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Circuit Symbols of Electronic Components http://ww w .kpsec.freeuk.com/symbol.

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Circuit Symbols
ires | Supplies | !utput de"ices | S#itc$es | %esistors | Capacitors | &iodes
| ' ransistors | Audio ( %adio | Meters | Sensors | Logic gates | &o#nload
symbols
)e*t Page+ ,lectricity and t$e ,lectron
Also see+ Circuit &iagrams
Circuit symbols are used in circuit diagrams #$ic$ s$o# $o# a circuit is connected toget$er-
'$e actual layout o. t$e components is usually /uite di..erent .rom t$e circuit diagram- 'o
build a circuit you need a di..erent diagram s$o#ing t$e layout o. t$e parts on stripboard or
printed circuit board-
Wires and connections
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
ire
'o pass current "ery easily .rom one part o. a
circuit to anot$er-
ires joined
A 0blob0 s$ould be dra#n #$ere #ires are
connected 1joined23 but it is sometimes
omitted- ires connected at 0crossroads0
s$ould be staggered slig$tly to .orm t#o
'4junctions3 as s$o#n on t$e rig$t-
ires not joined
5n comple* diagrams it is o.ten necessary to
dra# #ires crossing e"en t$oug$ t$ey are not
connected- 5 pre.er t$e 0bridge0 symbol s$o#n
on t$e rig$t because t$e simple crossing on
t$e le.t may be misread as a join #$ere you
$a"e .orgotten to add a 0blob06
Power Supplies
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
Cell
Supplies electrical energy-
'$e larger terminal 1on t$e le.t2 is positi"e 172-
A single cell is o.ten called a battery3 but strictly a battery
is t#o or more cells joined toget$er-
8attery
Supplies electrical energy- A battery is more
t$an one cell-
'$e larger terminal 1on t$e le.t2 is positi"e 172-
&C supply
Supplies electrical energy-
&C 9 &irect Current3 al#ays .lo#ing in one
direction-
AC supply
Supplies electrical energy-
AC 9 Alternating Current3 continually c$anging
direction-
Fuse
A sa.ety de"ice #$ic$ #ill 0blo#0 1melt2 i. t$e
current .lo#ing t$roug$ it e*ceeds a speci.ied
"alue-
' rans.ormer
'#o coils o. #ire linked by an iron core-
'rans.ormers are used to step up 1increase2
and step do#n 1decrease2 AC "oltages-
,nergy is trans.erred bet#een t$e coils by t$e
magnetic .ield in t$e core- '$ere is no
electrical connection bet#een t$e coils-
,art$
1:round2
A connection to eart$- For many electronic
circuits t$is is t$e ;< 1=ero "olts2 o. t$e po#er
supply3 but .or mains electricity and some
radio circuits it really means t$e eart$- 5t is
also kno#n as ground-
Output Devices: Lamps, Heater, otor, etc!
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
Lamp 1lig$ting2
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to lig$t- '$is symbol is used .or a lamp
pro"iding illumination3 .or e*ample a car
$eadlamp or torc$ bulb-
Lamp 1indicator2
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to lig$t- '$is symbol is used .or a lamp #$ic$
is an indicator3 .or e*ample a #arning lig$t on
a car das$board-
Heater
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to $eat-
Motor
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to kinetic energy 1motion2-
8ell
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to sound-
8u==er
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to sound-
5ndu ct or
1Coil3 Solenoid2
A coil o. #ire #$ic$ creates a magnetic .ield
#$en current passes t$roug$ it- 5t may $a"e
an iron core inside t$e coil- 5t can be used as
a transducer con"erting electrical energy to
mec$anical energy by pulling on somet$ing-
Switc"es
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
Pus$ S#i tc$
1pus$4to4make2
A pus$ s#itc$ allo#s current to .lo# only
#$en t$e button is pressed- '$is is t$e
s#itc$ used to operate a doorbell-
P us$4 to4 8 reak
S #i tc$
'$is type o. pus$ s#itc$ is normally closed
1on23 it is open 1o..2 only #$en t$e button is
pressed-
!n4! .. S#i tc$
1SPS'2
SPS' 9 Single Pole3 Single '$ro#-
An on4o.. s#itc$ allo#s current to .lo# only
#$en it is in t$e closed 1on2 position-
>4#ay S#i tc$
1SP&'2
SP&' 9 Single Pole3 &ouble '$ro#-
A >4#ay c$angeo"er s#itc$ directs t$e
.lo# o. current to one o. t#o routes
according to its position- Some SP&'
s#itc$es $a"e a central o.. position and
are described as 0on4o..4on0-
&ual !n4! .. S #i tc$
1&PS'2
&PS' 9 &ouble Pole3 Single '$ro#-
A dual on4o.. s#itc$ #$ic$ is o.ten used to
s#itc$ mains electricity because it can
isolate bot$ t$e li"e and neutral
connections-
%e"ersing S #i tc$
1&P&'2
&P&' 9 &ouble Pole3 &ouble '$ro#-
'$is s#itc$ can be #ired up as a re"ersing
s#itc$ .or a motor- Some &P&' s#itc$es
$a"e a central o.. position-
%elay
An electrically operated s#itc$3 .or
e*ample a ?< battery circuit connected to
t$e coil can s#itc$ a >@;< AC mains
circuit-
)! 9 )ormally !pen3 C!M 9 Common3
)C 9 )ormally Closed-
#esistors
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
%esistor
A resistor restricts t$e .lo# o. current3 .or
e*ample to limit t$e current passing t$roug$
an L,&- A resistor is used #it$ a capacitor in
a timing circuit-
Some publications still use t$e old resistor symbol+
< ariable %esi st or
1%$eo st a t2
'$is type o. "ariable resistor #it$ > contacts
1a r$eostat2 is usually used to control current-
,*amples include+ adjusting lamp brig$tness3
adjusting motor speed3 and adjusting t$e rate
o. .lo# o. c$arge into a capacitor in a timing
circuit-
< ariable %esistor
1Potentiometer2
'$is type o. "ariable resistor #it$ @ contacts
1a potentiometer2 is usually used to control
"oltage- 5t can be used like t$is as a
transducer con"erting position 1angle o. t$e
control spindle2 to an electrical signal-
< ariable %esi st or
1P rese t2
'$is type o. "ariable resistor 1a preset2 is
operated #it$ a small scre#dri"er or similar
tool- 5t is designed to be set #$en t$e circuit
is made and t$en le.t #it$out .urt$er
adjustment- Presets are c$eaper t$an normal
"ariable resistors so t$ey are o.ten used in
projects to reduce t$e cost-
Capacitors
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
Capacitor
A capacitor stores electric c$arge- A
capacitor is used #it$ a resistor in a timing
circuit- 5t can also be used as a .ilter3 to
block &C signals but pass AC signals-
Capacito r3
polarised
A capacitor stores electric c$arge- '$is
type must be connected t$e correct #ay
round- A capacitor is used #it$ a resistor in
a timing circuit- 5t can also be used as a
.ilter3 to block &C signals but pass AC
signals-
< ariable Capacitor
A "ariable capacitor is used in a radio
tuner-
' rimmer Capacitor
'$is type o. "ariable capacitor 1a trimmer2
is operated #it$ a small scre#dri"er or
similar tool- 5t is designed to be set #$en
t$e circuit is made and t$en le.t #it$out
.urt$er adjustment-
Diodes
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
&iode
A de"ice #$ic$ only allo#s current to .lo# in
one direction-
L,&
Lig$t ,mitting &iode
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy
to lig$t-
Aener &iode
A special diode #$ic$ is used to maintain a
.i*ed "oltage across its terminals-
P$otodiode A lig$t4sensiti"e diode-
$ransistors
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
' ransistor )P)
A transistor ampli.ies current- 5t can be used #it$
ot$er components to make an ampli.ier or s#itc$ing
circuit-
' ransistor P)P
A transistor ampli.ies current- 5t can be used #it$
ot$er components to make an ampli.ier or s#itc$ing
circuit-
P$ototransistor A lig$t4sensiti"e transistor-
%udio and #adio Devices
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
Microp$one
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts sound to electrical
energy-
,arp$one
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy to
sound-
Loudspeaker
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy to
sound-
Pie=o ' ransducer
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts electrical energy to
sound-
Ampli.ier
1general symbol2
An ampli.ier circuit #it$ one input- %eally it is a
block diagram symbol because it represents a
circuit rat$er t$an just one component-
Aerial
1Antenna2
A de"ice #$ic$ is designed to recei"e or transmit
radio signals- 5t is also kno#n as an antenna-
eters and Oscilloscope
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
<o ltmeter
A "oltmeter is used to measure "oltage-
'$e proper name .or "oltage is 0potential di..erence03 but
most people pre.er to say "oltage6
Ammeter An ammeter is used to measure current-
:al"anometer
A gal"anometer is a "ery sensiti"e meter
#$ic$ is used to measure tiny currents3 usually
BmA or less-
!$mmeter
An o$mmeter is used to measure resistance-
Most multimeters $a"e an o$mmeter setting-
!scilloscope
An oscilloscope is used to display t$e s$ape o.
electrical signals and it can be used to
measure t$eir "oltage and time period-
Sensors &input devices'
Component Circuit Symbol Function of Component
L&%
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts brig$tness 1lig$t2
to resistance 1an electrical property2-
L&% 9 Lig$t &ependent %esistor
'$ermistor
A transducer #$ic$ con"erts temperature
1$eat2 to resistance 1an electrical property2-
Lo(ic )ates
Logic gates process signals #$ic$ represent true 1B3 $ig$3 7<s3 on2 or false 1;3 lo#3 ;<3
o..2-
For more in.ormation please see t$e Logic :ates page-
'$ere are t#o sets o. symbols+ traditional and 5,C 15nternational ,lectrotec$nical
Commission2-
)ate
$ype
$raditional
Symbol
*+C Symbol Function of )ate
)!'
A )!' gate can only $a"e one input-
'$e 0o0 on t$e output means 0not0- '$e
output o. a )!' gate is t$e in"erse
1opposite2 o. its input3 so t$e output is
true #$en t$e input is .alse- A )!'
gate is also called an in"erter-
A)&
An A)& gate can $a"e t#o or more
inputs- '$e output o. an A)& gate is
true #$en all its inputs are true-
)A)&
A )A)& gate can $a"e t#o or more
inputs- '$e 0o0 on t$e output means
0not0 s$o#ing t$at it is a )ot A)& gate-
'$e output o. a )A)& gate is true
unless all its inputs are true-
!%
An !% gate can $a"e t#o or more
inputs- '$e output o. an !% gate is true
#$en at least one o. its inputs is true-
)!%
A )!% gate can $a"e t#o or more
inputs- '$e 0o0 on t$e output means
0not0 s$o#ing t$at it is a )ot !% gate-
'$e output o. a )!% gate is true #$en
none o. its inputs are true-
,C4!%
An ,C4!% gate can only $a"e t#o
inputs- '$e output o. an ,C4!% gate is
true #$en its inputs are di..erent 1one
true3 one .alse2-
,C4)!%
An ,C4)!% gate can only $a"e t#o
inputs- '$e 0o0 on t$e output means
0not0 s$o#ing t$at it is a )ot ,C4!%
gate- '$e output o. an ,C4)!% gate is
true #$en its inputs are t$e same 1bot$
true or bot$ .alse2-
Sets of circuit symbols to download
Dou can do#nload complete sets o. all t$e circuit symbols s$o#n abo"e- '$e sets are
0=ipped0 .or con"enience and t$ey are pro"ided in t$ree .ormats+
MF circuit symbols 1@>E2 4 indo#s Meta.iles-
'$ese "ector dra#ings are t$e best .ormat .or printed documents on most computer systems3 including
indo#s #$ere t$ey can be used in ord documents .or e*ample- '$ey can be enlarged #it$out loss o.
/uality- 5. you are not sure #$ic$ .ormat is best .or you 5 suggest you try t$is one .irst-
:5F circuit symbols 1F@E2 4 :rap$ics 5nterc$ange Format-
'$ese bitmap images are t$e best .ormat .or #eb pages but t$ey print poorly and t$eir bitmap nature #ill
become ob"ious i. t$ey are enlarged- Dou can do#nload indi"idual symbols by sa"ing t$e images used
abo"e on t$is page-
&ra#.ile circuit symbols 1>?E2 4 .or %5SC !S 1Acorn2 computers-
'$ese $ig$ /uality "ector dra#ings are suitable .or almost all documents on a %5SC !S computer- All t$e
symbols #ere originally dra#n in t$is .ormat- '$ey print per.ectly and can be enlarged #it$out loss o.
/uality- Sorry3 t$is .ormat is )!' suitable .or indo#s computers-
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