example, most audio amplifiers include a volume control that lets the user turn the volume up or down, and you can create [more…]

Electronics Components: Combine Resistors in Series and Parallel

There are two basic ways to combine resistors in an electronic circuit: in series (strung end to end) and in parallel (side by side). The following explains how you calculate the total resistance of a [more…]


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