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Max. allowed deviation of the absolute resistor value from the nominal resistor value in percent from the nominal resistor value.


Max. allowed change of the absolute resistor value depending from time and stress. Normally it is mentioned in percent from the absolute resistor

Nominal Power Dissipation:


Max. permanent allowed power dissipation without exceeding the limiting temperature of the resistance.

4-band code

The 4-band code is used for marking low precision resistors with 5%, 10% and 20% tolerances. The first two bands represent the most significant digits of the resistance value. Colors are assigned to all the numbers between 0 and 9, and the color bands basically translate the numbers into a visible code. The third band indicates the multiplier o telling you the power of ten to which the two significant digits must be multiplied The tolerance band (the deviation from the specified value) is next, o usually spaced away from the others, or it's a little bit wider.

Color Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White Gold Silver None

1st digit 2nd digit 3rd digit* Multiplier Tolerance 0 0 0 100 1 1 1 101 1% (F) 2 2 2 102 2% (G) 3 3 3 3 10 4 4 4 104 5 5 5 105 0.5% (D) 6 6 6 6 10 0.25%(C) 7 7 7 7 10 0.1% (B) 8 8 8 8 10 0.05% (A) 9 9 9 9 10 0.1 5% (J) 0.01 10% (K) 20% (M)

Temp. Coef. Fail Rate 100 ppm/K 50 ppm/K 15 ppm/K 25 ppm/K 1% 0.1% 0.01% 0.001%

The 5-band code


The 5 band code is used for marking high quality, precision resistors with 2%, 1% or lower tolerances. The rules are similar to the previous system; the only difference is the number of digit bands. first 3 bands will represent the value 4th band will be the multiplier 5th stripe will give us the tolerance.

Optional band

A few resistors have an additional band - reliability or the temperature coefficient. The reliability band specifies the failure rate per 1000 hours The temperature coefficient is more commonly marked, especially on quality 5-band resistors.

10% Tolerance
Resistors values in 's 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, 1.8, 2.2, 2.7, 3.3, 3.9, 4.7, 5.6, 6.8, 8.2

Variable resistors


Variable resistors consist of a resistance track with connections at both ends a wiper moves along the track as you turn the spindle. The track may be made from carbon, (ceramic and metal mixture) or a coil of wire (for low resistances). The track is usually rotary but straight track versions, usually called sliders, are also available.

Variable resistors may be used as a rheostat with two connections (the wiper and just one end of the track) or as a potentiometer with all three connections in use. Miniature versions called presets are made for setting up circuits which will not require further adjustment.


This is the simplest way of using a variable resistor. Two terminals are used: one connected to an end of the track, the other to the moveable wiper. Turning the spindle changes the resistance between the two terminals from zero up to the maximum resistance. Rheostats are often used to vary current.


Variable resistors used as potentiometers have all three terminals connected.

Rheostat Symbol

Potentiometer Symbol

This arrangement is normally used to vary voltage


These are miniature versions of the standard variable resistor. They are designed to be mounted directly onto the circuit board and adjusted only when the circuit is built.

Preset Symbol

DC circuits Current

Electrical current is a measure of the amount of electrical charge transferred per unit time.


is equal to the work which would have to be done, per unit charge, against a static electric field to move the charge between two points

Ohm's law

states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the potential difference across the two points.

Resistor networks Series resistors Parallel resistors

Two metal plates separated by a nonconductive material (dielectric). Capacitors can store and release voltage.

When capacitor is connected to DC voltage, a positive charge is "pulled" to one plate and "pushed" from the other.

Capacitors hold charge when disconnected from power supply. Dielectric keeps charge from jumping from one plate to another. Lightening is a giant capacitive charge discharging.

The Farad
Amount of charge a capacitor can hold is measured in Farads. 1 Farad is equal to 1 amp of current at 1 volt for 1 second. 1 Farad is a lot of charge.

Capacitors we work with are typically measured in Micro Farads (F ) and Pico Farads (pF).

Capacitors - Displacement current

Changing magnetic field across plates induces a current across terminals of capacitor. Nice diagram here. Capacitors can pass decreasing amounts of DC while charging. Once charged they block DC

Capacitors - RC Time

Capacitors take time to charge and discharge, according to the amount of current. We can control the charge/discharge time of capacitors using resistors. Charge time (to 63.2% of supply voltage) and discharge time (to 36.8% of supply voltage) is nicely equal to R*C. Time is in seconds. RC Time allows us to control the rate that things happen in circuits, which turns out to be very useful.

Capacitor Types

Capacitors can be used to control timing, filtering, and smoothing out power supplies.

Three major types of capacitors are ceramic, electrolytic, and tantalum Ceramic

These capacitors are small in size and value, ranging from a few Pico Farads to 1 F. Not polarized, so either end can go to ground. Value is given by a code somewhat like that of resistors.

Electrolytic These capacitors look like small cylinders and range in value from 1 F to several Farads. Very inaccurate and change in value as the electrolytic ages. Polarized, cathode must go to ground. Cathode is marked with a minus sign on case. Value is usually written on case.

Tantalum these capacitors are similar in size to ceramic but can hold more charge, up to several hundred F. Accurate and stable, but relatively expensive. Usually Polarized, anode is marked with a plus sign. Modern tantalum bead capacitors are printed with their capacitance, voltage and polarity in full. \ older ones use a colour-code system which has two stripes (for the two digits) and a spot of colour for the number of zeros to give the value in F

Variable capacitors Variable capacitors are mostly used in radio tuning circuits they are sometimes called 'tuning capacitors'. \ They have very small capacitance values, typically between 100pF and 500pF (100pF = 0.0001F). The type illustrated usually has trimmers built in (for making small adjustments see below) as well as the main variable capacitor.

Variable Capacitor Symbol

Trimmer capacitors Trimmer capacitors (trimmers) are miniature variable capacitors. They are designed to be mounted

directly onto the circuit board adjusted only when the circuit is built. A small screwdriver or similar tool is required to adjust trimmers

Trimmer Capacitor Symbol

Capacitor Number Code A number code is often used on small capacitors where printing is difficult: the 1st number is the 1st digit, the 2nd number is the 2nd digit, the 3rd number is the number of zeros to give the capacitance in pF. Ignore any letters - they just indicate tolerance and voltage rating.

For example: 102 means 1000pF = 1nF (not 102pF!)

Capacitor Colour Code A colour code was used on polyester capacitors for many years. It is now obsolete, but of course there are many still around. The colours should be read like the resistor code, the top three colour bands giving the value in pF. Ignore the 4th band (tolerance) and 5th band (voltage rating)

Colour Code Colour Number Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Grey White 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

For example: brown, black, orange means 10000pF = 10nF = 0.01F.

Alternating Current

AC Voltage alternates sinusoidally with time. AC Voltages are specified with a value equal to the DC voltage capable of doing the same amount of work.

This value is 1/2 times the peak voltage and is called the root means square or rms voltage. 1/2 = 0.707

Magnetic field exists when electric current is flowing. Magnetic field is perpendicular to current flow. Magnetic field strength is proportional to current. Moving a conductor through a magnetic field generates current flow. Right hand rule - when hitch-hiking with right hand, thumb points in direction of current, and fingers represent direction of magnetic field line. No hitch-hiking allowed on the freeway.

The main function of an inductor is to store small amount of electrical energy in a magnetic field surrounding the windings By coiling wire we can increase strength of magnetic field created by current. This is called an inductor. A large inductor functions as an electromagnet. Strength of the magnetic field depends on number of coil turns, coil size, coil spacing, winding arrangement, core material, and shape of inductor. Inductors resist changes in current flow, because of the induced charge of the expanding or contracting magnetic field. Inductors like to pass DC and don't like passing AC. Induction is measured in Henrys.

Uses of inductors Fluorescent Lighting The inductance primarily serves to limit current flow to the correct level for the tube. It also can be used during startup to provide an inductive 'kick' forming a higher-voltage pulse to start the lamp.

Power supplies Inductors and capacitors can also be configured as low pass LC filters for ripple voltage reduction on the output, and ripple current reduction on the input, and for averaging the switching output voltage.

Mains Transformer Two (or more) inductors which have coupled magnetic flux form a transformer A transformer is a fundamental component of every electric utility power grid


A transformer is a device that changes an electrical voltage or current from one level to another. Four terminal device which turns ac input voltage into a higher or lower output voltage. Transformers consist of two coils called primary and secondary sharing a common iron core. Ratio of turns between primary and secondary coil determines step up/step down value

The components of a transformer

The CORE, which provides a path for the magnetic lines of flux. The PRIMARY WINDING, which receives energy from the ac source. The SECONDARY WINDING, which receives energy from the primary winding and delivers it to the load. The ENCLOSURE, which protects the above components from dirt, moisture, and mechanical damage.

Basic operation of a transformer In its most basic form a transformer consists of:

A primary coil or winding. A secondary coil or winding. A core that supports the coils or windings.

Step Down Transformers

If there are fewer turns in the secondary winding than in the primary winding, the secondary voltage will be lower than the primary.

Step Up Transformers If there are fewer turns in the primary winding than in the secondary winding, the secondary voltage will be higher than the secondary circuit.

Qualities of an Ideal transformer the transformer windings are resistance less. it has infinite primary and secondary inductance . Perfect coupling between primary and secondary winding the leakage flux is negligible . the core loss is also negligible . Zero capacitance between turns

Semiconductor materials

Silicon and germanium are semiconductor materials used in the manufacture of diodes, transistors, and integrated circuits. Semiconductor material is refined to an extreme level of purity and then minute, controlled amounts of a specific impurity are added (a process called doping).

Extrinsic materials

The characteristics of semiconductor materials can be altered significantly by the addition of certain impurity atoms into the relatively pure semiconductor material. These impurities, although only added to perhaps 1 part in 10 million. can alter the band structure sufficiently to totally change the electrical properties of the material.

A semiconductor material that has been subjected to the doping process is called an extrinsic material.

Based on which impurity is added to a region of a semiconductor crystal, that region is saidto be N type or P type. There are two extrinsic materials of immeasurable importance to semiconductor device fabrication: ntype and p-type.

n-Type Material

n- type materials are formed by adding a predetermined number of impurity atoms into a germanium or silicon base. The n-type is created by introducing those impurity elements that have five valence electrons (pentavalent), such as antimony, arsenic, and phosphorus.

p-Type Material

The p-type material is formed by doping a pure germanium or silicon crystal with impurity atoms having three valence electrons. The elements most frequently used for this purpose are boron, gallium, and indium.

In addition to electrons (which are negative charge carriers used to conduct charge in a conventional conductor), semiconductors contain positive charge carriers called holes. The impurities added to an N type region increases the number of electrons capable of conducting charge, while the impurities added to a P type region increase the number of holes that are capable of conducting charge.

Diodes PN junction

When a semiconductor chip contains an N doped region adjacent to a P doped region, a diode junction (often called a PN junction) is formed. Diode junctions can also be made with either silicon or germanium. However, silicon and germanium are never mixed when making PN junctions. Diodes allow electricity to flow in only one direction. The arrow of the circuit symbol shows the direction in which the current can flow. In a diode, the P material is called the anode. The N material is called the cathode.

The circuit symbol for a diode is shown below. The arrowhead points in the direction of current flow. While the anode and cathode are indicated here, they are not usually indicated in circuit diagrams.

Diode types

large, slower acting diodes are termed rectifier diodes small, fast acting diodes are termed signal diodes.

Diode polarity markings

Ziner Diodes

pn junction diodes will conduct in the reverse direction when a critical voltage level is reached determined by the level of doping of the p and n regions. Diodes designed to operate in this manner are termed Zener or voltage reference diodes.