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What the Heck Is RFID?

With all the recent hype over radio frequency identification (RFID) and the requirements to implement it, you might think that RFID can turn water into wine, transform lead into gold, and cure the world's [more…]

Examining the Elements of a Basic RFID System

Learning the fundamentals of RFID can be overwhelming. By understanding the basics of how data travels in waves and then through a network in an RFID system, however, you gain a solid foundation for greater [more…]

What Is the Difference between Electronic and Electrical Devices?

When the field of electronics was invented in 1883, electrical devices had already been around for at least 100 years. For example: [more…]

Electronic Basics: Electrical Current

The current in electronic circuits is usually much smaller than current in electrical devices like light bulbs and hair dryers. Either way, current is what happens when the random exchange of electrons [more…]

Scientific Elements and Electronics

An element is a type of atom, defined by the number of protons in its nucleus. Copper — an element that is important in electronics — has 29 protons in its nucleus. On the other hand, hydrogen atoms have [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electric Charge

Before you can do much that's very interesting with electronics, you need to have a basic understanding of what electricity is and how it works. One of the basics of electricity — and therefore, electronics [more…]

Electronics Basics: Conductors and Insulators

Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology dealing with electrical circuits, so it helps to understand the principles of conduction and insulation, before delving into building electronic [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electrical Voltage

There are three things you have to know about electricity if you want to design and build electronic circuits: current, voltage, and power. This provides an overview of voltage from the perspective of [more…]

Electronics Basics: Fundamentals of Electricity

In order to understand even the simplest concepts of electronics, you must first understand what electricity is. After all, the whole purpose of electronics is to get electricity to do useful and interesting [more…]

Components of Electricity as Related to Electronics

Before delving in to the study of electronics, it helps to know a little about the components of electricity. Let’s start with three very basic concepts of electricity: namely, [more…]

How to Mount an Electronic Coin-Toss Circuit in a Box

When you have successfully built a coin-toss circuit on a printed circuit board (PCB), you’ll want to give the project a finished presentation by mounting it in a project box. [more…]

Measure Electronic Waves: Overview of the Oscilloscope

An oscilloscope displays a simple graph of an electric or electronic signal. This graph, called a trace, shows how voltage changes over time. The horizontal axis of this graph, reading from left to right [more…]

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 Basics: Direct and Alternating Current

An electric current that flows continuously in a single direction is called a direct current, or DC.The electrons in a wire carrying direct current move slowly, but eventually they travel from one end [more…]

Electronics Basics: Electrical Power

The three key concepts you need to know before working with electronic circuits are current, voltage, and power. Current is the organized flow of electric charges through a conductor, and [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…]

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…]

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