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I am making a homemade capacitor for a project. I got the plans from this link. I am making the 60μF simple electrolytic capacitor. I have made it, but:

  1. How would I charge the capacitor with a power source? Also, I have a 5V power source, so...

  2. Will this 60μF capacitor hold this charge?

  3. Could I disconnect the capacitor from the power source after it's charged, and will it still hold it's charge for a short amount of time?

  4. How long do I wait for the 5V power source to charge the capacitor?

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  1. Connect the power source with the correct polarity.
  2. If the capacitor works, and the dielectric insulation is greater than 5V, then yes.
  3. Yes, capacitors retain charge after disconnection, and slowly self-discharge over time depending on internal leakage.
  4. It depends on the ESR of the capacitor. I would guess a second would be quite sufficient, unless the ESR is very, very high.

If you really want to know, use a volt meter to measure these things yourself. Given that the behavior depends on the specifics of what you've actually built, it will give you much better data than what a web forum can guess at.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, the capacitor in the link will hold 5 volts? Also, I have a multimeter, but how do I find the capacitance of the capacitor and how do I convert it to voltage? \$\endgroup\$ – Justin Chang Oct 27 '13 at 20:57
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This might be a nice demonstration, but you do realize that such a capacitor can be bought for ~$0.05? Maybe you should get one, and first try the experiment with a known-working capacitor! That said,

1. How would I charge the capacitor with a power source?

Connect it. Both the source and the capacitor have two wires, so there is no opportunity for errors.

2. Will this 60μF capacitor hold this charge?

If it works it will.

3. Could I disconnect the capacitor from the power source after it's charged, and will it still hold it's charge for a short amount of time?

Again, if it really works as a capacitor it will.

4. How long do I wait for the 5V power source to charge the capacitor?

One second will be enough. But note that before that capacitor can be used it must be 'formed'. That might take longer. I have never done this. The webpage suggests less than a minute.

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