A message from our CEO about the future of Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange. Read now.

Questions tagged [components]

Components are the most basic elements in an electronic circuit. Characteristic is that they're in a single package. There are passive and active components, from as simple as a zero -ohm resistor to as complex as a multi-billion transistor IC.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
90
votes
29answers
86k views

What's the best way to store and categorise resistors/capacitors/ICs/etc?

I did a big cleanup of my collection of parts today and I now have a big pile of parts on my desk (the majority of which is resistors). My previous method of finding the resistor value I wanted was to ...
81
votes
4answers
50k views

What kind of components are black blobs on a PCB?

In low-cost mass-produced items I often run into black blobs of what looks like resin applied directly on top of something on the PCB. What are these things exactly? I suspect this is some kind of ...
60
votes
3answers
6k views

Why are there only four passive elements?

I've read that there are four types of passive elements: resistances, capacitors, inductors and memristors. The memristor was predicted 30 years before it was produced. But why couldn't you invent ...
53
votes
4answers
100k views

What kind of glue should I use for PCB-mounted components to avoid vibrations?

I want to protect the PCB-mounted components from vibrations. What kind of glue/substance should I use? What are the most prone to failure components due to vibrations?
49
votes
18answers
41k views

Which electronics components should I always have on hand?

I am thinking about ordering up some parts for every day use. I am thinking about making one big purchase so as to minimize on shipping and other charges. What are some of the components that any ...
47
votes
10answers
14k views

Why hasn't my LED burned out by now?

I have a 15 year old ReplayTV DVR. I got it used, I'm not sure when, but probably about a decade ago. It's turned on almost all the time, and it has a blue power LED on the front. The LED FAQ says ...
44
votes
5answers
41k views

Triac versus Relay

What are the scenarios where Triacs can not replace a relay or vice-versa?
44
votes
2answers
25k views

“Remove After Washing” on Piezo Buzzer

Maybe this is a stupid question, but here goes: I just got a piezo buzzer and on the top there is a sticker that says "Remove After Washing". My question is why would I ever want to wash an ...
43
votes
8answers
5k views

What tools, equipment, and techniques do you use to solder fine-pitch SMT parts?

Possibly many questions have been asked on soldering smd parts, but I haven't found specific answers, Like: Do you use a watchmakers lens or some other type of magnifying glass while soldering these ...
43
votes
7answers
7k views

How do you document your hardware design decisions?

How do you document your hardware decisions in the design phase? How do you avoid having to ask yourself the following questions while reviewing an hardware design that you made in the past: Why did ...
39
votes
9answers
8k views

How to read the text printed on top of every IC?

I find very difficult to read part numbers. I haven't figured out how which kind the ideal amount of light and inclination would help me. I also wonder why chipmakers don't paint the numbers in white ...
38
votes
11answers
4k views

Is there a dual of the transformer?

Capacitors and inductors are duals of each other. A transformer is made of two inductors, and transfers power through mutual inductance, through the magnetic near-field (right?) Also, you can vary ...
37
votes
7answers
4k views

Is there any reasoning behind component names?

All the components I own have strange names, like a transistor called 2N2222 and a motor driver called L293D. When you see these kind of things writen down do you instantly know what it means or do ...
37
votes
1answer
62k views

How do I identify SMD components? (or how do I identify any component)

How do I identify the markings on an SMT component and match it up with a part number so I can be a good designer and actually look at a datasheet (and read the whole thing)? Or identify a part to ...
35
votes
9answers
20k views

Organizing electronic parts? [closed]

I've got one of these cabinets, which I intend to use for storing electronic components: It has 24 drawers (each 175 x 69 x 37mm). Every drawer can be subdivided into up to six compartments by ...
31
votes
3answers
7k views

Please help me identify this odd-looking component

When opening up a car alarm system I found this strange-looking component. I thought that it could be something which is light dependent, but the entire board is enclosed in a black plastic box and ...
25
votes
4answers
31k views

VHDL: Component vs Entity

I am wondering what is the difference between component an entity. I would like to know in which cases is better to use components instead of entities. Thank you so much.
25
votes
4answers
976 views

Long-Life Electronics

i was wondering for a project of mine if i can order components that are made for a long time of usage. would Mil-spec components fit under this category? What i basically want are parts that are good ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Do manufacturers lie about the specifications of their components? [closed]

These days misleading commercial practices are not uncommon despite the presence of laws and regulations designed to protect consumers. It should not be impossible for electronic component ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Resistor Mounted On Top of IC?

Recently, I've been working to repair a broken 1980 "Arp Solus" synthesizer that I acquired from a friend. I have, however, found myself confronted by an unfamiliar arrangement: some kind of resistor ...
23
votes
5answers
179k views

Differentiation between passive and active components

While I (most of the time) know from experience what components are generally considered active or passive, I have yet to come across a satisfying definition. Why do we divide electrical components ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Do components have an un-used lifespan?

Lets say for example, that I had a box full of transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, leds, this and that, and left it in a cool, average environment for lets say... 50 years. Do these ...
23
votes
3answers
28k views

Standard nomenclature for component types

What prefixes should be used on reference designators for components of various types? I think we can all agree that "R##" refers to a resistor, "C##" refers to a capacitor, and "L##" refers to an ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Do ‘wiperless’ potentiometers exist?

Potentiometers are renowned for wearing out (at least in my experience); the little wiper eventually just wears its contact and nolonger has a firm electrical connection. For an audio device, this can ...
22
votes
8answers
10k views

How do components fail?

How do components fail? General rules with an answer per component type would be valuable. We can work as a community to build up a single question that holds valuable information about how ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the dual of a diode?

A diode has an exponential I-V curve. To a first approximation, it will pass whatever amount of current is required to keep the voltage across it constant. Is there a passive component that will (...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

What makes a LED a laser diode?

High-level survey of this question is fine: After reading https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_diode I still can't tell if the electronics that enable a diode to lase are different from those that ...
18
votes
9answers
8k views

Is there something such as an infinite potentiometer?

I am trying to find a component, that, similar to a potentiometer, delivers an analog output, but which can be turned indefinitely in a single direction. I have tried searching for something like this,...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are MAX-, AD-, LT- parts (among others) so expensive?

I'm curious why some IC manufacturers like Maxim, Analog Devices, and Linear Tech's parts are so expensive? I know they are much higher quality (better electrical characteristics, etc), but for some ...
18
votes
3answers
43k views

How do filament LED bulbs work, looking very similar to incandescent bulbs?

Filament LED bulbs use very narrow strips containing the LED, which look similar to filaments of an old incandescent bulb: They look like a normal bulb with large "old-style" coal filaments, and are ...
18
votes
5answers
4k views

What is this resistor for in this circuit?

I am studying electronics and I am currently reading/working my way through "Make: Electronics" by Charles Platt. Here is one of the circuit diagrams that he gives for making a basic burglar alarm: ...
18
votes
5answers
1k views

Is anyone producing discrete memristors?

Is anyone producing these that I as a hobbyist can play with in my circuits? If not, where can I go to find out how to make and measure the performance of one? Edit: I came upon this link featured ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Which glass encapsulated component is this?

I'm trying to reverse engineer this Chinese power supply and I came across this component: Here it is on the circuit board: And here's a close-up: It has a glass packaging, similar to a diode but ...
17
votes
1answer
11k views

Why shouldn't electrolytic capacitors be short-circuited?

In the answer to another question, I read that it's bad to short-circuit electrolytic capacitors. Why is that? What happens if I do?
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Mathematical models for vacuum tubes?

Are there any commonly accepted algebraic models for vacuum tube operation (triode, tetrode, and pentode)? In the same way that BJTs have a Gummel-Poon or Ebers-Moll model, and (macroscale) MOSFETs ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

What process do you use to ensure your PCB works on the first try? [closed]

What are the best practices for catching stupid mistakes vs more subtle ones? Do you run over a checklist of things for each design? If so, what kinds of things are on it? I'm interested in ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is there copper on the side of this package?

I'm searching around digi-key when I noticed one of the MEMS oscillators has these copper pieces on the edge of the package: I'm not talking about the pads, I'm just talking about those little copper ...
16
votes
6answers
9k views

How to find Junk yards [closed]

I want to find junk yards to get components, transformers etc. When I search google, all I see is "we buy junk" How can I find where the junk is like broken microwaves, tv's etc? I live near Denver,...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Can anybody identify this component (SPRAGUE 663044-4) on this vintage electronic?

I am repairing a vintage Seeburg/Gulbransen 'Select-a-Rhythm' drum machine from 1967, the kind you would sit on top of your organ and play along with. I am trying to distinguish what this component ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Can you identify this component?

This may be obvious to some, but not to me. I am an IC design engineer, as such I rarely do any practical work. This morning I had to fix some electronics which were custom made by a third party for ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What is this silver component?

Anyone know what this silver component is? Tried to google it, but no luck. Thanks
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a gap in an LED between the plates (post & anvil) or a wire (or are there different kinds of each)?

I previously believed there was a gap between the plates inside an LED (between the post and the anvil). However, I recently saw the following drawing on wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
15
votes
6answers
480 views

Keeping those IR LEDs

For all the other stupid things I often do, I've found ways to boobytrap myself. For example keeping my wallet on the floor where the door opens - I can't help but stumble on it when I leave the ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this component from an old thermostat?

I recently cannibalized an old thermostat for parts, and found a strange looking component with no markings at all. Here's a picture (since I can't figure out how to describe it): My first guess was ...
15
votes
2answers
14k views

Can I burn components / short circuit by using a multimeter

It's probably not new to you, but sometimes we want to analyze a powered circuit with a multimeter. I love to do that, but I'm a little worried that I might burn some components or the whole circuit. ...
15
votes
1answer
6k views

What does the e3 or e4 printed on an IC mean?

So after staring at a few ICs today, I was wondering what the "e3" or "e4" stands for on the top of an IC. For example, here is an e3:
15
votes
5answers
24k views

How to retrieve part information from Digi-Key automatically

How to automatically retrieve, given a Digi-Key part number, information such as Manufacturer, Manufacturer Part Number, Description, etc. Perhaps parsing the GET http respose to: http://search....
15
votes
2answers
1k views

Does anybody know what this electronic component is?

I have an electronic component which has no letter or number on it. It has 2 legs and when you shake it there is something moving inside up and down. I am searching for it for hour still have no clue. ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do Solid State Relays cost so much?

Solid State Relay (SSR) Crydom CN240A24: Eur 10.72 Same function with basic components Optocoupler MOC3043 (zero-crossing detect, triac out): Eur 0.726 Triac BTA06-600CWRG (snubberless): ...
15
votes
2answers
348 views

Taking a device to market [closed]

I have somehow managed to make a little gizmo that primarily consists of an MCU, some sensors, and wireless connectivity. I have gone through the process of making the initial prototype, then designed ...