Basic of Electronics

Hand Out



Basic of Electronics

Chapter 1: Basic Concepts
• • • • • •

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.


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.


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


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:


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- .

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

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

Decimal points are not used on circuit diagrams (they may be confused with fly specks).8 2. However. Some resistors change in value when exposed to light.2 This mean that 1 ohm. it is okay to use a 1/2 watt resistor in a 1/4 watt circuit. Some resistors are designed to change in value when heated. Figure 3-1 Schematic and Symbol of Resistor The simplest resistors are made from carbon rod with end caps and wire leads. Resistors have a wattage rating. The higher this rating the more heat they can dissipate. These are 1. Other types are carbon film which is a thin layer of carbon on a ceramic rod.7 5. 2200 ohm resistors etc are available.3M etc.Basic of Electronics NOTE: There are resistors with more bands and other types for specific applications. Wire wound resistors have their value written on them. For example. To limit the range of resistor values to a manageable number a preferred range only is available. 4 band resistors(the ones discussed here) are the most common and should work for most projects. -9- .9 4. Faulty resistors have gone open circuit or changed in value. 12 ohm.8 8. High stability resistors (marked with a fifth pink band) do not change value easily. 1000.6 6. 3.300. and metal oxide and metal glaze on glass rods.8k as 1K8 etc. 1000 ohms is 1k. it is NOT okay to use a 1/4 watt resistor in a 1/2 watt circuit. Resistors generate heat. 180 ohm. One last important note about resistors is their wattage rating. (color would change with heat).3 3.000 ohms is 1M.0 1.7 3. They never go short circuit. Wire wound resistors are used where the resistor has to dissipate a lot of heat. They are called LIGHT DEPENDANT RESISTORS.2 1. You should not use a 1/4 watt resistor in a circuit that has more than 1/4 watt of power flowing. 3.000 ohms is 3. Most resistors are color coded to indicate their value and tolerance. They are called THERMISTORS and are used in temperature measuring circuits.3M would be written as 3M3 and 1. However.2 2.

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

-11- . 1F is too large for capacitors.000 So 100. meaning that you can connect them in any way. micro = 1/1.000. If it is necessary. However. capacitors with large charges should be discharged via a resistor to limit the discharge current.000pF = 0.000. The value of the resistor as well as the negative side is clearly printed on the capacitor. These capacitors are measured in µF. similar to a car battery. Capacitors are the second most commonly used component in electronics. so microfarads(µF) and picofarads(pF) are used.000 and pico = 1/1. These capacitors are polarized so you must connect the negative side in the right place. The amount of charge that a capacitor can hold is measured in Farads or the letter F. These capacitors are measured in pF. you simply decode the 3 digit number on the surface of the capacitor.0000001F DC current cannot flow through a capacitor since the dielectric forms an open circuit. These capacitors are nonpolarized. The coding is just like the resistor color codes except that they used numbers instead of colors.000.000. paper air capacitors etc. polyester. Capacitors come in all shapes and sizes and are usually marked with their value. • Ceramic capacitors are brown and has a disc shape. Thus we have ceramic. This can be a hazard if they are charged up to high voltages. We will only be discussing two types of the most commonly used capacitors: Ceramic and Electrolytic. They can be thought of as tiny rechargeable batteries -. The first 2 digit are the significant figures and the third digit is the multiplier. mica. Capacitors can be charged up and store electricity. Figure 3-2 Ceramic Capacitor • Electrolytic Capacitors has a cylinder shape.Basic of Electronics Capacitor types are named after the dielectric. To find the value.Capacitors can be charged and discharged.1µF = 0.

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

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

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

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

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

Comparators These IC's compare inputs and gives an output. • • • • • • 3. Operational Amplifiers These are amplifiers. Timers These are counting IC's used for circuits that counts or needs to keep track of time. Other There are thousands of other types. If not. 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- . Switches Switching IC's are also very much like the switching circuits of transistors. Cells may be either PRIMARY or SECONDARY types. connected in series. A lot of IC's are made for a special purpose like digital sound recording. (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.Basic of Electronics There are millions of different integrated circuits. Works very much like transistor amplifier circuits. most contain logic gate circuits. In a cell chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. Audio amplifiers These are used to amplify audio.6. Batteries Batteries are assembled from cells. The general types of integrated circuits include: Figure 3-12 Symbol of IC • Logic circuits These IC's are basically decision makers.

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

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

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

This section gives an overview of the contact configurations. It simply connects and disconnect a circuit. This opposition is called INDUCTIVE REACTANCE. They may be wound on tubular FORMERS or may be self supporting. Inductors oppose the flow of ac current. SPST = Single Pole. Switches really don't need any introduction. There are 3 commonly used configurations: SPST. 10 Mhz.8 Inductor Inductors are coils of wire. Above 100Mhz the core is usually air and the coil is self supporting. Most inductors have a low DC resistance since they are wound from copper wire. -21- . SPDT = Single Pole. Double Throw This is a three terminal switch that connects one terminal to either of the other two. Single Throw This is a two terminal switch that opens and closes a circuit. Reactance increases with frequency and as the value of the inductance increases. The former may contain a metallic core up its centre. above 1 Mhz only a few turns. SPDT.Basic of Electronics 3. Iron cores are used for frequencies below about 100 kHz. Inductor values of INDUCTANCE are measured in HENRIES. and DPDT. Ferrite cores are used for frequencies up to say. Figure 3-16 Diagrams of Inductors 3.9. Switches Discusses the different configurations of switches. At low frequencies the inductor may have hundreds of turns.

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

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

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

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

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

Value Multiplier In Electronics we use some very large and some very small values.000. The cathode of the diode is connected to the most positive end of the coil. The relay can also be situated remotely from the control source.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. For example 1000.001 micro u 0.001 See that 1 microfarad is 1000 nanofarad.o n.000 mega M 1.000.000 giga G 1. To make them easier to deal with we use MULTIPLIERS. -27- .001 nano n 0.000. and 0.000. The REED RELAY has a much faster operation than the relays described above.c and c. Figure 3-20 Relay position The springsets (contacts) can be a mixture of n.000.001 Ohms is the same as 1 picohm PREFIX SYMBOL MULTIPLICATION FACTOR -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------tera T 1.000 kilo K 1.000.13. Practice converting one to another.000.000 Hertz can be labelled 1 Terahertz.000. The actual contact points on the springsets are available for high current and low current operation.000. Various coil operating voltages (ac and dc) are available.000.000.000. There are 1. Relays can generate a very high voltage across the coil when switched off. This can damage other components in the circuit.000 picofarad in 1 nanofarad. 3.001 pico p 0.000.000. To prevent this a diode is connected across the coil.000.000.000 milli m 0.o.000.

Basic of Electronics CIRCUIT SYMBOLS -28- .

Basic of Electronics -29- .

Basic of Electronics Chapter 4 Circuit Concepts • • • • Resistors in Series . Resistors in Parallel . Resistors in Series . we mean connecting one resistor after the other: To find the TOTAL resistance.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series. Capacitors in Series -30- . What happens when resistors are placed side by side -.Discusses series circuits and the result of putting resistors in series. So what is a series circuit? A series circuit means connecting components one after the other. So when we say "Resistors in series".Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in other words. Capacitors in Series .Discusses the result of putting capacitors in parallel 4.3. in a parallel circuit? The result is the total resistance being lower than the lowest resistor.2. you must use this equation: Rt = (R1 * R2) / (R1 + R2) 4.1. Capacitors in Parallel . Resistors in Parallel .Discusses Parallel circuits and the result of putting resistors in parallel. To calculate what the total resistance is. 4.Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series. simply add up the resistance of the resistors in the series circuit.

Discusses the result of putting capacitors in series. and 5pF The total value is 2pF + 3pF + 4pF + 5pF = 14pF -31- . Unlike resistors in series. To find the total capacitance. 3pF. capacitors in series lowers the total capacitance.Basic of Electronics . 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 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. 4pF.

2.1. Breadboards are used for testing and experimenting with electronic circuits. The metal strips are laid out as shown below: Each strip is a connection.Basic of Electronics Chapter 5 Skills in Electronics 5. 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. The blue strips shown in the illustration are usually used for connecting the batteries and the green strips are for the components.Discusses how to solder -32- . Soldering . Using Breadboards . 5.Introduces the 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.

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

Basic of Electronics -34- .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. and the selector switch has been set for DC "V". 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. In both of these examples. If this happens. a short-circuit will be formed. 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. 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".

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

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

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

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". because voltmeters are designed to have close to infinite resistance (so that they don't draw any appreciable current from the circuit under test). they are still no substitute for clear thinking and caution when using a multimeter. the meter itself) from excessive damage. 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. As convenient as features like these are. The result voltage-measuring mode.will be a short-circuit through the meter! To help prevent this. though. When switching a multimeter from current. 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". Like all overcurrent protection devices. 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- . and only secondarily to protect the user from harm. these fuses are primarily designed to protect the equipment (in this case.if the meter is then connected across a source of substantial voltage -.

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

3. 7.0 Ω = zero resistance OL = an open circuit (no current flows) 7. If a meter set to read amperes is connected in parallel. open and zero readings are as follows: 0. Caution: An ammeter must be installed in series with the circuit to measure the current flow in the circuit. -49- . Measuring Amperes An ammeter measures the flow of current through a complete circuit in unit of amperes. is an open circuit.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. To summarize. usually 10M. This means that on their DC voltage ranges they have a very high resistance (usually called input impedance) of 1M or more. Infinity means no connection. An ohmmeter contains a battery. 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. Zero ohms on the scale mean no resistance between test leads. when the leads are connected to a component. current flows through the test leads and the difference in voltage (voltage drop) between the lead is measured as resistance. All digital meters contain a battery to power the display so they use virtually no power from the circuit under test. and they are very unlikely to affect the circuit under test. required for measuring computer circuits. indicating that there is continuity path for the current to flow in a closed circuit. All voltmeters have a large internal resistance so that the current flow through the meter will not effect the circuit being tested.2. Measuring Resistance An ohmmeter measures the resistance in ohms of a component or circuit section when no current is flowing through the circuit.1. just as a water flow meter would measure the amount of water flow. A voltmeter is connected to a circuit in parallel. The ammeter has to be installed in the circuit (in series) so that it can measure all the current flow in that circuit. High-impedance meters. 7. such as across a battery.

Basic of Electronics -50- .

positive end of the diode is connected to one probe and negative end to the other probe (11. and should be replaced. Testing Electronic Components 7. buzzing stops.4. and a symbol for open circuit is displayed (this can be either 0L or 1). and then it is turned around (11. When we connect probes to each other. as shown on 11.Basic of Electronics 7.1b. multimeter should sound a buzz which signals a short circuit. When the multimeter shows low value. value should be very low. diode is ok if it's resistance value is very small in one. It has it's own switch position.2b). and very high in other direction. diode's anode is connected to the positive probe of the meter (red probe).2. diode is faulty. and in the other it should be very high. When we distance the probes. Digital instrument has another method to test the diodes. -51- .4. According to 11. If the value is equal to or near equal.1. In the first case. and display tells 0. Testing diode and Transistor with a multimeter When using an analog instrument to test a diode.2a). either low or high in both directions.

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

When the positive end of an electrolithic capacitor is connected to a positive probe of an analog instrument. it is a certain sign that the coil is either poorly connected or the curls are disconnected at some point. even to kiloohms (in low power transformers). Capacitors DC capacitors should produce an infinite value on the instrument.4. Transformers and coils Grid transofrmers are tested by measuring the resistance of the copper wire on the primary and secondary coil. Secondary resistance is lower and is in range between several ohms to several tens of ohms. Eexceptions are electrolithic and very high value block capacitors. for example. where the principle of inverse relations is still in place. this means that the collector current is 74 times higher than the base current. and a -53- . Many modern day digital multimeters have a tool for direct transistor check.5. There is.Basic of Electronics If you test transistors using a digital instrument. In case transistor works.5. Since the primary coil has more curls than the secondary one. and it's value lays in range between several tens of ohms (in high power transofrmers) to several hundreds of ohms. a special plug where low and medium power transistors fit nicely. it's resistance is higher.8mm will do fine) should be soldered to transistor's pins and then plugged into the instrument. process remains similar to the one with diodes. and the display shows 74. 7. high power means low resistance. All principles remain the same as with transformers. transistor BC140 is tested. As displayed on 11. thin wires (0. 7.3. If. In case when there is a need to test high power transistors. 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. In case an instrument shows an infinite value. Each diode should produce a value between 400mV and 800mV. display shows a value which represents the current amplification coefficient. Coils can be tested in the same way as transformers – through their resistance. Infinite resistance still means disconnected coil.4. and is wound using a thinner wire.4. as displayed on 11.

not much of attention is being paid to the value shown on the actual instrument. Same goes for headphones and dynamic microphones. sound is lower because in that direction diode acts as a high value resistor. any other value means that the component is faulty. speaker is broken. (Even small capacitance components get charged while testing.7. If there is no noise. or a variable resistor. Testing process is shown on 12.4. this behavior should be linear – jumps and twitches in values mean that the component is not working as supposed to. When using an analog instrument on the speakers. and turning the rotor. (“Noisy” pot can be repaired using a special spray. because by only connecting the probes there should be a short noise heard. If that component was to be used in some audio amplifier. With this said. in the opposite direction. and values should do what component's name says – vary. which simplifies the process to comparing the value on the capacitor to the one on the display. and the meter should show those values.Basic of Electronics negative end to a negative probe. Potentiometers To test a potentiometer. 7.4. 7. but their discharge time is very short. speakers would produce loud noise or no sound at all while pot is being turned. Of course. or a pot.4. whole diode acts as a low value resistor. but this is not a good solution since it is weak and short-lived. we fall back to the diode theory of operation: when anode is positive comparing to the cathode (red probe on anode. headphones and microphones When testing speakers. Other Semiconductor Devices To test diodes using this circuit. This is a proof that the capacitor is ok. Needle should point infinity at all times. and should be practiced only if there is no replacement for that potentiometer) 7. black on cathode).) Variable capacitors are tested by connecting an ohm-meter to them. which goes even to 20%. their variable coil has either 4 or 8Ohms in most cases.6 Speakers. On the other hand. or oil or even a graphite pencil.5. so the needle doesn't have the time to move. and the needle's movement is the charge stored in the component being discharged. -54- . it is worth mentionig that the capacitors have considerably wider tolerance than resistors. which means that speaker sound is higher than usual. There are digital instruments that have the ability to measure capacitance. Electret microphones don't produce the noise. 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. process is rather simple – you connect the component to probes of an ohm-meter and turn the shaft. And another source of trouble could be the built-in FET amplifier.4.

4a). We then switch probe connections. if the transistor is ok. In both cases. “music” would have been heard.5. So. probe A is connected to the base. everything is in functional order. -55- . As you can see. everything is in order. and then probe B is connected first to the emitter. If this continues when the component is shadowed using your palm. or diode's anode or one side of the photo resistor. 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. transistor is faulty if speaker remains silent in the first two measurements. which is shown on 12. A goes where B was connected to and vice versa. if there is no music now. One principle that is applicable when testing the photo resistors. FET testing is done in similar fashion as testing the bipolar transistors. We displayed graphically the method of testing photo sensitive components on 12. photo transistors and diodes is NL-NM (or. If both diodes are functional. transistor is functional as well as shown on 12. No Light – No Music).7.Basic of Electronics DC transistor acts in the same fashion as two connected diodes (11. or if it “plays” in one of the second two measurements. Probe A is connected to the collector of the transistor. and then to the collector.6.

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

An exception are electrolithic and block capacitors. where higher values give longer sound time. 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. Length of playing depends on the capacitance of the component.Basic of Electronics Functional capacitor will generate no music. -57- . especially the larger ones.

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