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Out of curiosity, can I replace the electrolytic capacitors in the circuit with non-polar ceramic capacitors? Will I get the shifting in level?

MAX232 datasheet: LINK

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE. Please add more details to your question, including schematics, to allow others to understand what you are asking. \$\endgroup\$ – awjlogan Jan 8 '18 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a side note, consider using MAX202 or equivalent, which is the very same thing but with 100nF caps instead of 1uF. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jan 8 '18 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lundin true, but MAX232 is so effing ubiquitous, that sometimes it's simply not time/cost effective to hunt for replacements for it. \$\endgroup\$ – vaxquis Jan 8 '18 at 19:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vaxquis Yeah well perhaps this was more of an issue some 10 years ago when 1uF wasn't available in 0805 ceramic and you'd have to use tantalum caps instead. However, most second source to MAX232 work with 100nF, just not the original part from Maxim. \$\endgroup\$ – Lundin Jan 9 '18 at 7:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ To the OP: Has your question been answered? \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Jan 9 '18 at 8:38
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In short, the answer is yes.

If you look through the DATASHEET, you can see that it is fine to use ceramic capacitors. If you go to page 10, and look at the 'Typical Applications', you will find some notes at the bottom.

enter image description here

In case that wasn't clear enough, it is also stated in 10.2.2, that ceramic capacitors can be used. In fact, you will probably find that the majority of ICs these days can use ceramic capacitors.

This is why it is important to read datasheets thoroughly. The information should all be in there if it is read.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there even any case where electrolytic caps can’t be replaced with ceramic caps of the same capacity? \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Jan 8 '18 at 17:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Michael That is a question that would need a very long answer! Luckily, something similar was already asked here: electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/232631/… \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Jan 9 '18 at 8:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have a read through that and hopefully that should give you some answers :) \$\endgroup\$ – MCG Jan 9 '18 at 8:14

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