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Electronics Components

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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 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…]

Electronics Projects: How to Use LEDs to Detect Polarity

In this project, you build an electronic gadget that uses two LEDs to indicate the polarity of an input voltage. The voltage is provided by a 9 V battery connected to the circuit via a DPDT knife switch [more…]

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…]

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