Sorted by:  

Electronics Components: What Is a Capacitor?

A capacitor is an electronic component that takes advantage of the ability of electric fields to reach out across an insulator. It consists of two flat plates made from a conducting material such as silver [more…]

Electronics Measurements: Capacitance

Capacitors are among the most useful of all electronic components. And capacitance is the term that refers to the ability of a capacitor to store charge. It's also the measurement used to indicate how [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Read Capacitance Values on a Capacitor

If there's enough room on the capacitor, most manufacturers of electronics components print the capacitance directly on the capacitor along with other information such as the working voltage and perhaps [more…]

Electronics Components: Sizes and Shapes of Capacitors

You'll find one or more capacitors in almost every electronic circuit you build. And capacitors come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, influenced mostly by three things: the type of material used to create [more…]

Electronics Components: Calculate Time Constants

Knowing exactly how much time it takes to charge a capacitor is one of the keys to using capacitors correctly in your electronic circuits, and you can get that information by calculating the RC time constant [more…]

Electronics Components: Capacitors in Parallel and Series

You can combine capacitors in series or parallel networks to create any capacitance value you need in an electronic circuit. For instance, if you combine three 100 μF capacitors in parallel, the total [more…]

Electronics Components: Put Capacitors to Work

If you're wondering what capacitors are actually used for in real-life electronic circuits, the following describes the most common ways that capacitors are used: [more…]

Electronics Projects: Charging and Discharging a Capacitor

One of the most common uses for capacitors in an electronic circuit is to store a charge that you can discharge when it's needed. Project 3-1 presents a simple construction project on a solderless breadboard [more…]

Electronics Projects: Block DC while Passing AC

One of the important features of capacitors in electronics circuits is their ability to block direct current while allowing alternating current to pass. [more…]

Electronics Components: Inductors and Inductance

An inductor is a coil that's designed for use in electronic circuits. Inductors take advantage of an important characteristic of coils called self inductance, [more…]

Electronics Measurement: Inductance and Henrys

Inductance is only a momentary thing. Exactly how much of a momentary thing depends on the amount of inductance an inductor has. Inductance is measured in units called [more…]

Electronics Measurement: Calculate RL Time Constants

The RL time constant indicates the amount of time that it takes to conduct 63.2% of the current that results from a voltage applied across an inductor. The value 63.2% derives from the calculus equations [more…]

Electronics Measurement: Calculate Inductive Reactance

Although inductors oppose changes in current in an electronic circuit, they don't oppose all changes equally. All inductors present more opposition to fast current changes than they do to slower changes [more…]

Electronics Components: Combine Inductors in Series or in Parallel

Just like resistors or capacitors, you can combine inductors in series or parallel within an electronic circuit. Then you can use simple equations to calculate the total inductance of the circuit. Note [more…]

Electronics Components: Put Inductors to Work

If you have been wondering what inductors are actually used for in real-life electronic circuits, here are a few of the more common uses for inductors: [more…]

Electronics Basics: What Is a Semiconductor?

Semiconductors are used extensively in electronic circuits. As its name implies, a semiconductor is a material that conducts current, but only partly. The conductivity of a semiconductor is somewhere between [more…]

Electronics Basics: P-N Junctions

By themselves, P-type (positively charged) and N-type (negatively charged) semiconductors are just conductors. But if you put them together on an electronic circuit, you create a [more…]

Electronics Components: Diodes

A diode is an electronics component made from a combination of a P-type and N-type semiconductor material, known as a p-n junction, with leads attached to the two ends. These leads allow you to easily [more…]

Electronics Components: Types of Diodes

Diodes come in many different flavors. Some of them are exotic and rarely used by electronics hobbyists, but many are commonly used. The following describes three types of diodes you're likely to encounter [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Use a Diode to Block Reverse Polarity

Although diodes look a little like resistors, they behave very differently in electronic circuits. Diodes have one ability that sets them apart: They let current flow freely in one direction, but block [more…]

How Rectifier Circuits Work in Electronics

One of the most common uses for rectifier diodes in electronics is to convert household alternating current into direct current that can be used as an alternative to batteries. The rectifier circuit, which [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build an LED Flasher Using an Oscillator

An electronic circuit that generates repeated waveforms is an oscillator. The exact waveform generated depends on the type of circuit used to create the oscillator. Some circuits generate sine waves, some [more…]

Electronics Components: Why Transistors Were Invented

Think of a transistor as an electronic lever. A lever is a device that lets you lift a large load by exerting a small amount of effort. In essence, a lever amplifies your effort. That's what a transistor [more…]

Electronics Components: Look inside a Transistor

Have you ever taken apart an electronic gadget just to see all of the neat electronic stuff inside? If so, you have likely seen a number of transistors already. Consider this a guided tour of the transistors [more…]

Electronics Components: The Most Important Transistor Specifications

Transistors are more complicated devices than resistors, capacitors, inductors, and diodes. Whereas those electronic components have just a few specifications to wrangle with, such as ohms of resistance [more…]

Sign Up for RSS Feeds

Consumer Electronics
Win $500. Easy. Enter to win now.

Inside Dummies.com

Dummies.com Sweepstakes

Win $500. Easy.