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Electronics Components: Transistor Specifications

There are many different kinds of transistors. The most basic kind is called a bipolar transistor. Another variety of transistor, called a field-effect transistor [more…]

Electronics Components: Amplify with a Transistor

The most common way to use a transistor as an amplifier is in an electronic circuit sometimes called a common-emitter circuit because the emitter is connected to ground, which means that both the input [more…]

Electronics Components: Transistors as a Magic Potentiometer

A transistor within an electronic circuit works like a combination of a diode and a variable resistor, also called a potentiometer or pot. But this isn't just an ordinary pot; it's a magic pot whose knob [more…]

Electronics Components: Use a Transistor as a Switch

One of the most common uses for transistors in an electronic circuit is as simple switches. In short, a transistor conducts current across the collector-emitter path only when a voltage is applied to the [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build an LED Driver Circuit

In this project, you build an electronic circuit that uses a transistor to switch on an LED using a current that's much smaller than the LED current. When you close the switch, both LEDs light up. However [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Build a NOT Gate Circuit

A gate is a basic component of digital electronics. Gate circuits are built from transistor switches that are either ON or OFF. There are a total of 16 different kinds of gates. [more…]

Electronics Components: Oscillator Circuits

An oscillator is an electronic circuit that generates repeated waveforms. The exact waveform generated depends on the type of circuit used to create the oscillator. One of the most commonly used oscillator [more…]

Electronics Components: Integrated Circuits and Moore’s Law

You've probably heard of Moore’s law, an electronics statement which in a nutshell predicts that the number of transistors that can be placed on a single integrated circuit doubles about every two years [more…]

Electronics Components: What Exactly Is an Integrated Circuit?

An integrated circuit (also called an IC or just a chip) is an entire electronic circuit consisting of multiple individual components such as transistors, diodes, resistors, capacitors, and the conductive [more…]

Electronics Components: How Integrated Circuits Are Made

You don’t have to know how integrated circuits (IC) are made to use them in your electronics projects, but the process is pretty interesting The process is complex and varies depending on the type of chip [more…]

Electronics Components: Integrated Circuit Packages

Integrated circuits (ICs) come in a variety of different package types, but nearly all of the ICs you'll work with in hobby electronics come in a type of package called [more…]

Electronics Components: Control the Time Intervals in an Astable 555 Circuit

An astable 555 timer circuit in an electronic project works like a metronome: It keeps running until you turn it off. This mode is also called oscillator mode [more…]

Electronics Components: The 555 in Astable (Oscillator) Mode

Another common way to use a 555 timer is in astable mode. The term astable simply means that the 555 has no stable state: Just as it gets settled into one state [more…]

Electronics Components: Calculate the Duty Cycle of an Astable 555 Circuit

The astable mode is also called oscillator mode, because it uses the 555 as an oscillator within an electronic circuit. Astable mode creates a square wave signal. [more…]

Electronics Components: The 555 in Bistable (Flip-Flop) Mode

A flip-flop is an electronic circuit that alternates between two output states. In a flip-flop, a short pulse on the trigger causes the output to go high and stay high, even after the trigger pulse ends [more…]

Electronics Components: How to Use the 555 Timer Output

The output pin (pin 3) of an electronic 555 timer circuit can be in one of two states: high and low. In the high state, the voltage at the pin is close to the supply voltage. The low state is 0 V. [more…]

Electronics Components: Double Up with the 556 Dual Timer

It turns out that there are many uses for two (or more) 555 timers in a single electronic circuit — useful enough that you can get two 555 timers in a single chip, called the 556 dual-timer chip. The 556 [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Make a One-Shot Timer

In this project, you build an electronic circuit that uses a 555 timer chip in monostable mode. When a trigger switch is pressed, an LED lights and stays lit for approximately five seconds. Then, the LED [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Make an LED Flasher Using a Timer Chip

In this project, you build an electronic circuit that uses a 555 timer chip to alternately flash two LEDs on and off. Then, you modify the circuit so that the circuit is controlled by two pushbuttons that [more…]

Electronics Projects: How to Make a Beeper

In this electronics project, you use two 555 timer chips to build an audible beeper, with both timers configured in astable mode. Each time controls a different audible tone on the beeper. [more…]

Electronics Components: What are Operational Amplifiers?

An op amp is a super-sensitive electronic amplifier circuit that’s designed to amplify the difference of two input voltages. Thus, an op amp has two inputs and one output. The output voltage is often tens [more…]

Electronics Components: How the Op Amp Came to Be

The modern operational amplifier dates way back to the early days of electronics history. Specifically, the op amp was first created in the 1930s, when Bell Telephone was just starting to run telephone [more…]

Electronics Components: Open Loop Amplifiers

As its name suggests, one of the most basic electronic uses of an op amp is as an amplifier. If you connect an input source to one of the input terminals and ground the other input terminal, an amplified [more…]

Electronics Components: The Ideal Op Amp

If you read about op amps on the web or in an electronics book, you’ll undoubtedly come across the term ideal op amp.An ideal op amp is a hypothetical op amp with certain characteristics that real op amps [more…]

Electronics Components: Closed Loop Amplifiers

Open loop op-amp circuits aren’t very useful as electronic amplifiers because they’re so easily saturated. To make an op amp useful as an amplifier, you must use it in a [more…]

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