Electronics

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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…]

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…]

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