Basic of Electronics

Hand Out

BASIC OF ELECTRONICS FOR MECHATRONICS STUDENTS

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Basic of Electronics

Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
Topics
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Atoms and Electrical Charge Current. Voltage. Power Resistance Ohm's Law

1.1. Atoms and Electrical Charge - Discusses the structure of atoms.

Figure 1-1. Model of an Atom Atoms are the building blocks of all matter. They are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Every electron has a small negative (-) charge. The proton has the same amount of charge except that it is the opposite, positive (+) charge. Neutrons are electrically neutral and have no charge. The protons and neutrons are located in the center of atoms forming what is called the nucleus and the electrons revolve around them. It is very important to know that particles of like charges will repel and unlike charges will attract. For example, two protons or two electrons will repel each other. However, a proton and a electron will attract. That is how the electrons are held inside the atom. The attraction between the electrons and protons keeps the electrons in orbit much like the gravitational attraction between the sun and its planets.

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Basic of Electronics

Figure 1-2. Interaction between electrons and protons Electricity is the flow of electrons so it is necessary to measure the charge. The basic unit for measuring charge is the coulomb or the letter C. 1 coulomb is equal to the charge of 6,250,000,000,000,000,000 electrons!!! 1C = 6.25x10^18 electrons 1.2. Current - Introduces current and ampere. Electric current is the amount of electrons, or charge, moving past a point every second. It is basically the speed of electron flow. The faster the electrons flow, the higher the current.

Figure 1-3. Electron Flow Current is represented by the letter I. The basic unit for measuring current is ampere. Ampere can be abbreviated to amp or just A. 1 amp = 1 coulomb/sec Meaning for every amp, there are 6.25x10^18 electrons moving past a point every second. 1.3. Voltage - Potential difference and voltage To make sense of voltage, we will need to make an analogy. Lets imagine that electrons are represented by a marble on a flat plane. At this point, the plane is level and the marble does not move. If the plane is lifted at one side, the marble will roll down to the lower point.

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Basic of Electronics Figure 1-4. Analogy electron with a marble In electricity, the high point is a point with lots of electrons and the low point is a point with a lack of electrons. The high point is called the high potential and the low point is the low potential. The difference between these two points is called the potential difference. The larger the potential difference, the larger the voltage.

Figure 1-5. Energy potential Voltage can be thought of as the measure of the pressure pushing the electrons. The higher the pressure, the higher the voltage. Voltage is represented by the letter E. The basic unit of measure is volts or the letter V. One volt will push 1 amp of current through 1 ohm of resistance. Resistance will be discussed in a later section.

1.4. Power - Discusses power or the amount of work a circuit is doing. Power is simply the amount of energy used or the amount of "work" a circuit is doing. Power is represented by the letter P. The basic unit for measuring power is watts or the letter W. To find power, all you need is a simple equation: P=EI or Power equals voltage times current. For example, if E = 9V I = 0.5A then P = 9 * 0.5 P = 4.5W

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Basic of Electronics 1.5. Resistance - Discusses electron flow, materials, and the ohm unit. To better understand what resistance is, you must first get an idea of how electrons flow. When an electron is knocked out of an atom, it will fly off and hit another atom. If the electron strikes the atom with enough force, it will knock off another electron. The atom that was just knocked off will hit another atom and so forth.

Figure 1-6. Two electrons Note that every time an electron strikes another, it is transferring its energy. Some of the energy is converted into heat every time it is transferred. The voltage will drop as the energy is transferred over long distances. Thus a long wire has a higher resistance than a short wire. Some materials - such as copper and silver - does not hold on to its electrons very tightly. Therefore it doesn't require much energy to knock off an electron. These materials are called conductors and has a very low resistance to electron flow. Materials such as clay and plastics hold on to their electrons more tightly than conductors. It takes more energy to knock off an electron from these materials. These materials are called insulators and has a high resistance to electron flow. Now, you must understand that this is NOT how electrons really flow; It serves only as something for you to work with. To really know how electrons flow, which we will not get into, you will need to study quantum physics. Resistance is represented by the letter R. The basic unit of measure is ohm or the symbol (Greek omega). In the next section (Ohm's Law), we will show you the relationship between Current, Voltage, and Resistance. Resistance will also be further discussed as we introduce the resistor.

1.6. Ohm's Law - The relationship between Current, Voltage, and Resistance. The German physicist, George Simon Ohm, established that voltage in volt, electrical resistance in ohms, and ampereres flowing through any circuit are all related. Ohms’s law states:

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Basic of Electronics It requires 1 volt to push 1 ampere through 1 ohm of resistance. Ohm law camn also be sated as asimple formula to calculate one value of an electrical circuit if the other two are known. I=E/R Where: I= Current in ampere (A) E= Voltage in volt (V) R= Resistance in ohms (Ω) -6- .

Can you guess which is the battery? Yes. Below is an example of a schematic diagram: Figure 2-1 A simple schematic diagram As you can see. this diagram has 3 components: the thing with 4 horizontal lines. Each type of component has a unique symbol and a name (usually 1-2 letters). the triangle in a circle. the second resistor will be called R2. Note the "R1" next to the resistor symbol and "R1 470 ohm" below the diagram. That's all it is to schematic diagrams. If there was a second resistor. The triangle in the circle represents the light emitting diode and the wavy lines represent the resistor -.both of which will be discussed in the components section. It's not that tough right? -7- .Basic of Electronics Chapter 2: Schematic Diagram A schematic diagram shows how each component connect with another. and the thing with the wavy lines. It is a simple and easy to read outline of the circuit. This tells you what value to use for that component. the 4 horizontal lines. All relevant values and component specific information are usually included.

A "one way street" for electrons. 3. A 5% tolerance (gold band) for example.A component that resist the flow of electrons.1. As its name implies. The color bands around the resistors are color codes that tell you its resistance value. Capacitors .A component used for switching and amplifying. Recall that resistance is measured in ohms. Transistors . a resistor within 5% tolerance should be sufficient. To get the value of a resistor. resistors resist the flow of electrons.An overview of integrated circuits Switches . The third band is the multiplier . Integrated circuits . Resistors . -8- . Diodes . For most applications. The tolerance bands indicates the accuracy of the values.simply write down the numbers represented by the colors.A component that resist the flow of electrons.Basic of Electronics Chapter 3: Electronics Component • • • • • • Resistors . The first two color bands from the left are the significant figures .A mini recharable battery.Discusses the different configurations of switches. Resistors are one of the most commonly used components in electronics. Put them all together and you have the value. indicates that the resistor will be within 5% of its value. They are used to add resistance to a circuit.it tells you how many zeros to put after the significant figures. hold the resistor so that the tolerance band is on the right.

Wire wound resistors are used where the resistor has to dissipate a lot of heat. Some resistors are designed to change in value when heated.7 5. These are 1.000 ohms is 1M. 4 band resistors(the ones discussed here) are the most common and should work for most projects.2 1.2 2. 2200 ohm resistors etc are available. 1000. The higher this rating the more heat they can dissipate.3 3. (color would change with heat). For example. They are called THERMISTORS and are used in temperature measuring circuits. Resistors have a wattage rating. 12 ohm. Figure 3-1 Schematic and Symbol of Resistor The simplest resistors are made from carbon rod with end caps and wire leads.8 8.0 1. -9- .9 4. Some resistors change in value when exposed to light. They are called LIGHT DEPENDANT RESISTORS. 3. Other types are carbon film which is a thin layer of carbon on a ceramic rod. Resistors generate heat.6 6. You should not use a 1/4 watt resistor in a circuit that has more than 1/4 watt of power flowing.3M etc. High stability resistors (marked with a fifth pink band) do not change value easily. Decimal points are not used on circuit diagrams (they may be confused with fly specks). However.000 ohms is 3.8 2.Basic of Electronics NOTE: There are resistors with more bands and other types for specific applications. it is NOT okay to use a 1/4 watt resistor in a 1/2 watt circuit. Wire wound resistors have their value written on them. Faulty resistors have gone open circuit or changed in value. They never go short circuit.8k as 1K8 etc. and metal oxide and metal glaze on glass rods.300. Most resistors are color coded to indicate their value and tolerance. However.2 This mean that 1 ohm. 180 ohm. 3. One last important note about resistors is their wattage rating. To limit the range of resistor values to a manageable number a preferred range only is available. 1000 ohms is 1k. it is okay to use a 1/2 watt resistor in a 1/4 watt circuit.7 3.3M would be written as 3M3 and 1.

22 ohm 20% 4R7K= 4. Once adjusted. Examples are volume and brightness controls. Capacitors .7 ohm 10% 68RJ=68 ohm 5% Variable resistors are available.Basic of Electronics On circuit diagrams tolerance is indicated by the following letters. 3.A mini rechargeable battery.2. These can be operated by means of a knob on the control panel. Preset variable resistors are internal controls which are adjusted in value by means of a screwdriver. F=1% G=2% J=5% K=10% M=20% R22M= 0. Figure 3-4 a pair plate of Capacitor This insulator is called the dielectric. -10- . Capacitors are basically two parallel metal plates separated by an insulator. they are never touched again.

These capacitors are polarized so you must connect the negative side in the right place. These capacitors are nonpolarized. capacitors with large charges should be discharged via a resistor to limit the discharge current. paper air capacitors etc. you simply decode the 3 digit number on the surface of the capacitor.1µF = 0. Capacitors come in all shapes and sizes and are usually marked with their value. 1F is too large for capacitors.000.000 So 100. Thus we have ceramic. Capacitors are the second most commonly used component in electronics. They can be thought of as tiny rechargeable batteries -. The value of the resistor as well as the negative side is clearly printed on the capacitor.Capacitors can be charged and discharged. However. These capacitors are measured in µF. These capacitors are measured in pF.000.000. meaning that you can connect them in any way. The amount of charge that a capacitor can hold is measured in Farads or the letter F. The coding is just like the resistor color codes except that they used numbers instead of colors. • Ceramic capacitors are brown and has a disc shape. To find the value. This can be a hazard if they are charged up to high voltages. mica. -11- . polyester.000. similar to a car battery. micro = 1/1. The first 2 digit are the significant figures and the third digit is the multiplier. Capacitors can be charged up and store electricity. We will only be discussing two types of the most commonly used capacitors: Ceramic and Electrolytic. so microfarads(µF) and picofarads(pF) are used.Basic of Electronics Capacitor types are named after the dielectric. If it is necessary.000 and pico = 1/1.000pF = 0.0000001F DC current cannot flow through a capacitor since the dielectric forms an open circuit. Figure 3-2 Ceramic Capacitor • Electrolytic Capacitors has a cylinder shape.

Some values are indicated with a colour code similar to resistors. For example. Some capacitors such as electrolytic and tantalums are polarised. A 2200pf capacitor would have three red bands.000 pF = 100 nF = 0. There can be some confusion. 1/C total =1/C1 + 1/C2 + 1/C3 etc Variable capacitors are available in which the value can be adjusted by controlling the amount of overlap of the plates or the distance between them. These merge into one wide red band. The first two digits are the base number and the third digit is a multiplier. -12- . The voltage across the terminals must not exceed this value. Figure 3-4 Color band on Capacitor Some values are marked in picofarads using three digit numbers.1 uF. There is a type of diode called the Varicap diode which similar characteristics. To find the total value if they are in series (that is in line with each other) then the following formula is used. It is OK to use a voltage below the maximum value. 102 is 1000 pF and 104 is 100. This means that they must be fitted the correct way round. To find the total value of capacitors in parallel (that is connected across each other) their values are added. They are marked to indicate polarity.Basic of Electronics Figure 3-3 Electrolytic Capacitor They are often marked with their maximum working voltage.

Figure 3-7 Symbol of LED -13- . Diodes let electrons flow through them only in one direction. The cathode side of the diode is marked with a band around it. the positive side. the diode allows the electrons flow. Zener diodes have a set voltage rating. Diodes flow from cathode to anode. Zener Diodes. Light Emitting Diodes (LED for short) are just like the regular diodes except that it lights up when electrons are flowing through.A "one way street" for electrons. and Light Emitting Diodes. one pin is longer then the other.Basic of Electronics Figure 3-5 Symbol of fix and variable capacitor 3.3 Diodes . Note: there aren't any bands to identify which pin is anode and which is cathode. Figure 3-6 Diodes and its symbol There are basically three different types of diodes: Diodes. The longer pin is the anode. However. When a voltage exceeds the voltage rating going the opposite direction (from anode to cathode).

The cathode is always identified by a dot. Figure 3-8 Mark indicator in Diodes The pcb is often marked with a + sign for the cathode end. Diodes come in all shapes and sizes. an anode and a cathode. which means that they must be inserted into the PCB the correct way round. A good one has low resistance in one direction and high in the other. Diodes have two connections. They are often marked with a type number.Basic of Electronics Diodes are polarised. This is because an electric current will only flow through them in one direction (like air will only flow one way through a type valve). ring or some other mark. There are specialised types of diode available such as the zener and light emitting diode (LED). -14- . or be part of trendy jewelry etc. If you know how to measure resistance with a meter then test some diodes. Detailed characteristics of a diode can be found by looking up the type number in a data book. It can show when the power is on. act as a warning indicator. Figure 3-9 Some diode circuit symbols LED The light emitting diode (LED) is commonly used as an indicator.

collector.02 amps). In our example it is 2 volts and 20mA (0. Transistors -A component used for switching and amplifying. Transistors are used as switches and amplifiers.02 amps. Since the voltage across the diode is 2 volts and the battery voltage is 12 volts. The transistor is a three terminal solid state semiconductor device that can be used for amplification. and the current through the resistor. 3.02 =500 ohms. with the anode positive and the cathode negative. We will discuss two types of transistors: PNP and NPN transistors.4. so the current through then both is the same. The necessary data can be obtained from a catalogue or data book. From Ohm's Law we can now calculate the value of the resistor. voltage stabilization.Basic of Electronics Figure 3-9 LED circuit It needs to be fed from a DC supply. The diode is in series with the resistor. Figure 3-10 Transistors -15- . 0. Since this is not a standard value we can use a 470 or 560 ohm resistor as this application is not critical of values. switching. so be sure to check the packaging when purchasing. The cathode lead is the one nearest a "flat" on the body. We now know the voltage across. There aren't any standards for where and what order the physical pins are on the transistors. base. To calculate the value of the series resistor we need to know the diode forward voltage and current and its connections. then the voltage across the resistor is 12-2 = 10 volts. Resistance = Volts divided by Amps = V/I = 10/0. signal modulation and many other functions. as shown in the diagram. Both of these transistors has 3 pins: emitter.

ensure that the IC (or the socket) is the correct way round and that no pins have been bent underneath the body. Figure 3-11 Symbol of PNP Transistors The NPN transistor is the opposite: The collector must be more positive than the base and the emitter leads to the negative. such as a radiator. When satisfied. Some IC's are damaged by the static electricity which most people carry on their bodies. discharge yourself periodically by touching some metalwork which is earthed. -16- . Solder two diagonally opposite pins (say pin 1 and pin 5 in the diagram below) and check that the IC is flat on the board before soldering the rest. Figure 3-12 Symbol of NPN Transistors 3. When fitting new IC's it is often necessary to bend the pins in slightly. or 16 pin dual in line (dil) chips.5. Inside them is a tiny piece of semiconductor(usually silicon) with large circuits built in. or may plug into sockets which have already been soldered into the board. 14. in order to fit it into the board (or socket). When soldering. When handling them. They should be stored in conductive foam or wrapped in tin foil. If it is not flat then reflow the solder on the two pins pushing the IC flat. IC's can be soldered directly into printed circuit boards.An overview of integrated circuits Integrated circuits (IC) are usually referred to as chips. Most common are 8. Integrated circuits (IC) .Basic of Electronics To allow electrons to flow through the collector and emitter of a PNP transistor. the following must apply: The emitter is more positive than the base and the collector leads to the negative. solder the remaining pins.

Timers These are counting IC's used for circuits that counts or needs to keep track of time. A primary cell is discarded when its chemical -17- . (logic gates will be discussed in a later section). Most IC's come with pinout information and how to use it. to increase the voltage available. Works very much like transistor amplifier circuits. Cells may be either PRIMARY or SECONDARY types. Comparators These IC's compare inputs and gives an output. Batteries Batteries are assembled from cells. Switches Switching IC's are also very much like the switching circuits of transistors. If not. Audio amplifiers These are used to amplify audio. most contain logic gate circuits. In a cell chemical energy is converted into electrical energy.Basic of Electronics There are millions of different integrated circuits. • • • • • • 3. Operational Amplifiers These are amplifiers. connected in series. you'll need one of those large reference books that have info on most of the IC's. A lot of IC's are made for a special purpose like digital sound recording. The general types of integrated circuits include: Figure 3-12 Symbol of IC • Logic circuits These IC's are basically decision makers.6. Other There are thousands of other types.

All cells have INTERNAL RESISTANCE. This is not an actual resistor but a characteristic of the cell. A secondary cell can be recharged. portable radios etc. The diagram shows that as the current taken increases the terminal voltage decreases. Internal resistance increases as the cell ages. Figure 3-14 Internal Resistance of Battery When current is taken from a battery. voltage is dropped across this internal resistance and the voltage at the battery terminals falls. -18- . Lead acid batteries need a constant voltage charger.Basic of Electronics energy is exhausted. Figure 3-13 Symbol of Battery The zinc and carbon react with the ammonium chloride ELECTROLYTE to produce electricity. The most common secondary cells are the lead/acid and nickel/cadmium (nicad). Nicads must be charged with a constant current charger. The most common primary cell is the zinc/carbon (Leclanche) as used in torches. The manganese dioxide absorbs hydrogen gas produced around the carbon rod which would insulate it from the electrolyte and stop the cell working.

with the radio etc switched on and drawing current. this will happen 50 times a second.Basic of Electronics Figure 3-15 Voltage-Current characteristics of Battery This is called POOR REGULATION.7. the moving lines of force will "cut" the turns of the second coil. if the secondary has half the primary turns. If the current is increased. Primary voltage --------------------Secondary voltage Number of primary turns = ----------. Transformer If you have read the page on ELECTROMAGNETISM then you will know that when a current is passed through a coil. The voltage induced in the secondary is determined by the TURNS RATIO.-----------------------Number of secondary turns For example. the lines of force move outwards from the coil. With the 50 Hz AC mains supply . i. Another example is if the primary has 5000 turns and the secondary has 500 turns. the secondary will have half the primary voltage. the output coil is the SECONDARY WINDING. The input coil is called the PRIMARY WINDING. This field is made up from lines of force and has the same shape as a bar magnet. It occurs in any type of power supply. As it does this. then the primary must supply 24 watts. Battery voltages must therefore always be measured ON LOAD. (Watts = volts x amps). then the turns ratio is 10:1. -19- . If the current is reduced. as the field moves out or in. the power provided by the primary must equal the power taken by a load on the secondary. If another coil is placed adjacent to the first coil then. the coil becomes surrounded by a magnetic field. If a 24 watt lamp is connected across a 24 volt secondary. If the primary voltage is 240 volts then the secondary voltage will be x 10 smaller = 24 volts. This is called MUTUAL INDUCTION and forms the basis of the transformer. 3.e.1 amp. Assuming a perfect transformer. a voltage is induced in the second coil. the lines of force move inwards. If it is a 240 volt primary then the current in it must be 0.

This means that it is made up from metal sheets insulated from each other.Basic of Electronics To aid magnetic coupling between primary and secondary. or no core at all. Figure 3-15 Diagram of Transformers -20- . Note that the transformer only works on AC which has a constantly changing current and moving field. DC has a steady current and therefore a steady field and there would be no induction. Some transformers have an electrostatic screen between primary and secondary. Since the primary would induce power. the core is LAMINATED. or in the other direction. Transformers are sometimes used for IMPEDANCE MATCHING. Transformers to work at higher frequencies have an iron dust core. called EDDY CURRENTS. into this core. This is to prevent some types of interference being fed from the equipment down into the mains supply. the coils are wound on a metal CORE.

Ferrite cores are used for frequencies up to say. and DPDT. SPST = Single Pole.9. It simply connects and disconnect a circuit.8 Inductor Inductors are coils of wire. Switches Discusses the different configurations of switches. Iron cores are used for frequencies below about 100 kHz. Switches really don't need any introduction. 10 Mhz. They may be wound on tubular FORMERS or may be self supporting. above 1 Mhz only a few turns. Figure 3-16 Diagrams of Inductors 3. SPDT. At low frequencies the inductor may have hundreds of turns. Inductor values of INDUCTANCE are measured in HENRIES.Basic of Electronics 3. SPDT = Single Pole. Most inductors have a low DC resistance since they are wound from copper wire. Single Throw This is a two terminal switch that opens and closes a circuit. This opposition is called INDUCTIVE REACTANCE. Double Throw This is a three terminal switch that connects one terminal to either of the other two. Inductors oppose the flow of ac current. There are 3 commonly used configurations: SPST. Reactance increases with frequency and as the value of the inductance increases. Above 100Mhz the core is usually air and the coil is self supporting. -21- . This section gives an overview of the contact configurations. The former may contain a metallic core up its centre.

Fig. This may be important if it is a high voltage supply. Fig. -22- . Double Throw This is a six terminal switch that connects a pair of terminals to either of the other two pairs. 3 This is a "2 pole on/off" switch which completely isolates the lamp from the supply in the off position.Basic of Electronics DPDT = Double Pole. The dotted line indicates that S1a and S1b are part of the same switch "ganged" together and operate simultaneously. 2 S1 is a "single pole on/off" switch in the off position. Fig. 1 Switches are used to open/close a circuit.

You can have 2p 5w. 8 This is a "changeover" slide switch. When operated a-b opens and b-c closes. 7 This shows (1) a "normally closed. Fig. If the surge lasts longer than this the fuse will blow. Figure 3-17 Fuse Configuration in circuit -23- . (3) both used together to make a "changeover" switch. If the fuse is black and silvery then it is likely that there is a dead short (very low resistance) somewhere. 5 This is a "2 pole changeover" switch. Here are assorted switch types. Either lamp 1 or lamp 2 is on. Fig. 3p 4w etc. push to make". The Fuse The fuse is a piece of wire which can carry a stated current. 6 This is a "single pole 5 way" switch. The fuse must be able to carry slightly more than the normal operating current of the equipment to allow for tolerances and small current surges.Basic of Electronics Fig. 4 This is a "single pole changeover" switch. Panel-Toggle-Make before break-Pneumatic-WaferProximity-Light activated-Toggle-Rotary Reed-Pull-Locking-Vane-Interlocking-RockerDimmer-Mercury-Tilt-Microswitch Thumbwheel-Key-Wafer-Slide-Float-Optical-FootThermal-Hall effect 3. (2) a "normally open. push to break". Occasionly they grow tired and fail. Fig. Always find out why the fuse blew before replacing it. If the fuse melts (blows) then there is an open circuit and no current can then flow thus protecting the equipment by isolating it from the power supply. It can select 1 of 5 circuits. If a fuse is fitted to withstand this large current there would be no protection against faults which cause the current to rise slightly above the normal value. Therefore special antisurge fuses are fitted. Again S1a and S1b are part of the same switch. With some equipment there is a very large surge of current for a short time at switch on. The unlit lamp is completely isolated from the supply. If the current rises above this value it will melt. Fig.10. These can stand 10 times the rated current for 10 milliseconds.

11. It is also known as an inverter circuit. • OR gate To get an output of 1. • NOT gate To get an output of 1. one or more of its inputs must be at a value of 0. This section describes the different types of gates and their symbols: • AND gate To get an output of 1. They take binary inputs and and gives out a binary result. 1(one) is represented by a positive electrical value and 0(zero) is represented by no electricity at all. • NAND gate To get an output of 1.Basic of Electronics 3. all inputs must be at a value of 0. • NOR gate To get an output of 1. both inputs must be at a value of 1. -24- . one or more inputs must be at a value of 1. Gates Gates are logic circuits. Logic IC's contain these and other types of gates. This gate only has one input. its input must be at a value of 0.

Loudspeakers have Impedance. which is attached to the coil.11. In the diagram. Large speakers cannot reproduce high frequencies and small ones cannot reproduce low frequencies. This happens if the speaker leads are connected correctly.Basic of Electronics 3. This compresses and decompresses the air thereby generating sound waves. To ensure that the correct frequencies go to the desired speaker. they must be in phase. C2 and L2 are a high pass filter. When using two speakers together. This means that they move out and in together. -25- . Loudspeaker The most common type of loudspeaker is the MOVING COIL speaker. where a coil of wire is suspended in the magnetic field of a circular magnet. This must be matched to the output impedance of the amplifier (see the page on REACTANCE and IMPEDANCE). The design of enclosures is very complicated. Figure 3-18 Diagrams of Speaker The two magnetic fields interact causing movement of the coil. (there is a page on FILTERS). When a speech current is passed through the coil a varying magnetic field is generated by the coil. C1 and L1 are a low pass filter. a large one (a Woofer) for low frequencies. a Crossover Unit is used. Using a lower impedance than the correct one can blow up your amplifier. Loudspeakers are mounted in enclosures (boxes). The movement of the coil causes a cone. Speakers can be connected in series and parallel but the total impedance must match the amplifier impedance. The loudspeaker is a TRANSDUCER converting one form of energy to another. to move back and forth. as in stereo systems. typically 4 or 8 ohms. and a small one (a Tweeter) for high frequencies. Therefore two speakers are used.

by passing current through it.Basic of Electronics Figure 3-19 Woofer and Tweeter configuration 3. Figure 3-20 Electromagnetic Relay The magnetised core attracts the iron armature. When the coil is de-energised the armature and contacts are released. Electromagnetic relay The electromagnetic relay consists of a multi-turn coil. wound on an iron core. The armature is pivoted which causes it to operate one or more sets of contacts.12. to form an electromagnet. When the coil is energised. -26- . the core becomes temporarily magnetised.

000.000. 3. Figure 3-20 Relay position The springsets (contacts) can be a mixture of n.000. There are 1.000 Hertz can be labelled 1 Terahertz.o n.000. Practice converting one to another.000.000.000.000.001 nano n 0.000. Various coil operating voltages (ac and dc) are available.000.000 picofarad in 1 nanofarad.001 Ohms is the same as 1 picohm PREFIX SYMBOL MULTIPLICATION FACTOR -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------tera T 1. To prevent this a diode is connected across the coil. For example 1000.000.c and c.000.000 milli m 0.001 micro u 0. This can damage other components in the circuit. To make them easier to deal with we use MULTIPLIERS. -27- . The actual contact points on the springsets are available for high current and low current operation.000. The REED RELAY has a much faster operation than the relays described above.000 giga G 1.o. The cathode of the diode is connected to the most positive end of the coil.000.001 pico p 0.001 See that 1 microfarad is 1000 nanofarad.000.13.000. Relays can generate a very high voltage across the coil when switched off.000 mega M 1.Basic of Electronics The coil can be energised from a low power source such as a transistor while the contacts can switch high powers such as the mains supply.000 kilo K 1. and 0. Value Multiplier In Electronics we use some very large and some very small values.000. The relay can also be situated remotely from the control source.

Basic of Electronics CIRCUIT SYMBOLS -28- .

Basic of Electronics -29- .

in a parallel circuit? The result is the total resistance being lower than the lowest resistor. Capacitors in Parallel .Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in parallel.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series.Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in parallel. Resistors in Series . What happens when resistors are placed side by side -.1.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series. To calculate what the total resistance is. Resistors in Parallel . Capacitors in Series .in other words. 4.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series.Basic of Electronics Chapter 4 Circuit Concepts • • • • Resistors in Series . Capacitors in Series -30- . simply add up the resistance of the resistors in the series circuit.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in parallel 4.2.3. you must use this equation: Rt = (R1 * R2) / (R1 + R2) 4. we mean connecting one resistor after the other: To find the TOTAL resistance. So what is a series circuit? A series circuit means connecting components one after the other. So when we say "Resistors in series". Resistors in Parallel .

Discusses the result of putting capacitors in parallel Now if capacitors in series uses the same equation as resistors in parallel. The total capacitance in a capacitor series circuit is less than the lowest capacitor in the circuit.Basic of Electronics . To find the total capacitance.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series. capacitors in series lowers the total capacitance. Unlike resistors in series. how do you find the total capacitance of capactors in parallel? Right! You just add it up! So if there are 4 capacitors in parallel and their values are: 2pF. and 5pF The total value is 2pF + 3pF + 4pF + 5pF = 14pF -31- . 3pF. use the following equation: Ct = (C1 * C2) / (C1 + C2) Notice that it's the same equation as resistors in parallel Capacitors in Parallel . 4pF.

Soldering . The metal strips are laid out as shown below: Each strip is a connection. Using Breadboards .Discusses how to solder -32- . The blue strips shown in the illustration are usually used for connecting the batteries and the green strips are for the components.1. Oh the surface of a breadboard. So whichever components connected to a certain strip are connected to eachother. They are very convenient since all you have to do is plug in the components. Breadboards are used for testing and experimenting with electronic circuits. there are many holes for plugging in components: The bread board has many strips of metal which run underneath the board that connects the component.2.Introduces the breadboard.Basic of Electronics Chapter 5 Skills in Electronics 5. 5.

Wash your hands after using solder. An ordinary plastic flex will melt immediately if touched by a hot iron and there is a serious risk of burns and electric shock. Before you solder. even for a moment! Work in a well-ventilated area. Simply wait for the soldering iron to heat up. not above. apply a coat of solder on the tip. to solder the components onto the board. Then apply the solder on the lead (not on the tip of the soldering iron). Now that you have your circuit boards. what you need: • • • Soldering iron (around 25W) 60/40 solder and optionally a soldering iron holder. -33- . Always return the soldering iron to its stand when not in use. The smoke formed as you melt solder is mostly from the flux and quite irritating. Let the joint cool by itself. Avoid breathing it by keeping you head to the side of. you can start soldering. Note that you'll probably want one unless you're the careful type and you're sure you won't burn up anything. Stick the component's leads through the proper holes and bend it so that it'll stay still. cut the leads at the proper length. They are very hot (about 400°C) and will give you a nasty burn. Solder contains lead which is a poisonous metal. The iron should have a heatproof flex for extra protection. Never put it down on your workbench. Take great care to avoid touching the mains flex with the tip of the iron. Now. Put the soldering iron tip so that it's touching the lead and the copper at the same time. you must tin the tip. your work.Basic of Electronics First a few safety precautions: Never touch the element or tip of the soldering iron. and wipe it with a wet sponge.

Basic of Electronics -34- .

The process should take only 2-3 seconds. (use a small vice or sticky tape). Reflow soldering is tinning two pieces of wire separately and then reheating to join them together. When using printed circuit boards avoid bending wires flat on the board. Apply solder to the joint not to the iron. Heat the biggest part of the joint for 2-3 seconds. Do not carry solder on the bit to the joint. It makes them difficult to remove. Rest your hands on the workbench to steady them. Mount components so that value markings are visible. to keep the bit clean. A good joint is smooth and shiny. to prevent them falling out during soldering. The shape of the wire should be visible through the solder. If the joint has moved during soldering it will be dull and crinkly. Spring component leads out just slightly. Take precautions against the work moving. Remove the solder. Heating the joint and applying the solder Use a damp sponge. The smoke you see is evaporating flux. Remove the iron.This means a minimum of lead wrapping. Allow the solder to run over the joint without moving the iron. frequently. Tin the bit for good heat conduction.Basic of Electronics Cleaning the bit with a damp sponge. Avoid overheating. which should normally clean the joint. Tinning the bit. A dry joint is a poorly soldered one. Hold the iron like a pen. If you have taken too long it will have have solder spikes. All soldered joints should be easily removable.(This means putting a small blob of solder on the tip of the bit). PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT !!! -35- .

together with other advice which may be useful when soldering. Appropriate warnings are given in the table below.Basic of Electronics Don't allow the blobs to run into each other. The solder must run along the copper track. When you can produce good results proceed to the next part of the exercise. Components Chip Holders (DIL sockets) Pictures Reminders and Warnings Connect the correct way round by making sure the notch is at the correct end. See (a). Make the blobs all the same size and shape. (b) A bad joint is unevenly shaped. then you are taking too long to make the joint. not stand on it like a bead. Do NOT put the ICs (chips) in yet.(c) If there are spikes on the joint. dull and crinkly in appearance. Many must be placed the correct way round and a few are easily damaged by the heat from soldering. 1 -36- . A good joint is smooth and shiny. Some components require special care when soldering.

Easily damaged by heat. Connect the correct way round. single core wire Battery clips.Basic of Electronics No special precautions are needed with resistors. Transistors have 3 'legs' (leads) so extra care is needed to ensure the connections are correct. These may be connected either way round. Take care with germanium diodes (e. If there is no danger of touching other parts you can use tinned copper wire. Connect the correct way round. this is one solid wire which is plastic-coated. this has no plastic coating and looks just like solder but it is stiffer. 2 Resistors 3 Small value capacitors (usually less than 1µF) 4 Electrolytic capacitors (1µF and greater) 5 Diodes 6 LEDs 7 Transistors Wire Links between 8 points on the circuit board. buzzers 9 and other parts with their own wires -37- .near one lead. The diagram may be labelled a or + for anode and k or . it really is k. Take care with polystyrene capacitors because they are easily damaged by heat. for cathode! The cathode is the short lead and there may be a slight flat on the body of round LEDs. Connect the correct way round. Connect the correct way round. They will be marked with a + or . Connect the correct way round.for cathode. yes. OA91) because they are easily damaged by heat.g. Use single core wire. not c.

Basic of Electronics You should use stranded wire which is flexible and plasticcoated. stranded wire 11 ICs (chips) DESOLDERING COMPONENTS Tools required . There are two ways to remove the solder: -38- . Ensure the iron bit is well tinned. Working on a double-sided PCB (where copper tracks are on both sides of the PCB) is more difficult and requires more care. Carefully insert ICs in their holders: make sure all the pins are lined up with the socket then push down firmly with your thumb. Many ICs are static sensitive. Apply the solder sucker and remove the solder. Leave ICs in their antistatic packaging until you need them. Wires to parts off the circuit board. Take great care to avoid damage. variable resistors and loudspeakers. In some cases desoldering braid is useful. At some stage you will probably need to desolder a joint to remove or re-position a wire or component. Ensure the iron is tinned. Place the iron on top of the braid and allow the solder from the joint to run up the braid. Components cost a few pence. If the operation is unsuccessful resolder the joint and then try again. including 10 switches. relays. Heat up the joint to be desoldered until the solder runs. cutters. Connect the correct way round.pliers. an assembled printed circuit board may be worth several hundred pounds. Do not use single core wire because this will break when it is repeatedly flexed. then desolder the leads individually. It is often safer to cut the component leads and discard the component. This should only take two or three seconds. Place the braid on top of the joint. then earth your hands by touching a metal water pipe or window frame before touching the ICs. Ensure the joint is completely desoldered by wriggling the wire with a pair of pliers to check for freeness.Check that all pins are loose on an integrated circuit. soldering iron and solder sucker (desoldering tool).

After removing most of the solder from the joint(s) you may be able to remove the wire or component lead straight away (allow a few seconds for it to cool). With solder remover wick (copper braid) Apply both the end of the wick and the tip of your soldering iron to the joint. Repeat if necessary to remove as much solder as possible. taking care to avoid burning yourself. As the solder melts most of it will flow onto the wick. Cut off and discard the end of the wick coated with solder. Apply both the pump nozzle and the tip of your soldering iron to the joint. -39- .Basic of Electronics 1. Remove the wick first. 2. If the joint will not come apart easily apply your soldering iron to melt the remaining traces of solder at the same time as pulling the joint apart. then the soldering iron. Then press the button on the pump to release the plunger and suck the molten solder into the tool. With a desoldering pump (solder sucker) Set the pump by pushing the spring-loaded plunger down until it locks. The pump will need emptying occasionally by unscrewing the nozzle. away from the joint. Wait a second or two for the solder to melt.

Carelessness more than any other factor is what causes experienced technicians to have electrical accidents. resistance. however. the multimeter may become a source of danger when connected to a "live" circuit. and it is always best to proceed cautiously when using meters. Multimeters are so named because they have the ability to measure a multiple of variables: voltage. It can be daunting at first to use a meter.Basic of Electronics Chapter 6 Safe Meter Usage Using an electrical meter safely and efficiently is perhaps the most valuable skill an electronics technician can master. both for the sake of their own personal safety and for proficiency at their trade. and often many others. -40- . In the hands of someone ignorant and/or careless. current. The most common piece of electrical test equipment is a meter called the multimeter. This concern is not unfounded. knowing that you are connecting it to live circuits which may harbor life-threatening levels of voltage and current.

The meter uses different techniques." The "V" of course stands for "voltage" while the "A" stands for "amperage" (current). which is the common symbol for the electrical unit of ohms." The "horseshoe" symbol is the Greek letter "Omega" (Ω). The parallel lines represent "DC" while the squiggly curve represents "AC. one dashed). Test leads are nothing more than specially-prepared wires used to connect the meter to the circuit under test. and so it requires the user to select which type of voltage (V) or current (A) is to be measured. two "A" settings. you will notice that each pair is divided into unique markers with either a pair of horizontal lines (one solid. There are three different sockets on the multimeter face into which we can plug our test leads. stiff pieces of wire: -41- . internally. and one setting in the middle with a funny-looking "horseshoe" symbol on it representing "resistance. Of the two "V" settings and two "A" settings. The rotary selector switch (now set in the Off position) has five different measurement positions it can be set in: two "V" settings.Basic of Electronics You will notice that the display of this meter is of the "digital" type: showing numerical values using four digits in a manner similar to a digital clock. to measure DC than it uses to measure AC. Although we haven't discussed alternating current (AC) in any technical detail. The wires are coated in a color-coded (either black or red) flexible insulation to prevent the user's hands from contacting the bare conductors. or a dashed line with a squiggly curve over it. this distinction in meter settings is an important one to bear in mind. and the tips of the probes are sharp.

" The red test lead plugs into either the red socket marked for voltage and resistance. depending on which quantity you intend to measure with the multimeter. we'll set up the meter to measure DC voltage from a battery: -42- . let's look at a couple of examples showing the meter in use. or the red socket marked for current. To see how this works.Basic of Electronics The black test lead always plugs into the black socket on the multimeter: the one marked "COM" for "common. First.

Basic of Electronics Note that the two test leads are plugged into the appropriate sockets on the meter for voltage. a short-circuit will be formed. Since we're still measuring voltage. we'll take a look at an example of using the multimeter to measure AC voltage from a household electrical power receptacle (wall socket): The only difference in the setup of the meter is the placement of the selector switch: it is now turned to AC "V". creating a spark and perhaps even a ball of flame if the voltage source is capable of supplying enough current! The following image illustrates the potential for hazard: -43- . Now. If this happens. it is imperative that you not let the probe tips come in contact with one another while they are both in contact with their respective points on the circuit. the test leads will remain plugged in the same sockets. and the selector switch has been set for DC "V". In both of these examples.

it must be remembered that digital multimeters usually do a good job of discriminating between AC and DC measurements. Using a multimeter to check for resistance is a much simpler task. as they are set for one or the other when checking for voltage or current. but the selector switch will need to be turned until it points to the "horseshoe" resistance symbol.Basic of Electronics This is just one of the ways that a meter can become a source of hazard if used improperly. Touching the probes across the device whose resistance is to be measured. the meter should properly display the resistance in ohms: -44- . when checking for the presence of hazardous voltage. so when using a multimeter as a safety check device you should always check for the presence of both AC and DC. even if you're not expecting to find both! Also. both AC and DC voltages and currents can be deadly. Also. you should be sure to check all pairs of points in question. As we have seen earlier. The test leads will be kept plugged in the same sockets as for the voltage checks.

By sensing how difficult it is to move this current through the component. When there is a good. If the test leads had no resistance in them. faulty readings will result. If there is any additional source of voltage in the meter-lead-component-lead-meter loop to either aid or oppose the resistance-measuring current produced by the meter. solid connection between the probe tips (simulated by touching them together). In a worse-case situation. The "resistance" mode of a multimeter is very useful in determining wire continuity as well as making precise measurements of resistance. the meter shows almost zero Ω.Basic of Electronics One very important thing to remember about measuring resistance is that it must only be done on de-energized components! When the meter is in "resistance" mode. the meter may even be damaged by the external voltage. the resistance of that component can be determined and displayed. it would read exactly zero: -45- . it uses a small internal battery to generate a tiny current through the component to be measured.

The reasons for this are specific to ammeter design and operation." which stands for "open loop"): Another potential hazard of using a multimeter in its current-measuring ("ammeter") mode is failure to properly put it back into a voltage-measuring configuration before measuring voltage with it. any additional resistance offered by the meter would impede the electron flow and alter the circuit's operation. In the voltage-measuring mode (red lead plugged into the red "V" socket).Basic of Electronics If the leads are not in contact with each other. it is best to have the meter offer little or no resistance against the flow of electrons. When measuring circuit current by placing the meter directly in the path of current.L. Thus. Otherwise. the meter will indicate infinite resistance (usually by displaying dashed lines or the abbreviation "O. there are many mega-ohms of resistance -46- . the multimeter is designed to have practically zero ohms of resistance between the test probe tips when the red probe has been plugged into the red "A" (current-measuring) socket. or touching opposite ends of a broken wire.

and only secondarily to protect the user from harm. most multimeters have a warning feature by which they beep if ever there's a lead plugged in the "A" socket and the selector switch is set to "V". though. A multimeter can be used to check its own current fuse by setting the selector switch to the resistance position and creating a connection between the two red sockets like this: -47- . these fuses are primarily designed to protect the equipment (in this case. As convenient as features like these are. Like all overcurrent protection devices. it's easy to spin the selector switch from the "A" to the "V" position and forget to correspondingly switch the position of the red test lead plug from "A" to "V".will be a short-circuit through the meter! To help prevent this.if the meter is then connected across a source of substantial voltage -.to voltage-measuring mode. the meter itself) from excessive damage.Basic of Electronics between the test probe tips. they are still no substitute for clear thinking and caution when using a multimeter. The result -. such as in the case illustrated in the last image. All good-quality multimeters contain fuses inside that are engineered to "blow" in the even of excessive current through them. because voltmeters are designed to have close to infinite resistance (so that they don't draw any appreciable current from the circuit under test). When switching a multimeter from current.

The actual number of ohms displayed for a good fuse is of little consequence. So now that we've seen how to use a multimeter to measure voltage. There is no substitute for regular practice with complex instruments such as these. -48- .Basic of Electronics A good fuse will indicate very little resistance while a blown fuse will always show "O. so feel free to experiment on safe.L. and current. so long as it's an arbitrarily low figure. resistance." (or whatever indication that model of multimeter uses to indicate no continuity). what more is there to know? Plenty! The value and capabilities of this versatile test instrument will become more evident as you gain skill and familiarity using it. battery-powered circuits.

7. A voltmeter is connected to a circuit in parallel.0 Ω = zero resistance OL = an open circuit (no current flows) 7. indicating that there is continuity path for the current to flow in a closed circuit. open and zero readings are as follows: 0. current flows through the test leads and the difference in voltage (voltage drop) between the lead is measured as resistance.2. If a meter set to read amperes is connected in parallel.Basic of Electronics Chapter 7 Using Digital Multimeter for Measurement and Testing of Electronic Components Digital multimeter and digital volt-ohm-miliamperemeter are terms commonly used for electronic high-impedance test meter. the meter or the leads may be destroyed or the fuse will blow by the current available across the battery. An ohmmeter contains a battery. Measuring Amperes An ammeter measures the flow of current through a complete circuit in unit of amperes. To summarize. and they are very unlikely to affect the circuit under test. Zero ohms on the scale mean no resistance between test leads. Caution: An ammeter must be installed in series with the circuit to measure the current flow in the circuit. Infinity means no connection. just as a water flow meter would measure the amount of water flow. Measuring Voltage A voltmeter measures potential of electricity in a units of volts. such as across a battery. 7. High-impedance meters. required for measuring computer circuits. All voltmeters have a large internal resistance so that the current flow through the meter will not effect the circuit being tested. -49- . is an open circuit. The ammeter has to be installed in the circuit (in series) so that it can measure all the current flow in that circuit. usually 10M. Measuring Resistance An ohmmeter measures the resistance in ohms of a component or circuit section when no current is flowing through the circuit. when the leads are connected to a component. This means that on their DC voltage ranges they have a very high resistance (usually called input impedance) of 1M or more.1. All digital meters contain a battery to power the display so they use virtually no power from the circuit under test.3.

Basic of Electronics -50- .

and should be replaced. multimeter should sound a buzz which signals a short circuit. value should be very low.2.4.2a). and display tells 0. diode's anode is connected to the positive probe of the meter (red probe). positive end of the diode is connected to one probe and negative end to the other probe (11. as shown on 11. It has it's own switch position.2b). either low or high in both directions. According to 11. In the first case. Testing diode and Transistor with a multimeter When using an analog instrument to test a diode.4. and then it is turned around (11. buzzing stops. When the multimeter shows low value. When we distance the probes. Digital instrument has another method to test the diodes. diode is ok if it's resistance value is very small in one.1b. and a symbol for open circuit is displayed (this can be either 0L or 1). diode is faulty.Basic of Electronics 7. Testing Electronic Components 7. When we connect probes to each other. If the value is equal to or near equal. and very high in other direction. and in the other it should be very high. -51- .1.

one of the two measurements would have shown a value which represents a minimum voltage that could be conducted through the diode (between 400mV and 800mV). Transistors are tested in a similar fashion. and if both of them are functional – transistor is functional as well. If the measured diode was ok. and the anode is the end of the diode which is connected to probe A (red one). but the measurements should be opposite: on 11. and on 11. Then we rotate the diode and connect it again (11. positive probe is connected to base. and the negative probe is first at the collector and then emitter afterwards. all steps are the same. Diode is faulty if you hear a buzz (closed circuit) or some value which represents infinity. both cases should produce a high value on the meter. -52- . in both cases resistance should be low. you do the same thing. According to 11.4c they are low. since they act as two connected diodes.4a they are high. negative probe is connected to the base and you test collector and emitter with a positive probe. After that.Basic of Electronics Now we conenct probes to the diode (11.3a).4b.3b). When testing PNP transistors. only with switched probes. Both diodes should be tested in described way.

In case when there is a need to test high power transistors. Capacitors DC capacitors should produce an infinite value on the instrument. and it's value lays in range between several tens of ohms (in high power transofrmers) to several hundreds of ohms. and is wound using a thinner wire.5. Coils can be tested in the same way as transformers – through their resistance. transistor BC140 is tested. Secondary resistance is lower and is in range between several ohms to several tens of ohms. Transformers and coils Grid transofrmers are tested by measuring the resistance of the copper wire on the primary and secondary coil. As displayed on 11. thin wires (0. this means that the collector current is 74 times higher than the base current. All principles remain the same as with transformers. high power means low resistance. as displayed on 11.4. If.8mm will do fine) should be soldered to transistor's pins and then plugged into the instrument. Since the primary coil has more curls than the secondary one.3. 7. 7. and the display shows 74.4. Many modern day digital multimeters have a tool for direct transistor check. In case an instrument shows an infinite value.5.4.Basic of Electronics If you test transistors using a digital instrument. In case transistor works. it is a certain sign that the coil is either poorly connected or the curls are disconnected at some point. process remains similar to the one with diodes. where the principle of inverse relations is still in place. When the positive end of an electrolithic capacitor is connected to a positive probe of an analog instrument. Each diode should produce a value between 400mV and 800mV. display shows a value which represents the current amplification coefficient. it's resistance is higher. Infinite resistance still means disconnected coil. even to kiloohms (in low power transformers). and a -53- . transistor is plugged into specified slot according to it's type (PNP or NPN) and the switch on the instrument is brought into position with a hFE marking. for example. a special plug where low and medium power transistors fit nicely. There is. Eexceptions are electrolithic and very high value block capacitors.

but this is not a good solution since it is weak and short-lived. -54- . (Even small capacitance components get charged while testing. we fall back to the diode theory of operation: when anode is positive comparing to the cathode (red probe on anode. because any other value is a certain signal that the plates of the rotor and stator are connected which means that the component doesn't work. needle jumps to the lowest value and then gradually comes back towards infinity. or a pot. This is a proof that the capacitor is ok.Basic of Electronics negative end to a negative probe. black on cathode). and values should do what component's name says – vary. headphones and microphones When testing speakers. this behavior should be linear – jumps and twitches in values mean that the component is not working as supposed to.4. whole diode acts as a low value resistor. and turning the rotor. which means that speaker sound is higher than usual. sound is lower because in that direction diode acts as a high value resistor. Testing process is shown on 12. in the opposite direction. Same goes for headphones and dynamic microphones. If that component was to be used in some audio amplifier. which goes even to 20%. On the other hand. And another source of trouble could be the built-in FET amplifier. but their discharge time is very short.7. any other value means that the component is faulty.6 Speakers. 7. Potentiometers To test a potentiometer. because by only connecting the probes there should be a short noise heard. There are digital instruments that have the ability to measure capacitance.5.4. Of course. Needle should point infinity at all times. If there is no noise. Other Semiconductor Devices To test diodes using this circuit. and the meter should show those values. With this said. it is worth mentionig that the capacitors have considerably wider tolerance than resistors. speakers would produce loud noise or no sound at all while pot is being turned.) Variable capacitors are tested by connecting an ohm-meter to them. (“Noisy” pot can be repaired using a special spray. or a variable resistor. which simplifies the process to comparing the value on the capacitor to the one on the display.4. or oil or even a graphite pencil. not much of attention is being paid to the value shown on the actual instrument. and the needle's movement is the charge stored in the component being discharged. When using an analog instrument on the speakers. 7. speaker is broken. and should be practiced only if there is no replacement for that potentiometer) 7.4. Electret microphones don't produce the noise. their variable coil has either 4 or 8Ohms in most cases. process is rather simple – you connect the component to probes of an ohm-meter and turn the shaft. so the needle doesn't have the time to move.

Basic of Electronics DC transistor acts in the same fashion as two connected diodes (11. probe A is connected to the base. everything is in functional order. and then to the collector. Probe A is connected to the collector of the transistor. transistor is functional as well as shown on 12. and then probe B is connected first to the emitter. or if it “plays” in one of the second two measurements. or diode's anode or one side of the photo resistor. -55- . So. FET testing is done in similar fashion as testing the bipolar transistors. and the other one is connected to transistor's emitter or diode's cathode or the other resistor's side and some kind of sound should be heard from the speaker. which is shown on 12. If this continues when the component is shadowed using your palm. photo transistors and diodes is NL-NM (or. everything is in order. If both diodes are functional. No Light – No Music). One principle that is applicable when testing the photo resistors. As you can see. We then switch probe connections.7. In both cases. We displayed graphically the method of testing photo sensitive components on 12. A goes where B was connected to and vice versa. transistor is faulty if speaker remains silent in the first two measurements. if there is no music now. if the transistor is ok. “music” would have been heard.6.5.4a).

or two copper wires on the circuit board which shouldn't be connected. Checking other components Many other components may be tested using this instrument. This may be easier and more accurately done using regular ohmmeter on your multimeter. so absence of sound while testing tells of some coil connection failure. like capacitors. And from the sound frequency one is possible to tell which coil is primary and which is secondary. sound will be heard. Components which have coils in them. When testing different resistors.Basic of Electronics 7. transformers and such conduct electricity. fuses. but your nerd level will certainly rise sky high if you are able to tell resistor's value from bare sound. speakers. coils. like different electro motors. transformers. This is the case with resistors. headphones. So with some experience using this instrument on various resistors it will be possible to tell the resistance of the resistor in question from only the generated sound.8. then music would have not been heard. closed switches.4. it is apparent that different resistance values give different output sound. If component doesn't conduct electricity. -56- . With transformers with several secondary coils there is a possibility to find beginning and the end of each of them. Base rule is: if component is intended to conduct electricity. or open switches.

where higher values give longer sound time. Length of playing depends on the capacitance of the component. -57- .Basic of Electronics Functional capacitor will generate no music. especially the larger ones. which allows for a crude approximation of the component's capacitance. Tone generated by connecting these capacitors to the instrument will change in level and frequency and fade until completely off when capacitor is discharged. An exception are electrolithic and block capacitors.

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