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

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

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

000 ohms is 1M. To limit the range of resistor values to a manageable number a preferred range only is available. 3.0 1. 1000. 4 band resistors(the ones discussed here) are the most common and should work for most projects.3M etc. Wire wound resistors are used where the resistor has to dissipate a lot of heat. (color would change with heat). 180 ohm. it is okay to use a 1/2 watt resistor in a 1/4 watt circuit.2 This mean that 1 ohm.9 4. They are called LIGHT DEPENDANT RESISTORS. 12 ohm. Resistors have a wattage rating. it is NOT okay to use a 1/4 watt resistor in a 1/2 watt circuit. Some resistors are designed to change in value when heated. Some resistors change in value when exposed to light. -9- .3 3. Other types are carbon film which is a thin layer of carbon on a ceramic rod. Most resistors are color coded to indicate their value and tolerance. They never go short circuit. Figure 3-1 Schematic and Symbol of Resistor The simplest resistors are made from carbon rod with end caps and wire leads. However. Decimal points are not used on circuit diagrams (they may be confused with fly specks).7 5. For example. These are 1. Resistors generate heat. The higher this rating the more heat they can dissipate.8k as 1K8 etc. and metal oxide and metal glaze on glass rods.2 1.8 8.7 3. Faulty resistors have gone open circuit or changed in value. 1000 ohms is 1k. You should not use a 1/4 watt resistor in a circuit that has more than 1/4 watt of power flowing. One last important note about resistors is their wattage rating.2 2.8 2. High stability resistors (marked with a fifth pink band) do not change value easily.6 6. 3.Basic of Electronics NOTE: There are resistors with more bands and other types for specific applications. They are called THERMISTORS and are used in temperature measuring circuits. 2200 ohm resistors etc are available.300. Wire wound resistors have their value written on them. However.000 ohms is 3.3M would be written as 3M3 and 1.

A mini rechargeable battery. Figure 3-4 a pair plate of Capacitor This insulator is called the dielectric. F=1% G=2% J=5% K=10% M=20% R22M= 0.2. Capacitors are basically two parallel metal plates separated by an insulator. Once adjusted. they are never touched again. Capacitors . These can be operated by means of a knob on the control panel.7 ohm 10% 68RJ=68 ohm 5% Variable resistors are available. 3.Basic of Electronics On circuit diagrams tolerance is indicated by the following letters. Examples are volume and brightness controls.22 ohm 20% 4R7K= 4. Preset variable resistors are internal controls which are adjusted in value by means of a screwdriver. -10- .

Capacitors are the second most commonly used component in electronics. To find the value. Figure 3-2 Ceramic Capacitor • Electrolytic Capacitors has a cylinder shape.000. These capacitors are nonpolarized. These capacitors are measured in µF. If it is necessary. polyester.000pF = 0.Capacitors can be charged and discharged. These capacitors are measured in pF.0000001F DC current cannot flow through a capacitor since the dielectric forms an open circuit. They can be thought of as tiny rechargeable batteries -.000 and pico = 1/1. so microfarads(µF) and picofarads(pF) are used. These capacitors are polarized so you must connect the negative side in the right place.1µF = 0. Capacitors come in all shapes and sizes and are usually marked with their value. Capacitors can be charged up and store electricity. paper air capacitors etc. The first 2 digit are the significant figures and the third digit is the multiplier. mica. • Ceramic capacitors are brown and has a disc shape.000 So 100.Basic of Electronics Capacitor types are named after the dielectric. The value of the resistor as well as the negative side is clearly printed on the capacitor.000. micro = 1/1. meaning that you can connect them in any way.000. This can be a hazard if they are charged up to high voltages. -11- . However. We will only be discussing two types of the most commonly used capacitors: Ceramic and Electrolytic. The coding is just like the resistor color codes except that they used numbers instead of colors. capacitors with large charges should be discharged via a resistor to limit the discharge current. Thus we have ceramic. 1F is too large for capacitors. The amount of charge that a capacitor can hold is measured in Farads or the letter F. similar to a car battery. you simply decode the 3 digit number on the surface of the capacitor.000.

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

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

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

so be sure to check the packaging when purchasing. as shown in the diagram. To calculate the value of the series resistor we need to know the diode forward voltage and current and its connections. Since the voltage across the diode is 2 volts and the battery voltage is 12 volts. Transistors -A component used for switching and amplifying. collector. The necessary data can be obtained from a catalogue or data book. We will discuss two types of transistors: PNP and NPN transistors. The diode is in series with the resistor. 0.4.02 =500 ohms. The transistor is a three terminal solid state semiconductor device that can be used for amplification. so the current through then both is the same. and the current through the resistor.02 amps. base. with the anode positive and the cathode negative. Both of these transistors has 3 pins: emitter. voltage stabilization.02 amps).Basic of Electronics Figure 3-9 LED circuit It needs to be fed from a DC supply. Resistance = Volts divided by Amps = V/I = 10/0. There aren't any standards for where and what order the physical pins are on the transistors. The cathode lead is the one nearest a "flat" on the body. signal modulation and many other functions. We now know the voltage across. switching. Transistors are used as switches and amplifiers. In our example it is 2 volts and 20mA (0. 3. Since this is not a standard value we can use a 470 or 560 ohm resistor as this application is not critical of values. From Ohm's Law we can now calculate the value of the resistor. then the voltage across the resistor is 12-2 = 10 volts. Figure 3-10 Transistors -15- .

When soldering. discharge yourself periodically by touching some metalwork which is earthed. Most common are 8. Some IC's are damaged by the static electricity which most people carry on their bodies. such as a radiator. 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. When satisfied. IC's can be soldered directly into printed circuit boards. When fitting new IC's it is often necessary to bend the pins in slightly.An overview of integrated circuits Integrated circuits (IC) are usually referred to as chips. Integrated circuits (IC) .Basic of Electronics To allow electrons to flow through the collector and emitter of a PNP transistor. or may plug into sockets which have already been soldered into the board. or 16 pin dual in line (dil) chips. the following must apply: The emitter is more positive than the base and the collector leads to the negative.5. When handling them. -16- . in order to fit it into the board (or socket). ensure that the IC (or the socket) is the correct way round and that no pins have been bent underneath the body. 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. Inside them is a tiny piece of semiconductor(usually silicon) with large circuits built in. solder the remaining pins. 14. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

This may be important if it is a high voltage supply. 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. Fig. -22- . The dotted line indicates that S1a and S1b are part of the same switch "ganged" together and operate simultaneously. 1 Switches are used to open/close a circuit.Basic of Electronics DPDT = Double Pole. 2 S1 is a "single pole on/off" switch in the off position. Fig. Fig.

Always find out why the fuse blew before replacing it. Here are assorted switch types. These can stand 10 times the rated current for 10 milliseconds. Figure 3-17 Fuse Configuration in circuit -23- . If the fuse is black and silvery then it is likely that there is a dead short (very low resistance) somewhere. If the surge lasts longer than this the fuse will blow. If the current rises above this value it will melt. The Fuse The fuse is a piece of wire which can carry a stated current. 5 This is a "2 pole changeover" switch. Fig. 7 This shows (1) a "normally closed. (3) both used together to make a "changeover" switch. Occasionly they grow tired and fail. When operated a-b opens and b-c closes. 4 This is a "single pole changeover" switch. Fig. 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. Fig. You can have 2p 5w. Therefore special antisurge fuses are fitted. 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. push to break". Fig. It can select 1 of 5 circuits.10. 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. Again S1a and S1b are part of the same switch.Basic of Electronics Fig. The unlit lamp is completely isolated from the supply. 3p 4w etc. Either lamp 1 or lamp 2 is on. 8 This is a "changeover" slide switch. 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. (2) a "normally open. With some equipment there is a very large surge of current for a short time at switch on. 6 This is a "single pole 5 way" switch. push to make".

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

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

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

000.000 picofarad in 1 nanofarad.001 micro u 0.c and c.000 milli m 0.000 giga G 1. The cathode of the diode is connected to the most positive end of the coil.000.000.000. Various coil operating voltages (ac and dc) are available.001 nano n 0. This can damage other components in the circuit.000.000.000 mega M 1. Value Multiplier In Electronics we use some very large and some very small values.000.000. To prevent this a diode is connected across the coil.000.000.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.o. 3.13. The actual contact points on the springsets are available for high current and low current operation.001 Ohms is the same as 1 picohm PREFIX SYMBOL MULTIPLICATION FACTOR -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------tera T 1.000. Practice converting one to another. and 0. There are 1. -27- . The relay can also be situated remotely from the control source.001 See that 1 microfarad is 1000 nanofarad.000. The REED RELAY has a much faster operation than the relays described above. To make them easier to deal with we use MULTIPLIERS.000.000.000. Relays can generate a very high voltage across the coil when switched off.000.001 pico p 0.o n.000.000 Hertz can be labelled 1 Terahertz. Figure 3-20 Relay position The springsets (contacts) can be a mixture of n. For example 1000.

Basic of Electronics CIRCUIT SYMBOLS -28- .

Basic of Electronics -29- .

Resistors in Series . So what is a series circuit? A series circuit means connecting components one after the other.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in parallel 4. So when we say "Resistors in series". Capacitors in Series -30- . Capacitors in Series . simply add up the resistance of the resistors in the series circuit.2. 4. you must use this equation: Rt = (R1 * R2) / (R1 + R2) 4.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series. Capacitors in Parallel . Resistors in Parallel .in other words.Basic of Electronics Chapter 4 Circuit Concepts • • • • Resistors in Series . To calculate what the total resistance is. in a parallel circuit? The result is the total resistance being lower than the lowest resistor.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series. What happens when resistors are placed side by side -.Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in parallel.3. Resistors in Parallel . we mean connecting one resistor after the other: To find the TOTAL resistance.Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in parallel.1.

3pF. To find the total capacitance.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in parallel Now if capacitors in series uses the same equation as resistors in parallel.Basic of Electronics . Unlike resistors in series. capacitors in series lowers the total capacitance. and 5pF The total value is 2pF + 3pF + 4pF + 5pF = 14pF -31- . 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. use the following equation: Ct = (C1 * C2) / (C1 + C2) Notice that it's the same equation as resistors in parallel Capacitors in Parallel .Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series. The total capacitance in a capacitor series circuit is less than the lowest capacitor in the circuit. 4pF.

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

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

Basic of Electronics -34- .

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

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

Easily damaged by heat. yes. Connect the correct way round. Transistors have 3 'legs' (leads) so extra care is needed to ensure the connections are correct. They will be marked with a + or . The diagram may be labelled a or + for anode and k or . not c. Take care with germanium diodes (e. Connect the correct way round. These may be connected either way round. 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- . single core wire Battery clips.Basic of Electronics No special precautions are needed with resistors.for cathode. Connect the correct way round. this is one solid wire which is plastic-coated. Connect the correct way round. this has no plastic coating and looks just like solder but it is stiffer. 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. OA91) because they are easily damaged by heat.g. If there is no danger of touching other parts you can use tinned copper wire. it really is k. Use single core wire.near one lead.

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

then the soldering iron. 2. The pump will need emptying occasionally by unscrewing the nozzle. -39- . Cut off and discard the end of the wick coated with solder. away from the joint. taking care to avoid burning yourself. 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). Repeat if necessary to remove as much solder as possible. Wait a second or two for the solder to melt. Apply both the pump nozzle and the tip of your soldering iron to the joint. With a desoldering pump (solder sucker) Set the pump by pushing the spring-loaded plunger down until it locks. 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 press the button on the pump to release the plunger and suck the molten solder into the tool. Remove the wick first.Basic of Electronics 1. With solder remover wick (copper braid) Apply both the end of the wick and the tip of your soldering iron to the joint. As the solder melts most of it will flow onto the wick.

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

and one setting in the middle with a funny-looking "horseshoe" symbol on it representing "resistance. which is the common symbol for the electrical unit of ohms. or a dashed line with a squiggly curve over it. There are three different sockets on the multimeter face into which we can plug our test leads. 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. Although we haven't discussed alternating current (AC) in any technical detail. Of the two "V" settings and two "A" settings. and so it requires the user to select which type of voltage (V) or current (A) is to be measured. one dashed). internally. to measure DC than it uses to measure AC. The meter uses different techniques. and the tips of the probes are sharp. The rotary selector switch (now set in the Off position) has five different measurement positions it can be set in: two "V" settings. you will notice that each pair is divided into unique markers with either a pair of horizontal lines (one solid. stiff pieces of wire: -41- ." The "horseshoe" symbol is the Greek letter "Omega" (Ω). two "A" settings." The "V" of course stands for "voltage" while the "A" stands for "amperage" (current). Test leads are nothing more than specially-prepared wires used to connect the meter to the circuit under test. this distinction in meter settings is an important one to bear in mind. The parallel lines represent "DC" while the squiggly curve represents "AC.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 see how this works. depending on which quantity you intend to measure with the multimeter. let's look at a couple of examples showing the meter in use. or the red socket marked for current." The red test lead plugs into either the red socket marked for voltage and resistance. we'll set up the meter to measure DC voltage from a battery: -42- . First.Basic of Electronics The black test lead always plugs into the black socket on the multimeter: the one marked "COM" for "common.

a short-circuit will be formed. 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". Now. Since we're still measuring voltage.Basic of Electronics Note that the two test leads are plugged into the appropriate sockets on the meter for voltage. and the selector switch has been set for DC "V". If this happens. In both of these examples. 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. 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- . the test leads will remain plugged in the same sockets.

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

In a worse-case situation. it would read exactly zero: -45- .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. By sensing how difficult it is to move this current through the component. 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. the resistance of that component can be determined and displayed. solid connection between the probe tips (simulated by touching them together). the meter shows almost zero Ω. The "resistance" mode of a multimeter is very useful in determining wire continuity as well as making precise measurements of resistance. When there is a good. If the test leads had no resistance in them. faulty readings will result. the meter may even be damaged by the external voltage. it uses a small internal battery to generate a tiny current through the component to be measured.

" 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. Thus. it is best to have the meter offer little or no resistance against the flow of electrons. or touching opposite ends of a broken wire.L. When measuring circuit current by placing the meter directly in the path of current. Otherwise. any additional resistance offered by the meter would impede the electron flow and alter the circuit's operation. there are many mega-ohms of resistance -46- .Basic of Electronics If the leads are not in contact with each other. the meter will indicate infinite resistance (usually by displaying dashed lines or the abbreviation "O. The reasons for this are specific to ammeter design and operation. In the voltage-measuring mode (red lead plugged into the red "V" socket). 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.

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- . Like all overcurrent protection devices.to voltage-measuring mode. As convenient as features like these are. All good-quality multimeters contain fuses inside that are engineered to "blow" in the even of excessive current through them. such as in the case illustrated in the last image.Basic of Electronics between the test probe tips. they are still no substitute for clear thinking and caution when using a multimeter. The result -. 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". the meter itself) from excessive damage. 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.if the meter is then connected across a source of substantial voltage -. though. 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".will be a short-circuit through the meter! To help prevent this. these fuses are primarily designed to protect the equipment (in this case.

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

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

Basic of Electronics -50- .

buzzing stops. value should be very low. diode is ok if it's resistance value is very small in one.4. and display tells 0. When we distance the probes. diode's anode is connected to the positive probe of the meter (red probe). When the multimeter shows low value. either low or high in both directions. and a symbol for open circuit is displayed (this can be either 0L or 1). Testing Electronic Components 7. diode is faulty.Basic of Electronics 7. and very high in other direction. and in the other it should be very high. If the value is equal to or near equal. Testing diode and Transistor with a multimeter When using an analog instrument to test a diode.2b). It has it's own switch position.2a). positive end of the diode is connected to one probe and negative end to the other probe (11. and should be replaced. -51- . and then it is turned around (11. When we connect probes to each other. According to 11.1b. as shown on 11. multimeter should sound a buzz which signals a short circuit.1.2. Digital instrument has another method to test the diodes. In the first case.4.

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

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. Infinite resistance still means disconnected coil.3. process remains similar to the one with diodes. Capacitors DC capacitors should produce an infinite value on the instrument.8mm will do fine) should be soldered to transistor's pins and then plugged into the instrument. In case transistor works. display shows a value which represents the current amplification coefficient. where the principle of inverse relations is still in place. thin wires (0. Transformers and coils Grid transofrmers are tested by measuring the resistance of the copper wire on the primary and secondary coil. Eexceptions are electrolithic and very high value block capacitors. All principles remain the same as with transformers. it's resistance is higher. transistor BC140 is tested.4. and is wound using a thinner wire. it is a certain sign that the coil is either poorly connected or the curls are disconnected at some point. a special plug where low and medium power transistors fit nicely. even to kiloohms (in low power transformers). Secondary resistance is lower and is in range between several ohms to several tens of ohms.4. 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.4.5. As displayed on 11. There is. and it's value lays in range between several tens of ohms (in high power transofrmers) to several hundreds of ohms. Many modern day digital multimeters have a tool for direct transistor check. this means that the collector current is 74 times higher than the base current.Basic of Electronics If you test transistors using a digital instrument. If. In case when there is a need to test high power transistors. and the display shows 74. for example. Since the primary coil has more curls than the secondary one. Coils can be tested in the same way as transformers – through their resistance. as displayed on 11. high power means low resistance. 7. and a -53- .5. In case an instrument shows an infinite value. 7.

and turning the rotor. it is worth mentionig that the capacitors have considerably wider tolerance than resistors. Testing process is shown on 12.4. and should be practiced only if there is no replacement for that potentiometer) 7. which goes even to 20%. This is a proof that the capacitor is ok. Electret microphones don't produce the noise. Other Semiconductor Devices To test diodes using this circuit.7. If that component was to be used in some audio amplifier. process is rather simple – you connect the component to probes of an ohm-meter and turn the shaft. 7. and the meter should show those values.) Variable capacitors are tested by connecting an ohm-meter to them. we fall back to the diode theory of operation: when anode is positive comparing to the cathode (red probe on anode. their variable coil has either 4 or 8Ohms in most cases. With this said.6 Speakers. On the other hand. speakers would produce loud noise or no sound at all while pot is being turned. (Even small capacitance components get charged while testing. or a pot. Of course.Basic of Electronics negative end to a negative probe. because by only connecting the probes there should be a short noise heard. headphones and microphones When testing speakers. which means that speaker sound is higher than usual. Potentiometers To test a potentiometer. or oil or even a graphite pencil.4. When using an analog instrument on the speakers. whole diode acts as a low value resistor. not much of attention is being paid to the value shown on the actual instrument. speaker is broken. this behavior should be linear – jumps and twitches in values mean that the component is not working as supposed to. And another source of trouble could be the built-in FET amplifier.4. so the needle doesn't have the time to move. If there is no noise. but their discharge time is very short. and values should do what component's name says – vary. and the needle's movement is the charge stored in the component being discharged. which simplifies the process to comparing the value on the capacitor to the one on the display. (“Noisy” pot can be repaired using a special spray. -54- . There are digital instruments that have the ability to measure capacitance. 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. black on cathode). Same goes for headphones and dynamic microphones. 7. sound is lower because in that direction diode acts as a high value resistor. but this is not a good solution since it is weak and short-lived. Needle should point infinity at all times. any other value means that the component is faulty.4.5. in the opposite direction. or a variable resistor.

A goes where B was connected to and vice versa. transistor is faulty if speaker remains silent in the first two measurements.Basic of Electronics DC transistor acts in the same fashion as two connected diodes (11. As you can see. and then probe B is connected first to the emitter. transistor is functional as well as shown on 12. We displayed graphically the method of testing photo sensitive components on 12. or if it “plays” in one of the second two measurements. probe A is connected to the base. photo transistors and diodes is NL-NM (or.6.7. In both cases. FET testing is done in similar fashion as testing the bipolar transistors. If this continues when the component is shadowed using your palm. One principle that is applicable when testing the photo resistors. -55- . everything is in functional order. “music” would have been heard. if there is no music now.5.4a). everything is in order. and then to the collector. 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. So. Probe A is connected to the collector of the transistor. if the transistor is ok. which is shown on 12. or diode's anode or one side of the photo resistor. If both diodes are functional. No Light – No Music). We then switch probe connections.

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

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

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