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What Is Basic Electronics? | Sciencing
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Email Address. Enter the code as shown below:. Send message Please wait Copy Event URL. Events are social. Allow Facebook friends to see your upcoming events? Yes Recommended Yes Recommended. Now its time to talk about the different components that make your electronic projects come to life. Below is a quick breakdown of the most common components and functions they perform. Switches can come in many forms such as pushbutton, rocker, momentary and others. Their basic function is to interrupt electric current by turning a circuit on or off.
Resistors are used to resist the flow of current or to control the voltage in a circuit. The amount of resistance that a resistor offers is measured in Ohms. A variable resistor is also known as a potentiometer. These components can be found in devices such as a light dimmer or volume control for a radio.
When you turn the shaft of a potentiometer the resistance changes in the circuit. These are often found in exterior lights that automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn. Capacitors store electricity and then discharges it back into the circuit when there is a drop in voltage.
A capacitor is like a rechargeable battery and can be charged and then discharged. A diode allows electricity to flow in one direction and blocks it from flowing the opposite way.
Step 2: Circuits
A light-emitting diode is like a standard diode in the fact that electrical current only flows in one direction. The main difference is an LED will emit light when electricity flows through it. Inside an LED there is an anode and cathode. The longer leg of the LED is the positive anode side. Transistor are tiny switches that turn a current on or off when triggered by an electric signal. In addition to being a switch, it can also be used to amplify electronic signals. A transistor is similar to a relay except with no moving parts.
A relay is an electrically operated switch that opens or closes when power is applied. Inside a relay is an electromagnet which controls a mechanical switch. This circuit contains electronic components like resistors and capacitors but on a much smaller scale. Integrated circuits come in different variations such as timers, voltage regulators, microcontrollers and many more.
Before you design an electronic project, you need to know what a circuit is and how to create one properly. An electronic circuit is a circular path of conductors by which electric current can flow. A closed circuit is like a circle because it starts and ends at the same point forming a complete loop. In contrast, if there is any break in the flow of electricity, this is known as an open circuit.
All circuits need to have three basic elements. These elements are a voltage source, conductive path and a load. The voltage source, such as a battery, is needed in order to cause the current to flow through the circuit. In addition, there needs to be a conductive path that provides a route for the electricity to flow.
Finally, a proper circuit needs a load that consumes the power. The load in the above circuit is the light bulb.
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When working with circuits, you will often find something called a schematic diagram. These symbols are graphic representations of the actual electronic components. Below is an example of a schematic that depicts an LED circuit that is controlled by a switch.
It contains symbols for an LED, resistor, battery and a switch. By following a schematic diagram, you are able to know which components to use and where to put them. These schematics are extremely helpful for beginners when first learning circuits. There are many types of electronic symbols and they vary slightly between countries.
Below are a few of the most commonly used electronic symbols in the US. To find the resistor value, you need to know the voltage and the amps for your LED and battery. Next, you need to find out what voltage your battery is. In this example, we will be using a 9V battery. This will give you a voltage of 7 which needs to be divided by. This project is a great starter project for beginners. We will be using test leads to create a temporary circuit without having to solder it together. You can however connect an LED to a 3V or smaller battery without a resistor.
Another way to create and test a circuit is to build it on a breadboard.