We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.

Questions tagged [current]

Flow of electric charge - typically movement of charge carriers, such as electrons. Measured in amperes (A).

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
271
votes
5answers
357k views

Choosing power supply, how to get the voltage and current ratings?

Power supplies are available in a wide range of voltage and current ratings. If I have a device that has specific voltage and current ratings, how do those relate to the power ratings I need to ...
160
votes
12answers
13k views

How does the current know how much to flow, before having seen the resistor?

With the following circuits as examples : and How will the current I know how much to flow? Would any other wave travel first in the circuit and then come back ...
96
votes
9answers
86k views

Why does a resistor need to be on the anode of an LED?

Please be kind, I am an electronics nub. This is in reference to getting an LED to emit photons. From what I read (Getting Started in Electronics - Forrest Mims III and Make: Electronics) electrons ...
84
votes
10answers
147k views

How to get more than 100mA from a USB port

I heard that the current limit for a USB port is 100mA. However, I also heard that some devices can get up to 1.8A from a port. How do you get past the 100mA limit?
64
votes
9answers
360k views

How much voltage/current is “dangerous”?

Related: Safe current/voltage limit for human contact? From what I've heard: 110 V (or 220 V; household voltage pretty much) is dangerous (i.e. can kill you) I think there's consensus on this, ...
45
votes
6answers
6k views

Why aren’t the main conductors in this underground power cable made from copper?

I’ve found a piece of electrical cable left by the electricity company that supplies the area. They did a repair recently underground. I’m curious why the three big triangular conductors aren’t made ...
44
votes
7answers
53k views

What is the usage of Zero Ohm & MiliOhm Resistor?

I am new to PCB design and I noticed that some schematics use 0Ω or 100mΩ resistors. What is their purpose and why do we need to use them in our PCB design? Normally if we wish to probe how much ...
43
votes
2answers
6k views

Why don't electrons take the shorter path in coils?

Below is a copper coil, presumably forming an electromagnet. From my understanding the electrons travel around the coil to produce a magnetic field. But why don't the electrons jump the wires and take ...
38
votes
9answers
10k views

Is current source also a voltage source?

I'm confused between current and voltage sources; I get the text book definition but I am not able to understand real world difference. To me both current and voltage sources seem as the same. I ...
38
votes
1answer
12k views

Sharp corners in PCB traces

Why does a typical PCB always has rounded tracks? What harm can a sharp edged PCB track can cause? Please explain!
37
votes
2answers
15k views

Why do CPUs need so much current?

I know that a simple CPU (like Intel or AMD) can consume 45-140 W and that many CPUs operate at 1.2 V, 1.25 V, etc. So, assuming a CPU operating at 1.25 V and having TDP of 80 W... it uses 64 Amps (a ...
36
votes
13answers
8k views

Why can current only flow in loops? [duplicate]

In the following image: Why can't current flow across the following wire? It's a simple question, but I've kind off always wondered. Thanks!
33
votes
8answers
3k views

Two black boxes display the same impedance at all frequencies. Which has the single resistor?

Two black boxes display the same impedance at all frequencies. The first contains a single 1 Ohm resistor. Each end is connected to a wire, so that two wires protrude from the box. The second box ...
32
votes
3answers
10k views

Whats inside a resistor?

How does a resistor "resist" current/potential? I know it's an elementary question, but I'm sure others are wondering too.
30
votes
8answers
43k views

Current flow in batteries?

I am reading a basic electronics book: "There are no Electrons: Electronics for Earthlings" and I came across a clever passage about the fact that you need a closed circuit in order for current to ...
28
votes
12answers
97k views

Is it really OK to supply more current than what the component is rated for?

In this heavily upvoted answer the answerer states that it is okay to supply a component with more current than what it's rated for. The analogy is that (paraphrasing here) "If Johnny wants to eat two ...
28
votes
6answers
84k views

“Ground” vs. “Earth” vs. common vs. negative terminal

This may just be me not having a degree in electrical engineering or electronics, but the whole notion of "ground" and "earth", when used in electrical circuit diagrams (especially integrated circuits)...
27
votes
7answers
37k views

How to carry high current on PCB

I need to pass high current on some part of my circuit. I used an online PCB track width calculator to see that required track width is about 5mm and minimum clearance is 1mm, which makes it about 7mm ...
27
votes
6answers
16k views

High PCB copper thickness: What are the pitfalls?

We need to carry high currents on a PCB (~30Amps sustained), so we are likely to order our PCBs with high copper thickness. So far we've only used 35 microns (1 oz) in our designs, so 'high thickness' ...
25
votes
7answers
21k views

How do I calculate the power rating for zero-ohm resistors?

Based on my earlier question, since there supposed to be zero voltage (V=IR) drop across a 0 Ω resistor, how do we select the power rating of such a component? For example, let's say I were to ...
24
votes
4answers
36k views

Sizing a trace on a PCB to carry 2.5 amps

I need a trace on my PCB to carry up to 2.5 amps (average) current, with 5-6 amp spikes (it's going to a switch mode power supply.) How wide should the traces be? I've got a trade off between ...
22
votes
14answers
4k views

Finding a faulty chip that draws too much current

Note that this is a theoretical question - there is no schematic I can show. I will show some schematic, but it will be a very simplified version of an actual circuit, only for illustration purposes. ...
22
votes
5answers
27k views

Whats does “hr” mean among “V” and “Ah” in batteries?

I have a battery which indicates 12V25Ah/10hr. What does 10hr mean here? I guess "hr" stands for "hour". But 25Ah already means if battery is fully charged and if I load 12V 25A (=300W) to it, it ...
22
votes
2answers
666 views

Which way does electricity power a circuit?

Working with some circuits this summer, I ran into what everyone eventually does: Current flows from + to - despite the electrons flowing (well, bumping into eachother) from - to +. I understand the ...
20
votes
9answers
24k views

How is the internet able to transmit data so fast?

I'm not sure if I'm in the right place or not, but I figured someone here could maybe provide a good answer. I want to know how electricity is able to flow so fast. For example videos games nowadays, ...
20
votes
7answers
63k views

When people talk about a device “drawing” current, what do they mean? Why do devices under load “draw” more current?

In my (extremely rudimentary) understanding, the amount of current flowing in a circuit is determined by a) its resistance, and b) the voltage of the power source (voltage from beginning to end), ...
20
votes
5answers
10k views

current sourcing, current sinking

I'm a student studying electronics and I'm having trouble understanding the concept behind current sourcing and current sinking. We've covered it in a lab using a 7404 and an LED and all that. Just ...
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
6k views

Why is home voltage value higher during the night?

I have been monitoring the voltage in my own home (Mexico 120V 60Hz). I have been graphing the values every minute and I'm starting to notice that during the morning voltage gets up to 127, and during ...
20
votes
2answers
22k views

Does MOSFET let current flow through source to drain as it allows it from drain to source?

Does a MOSFET allow current flow in reverse direction (i.e.; from source to drain)? I made a Google search, but couldn't find a clear statement about this matter. I have found this similar question, ...
19
votes
4answers
33k views

How much current can Solderless Breadboards handle?

I'm working on a project with a few stepper motors. I want to breadboard them so I know the circuit works well before creating a physical PCB. Each of the three motors is rated 2A, but I'll be ...
19
votes
4answers
40k views

Why is it bad to mix new and old batteries?

I've seen warnings that it's bad to mix new and old batteries -- why? Is it a matter of a battery's age or a battery's voltage/current (remaining)?
18
votes
4answers
46k views

Do electrons actually flow when a voltage is applied?

It's said in books that a circuit is a closed path and thus that electrons come back to the source. If that's the case, what would happen when there were an earth fault in a circuit? How would the ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Does a capacitor connected directly to a battery consume any energy?

In this example simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab After the initial charging of the cap to 3V, current gets blocked, but over time does it consume any energy from the ...
18
votes
5answers
21k views

Parallel MOSFETs

When I went to school we had some basic circuit design and stuff like that. I learned that this was a bad idea: simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab Since the current ...
18
votes
5answers
37k views

Is it OK to put LEDs in parallel? [duplicate]

I wonder if it's a good idea to put LEDs in parallel, as below: I've heard that it might not be because the voltage threshold won't be exactly the same for each LED, so they'll shine all with very ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Why so many pins for the MOSFET's drain?

The FDC855N comes in a 6-pin package, 4 of which are connected to the drain, and only 1 to the source. Why this difference? The source sees the same current as the drain, doesn't it?
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't all motors burn up instantly?

A motor rated for 3S (11.1 V) has an internal resistance of 0.12 ohm. The maximum current is 22 A. 11.1 V / 0.12 ohm = 92.5 A Doesn't this mean ...
18
votes
2answers
35k views

Input impedance of Arduino Uno analog pins?

I'm using the ACS712 hall-effect based current sensing chip on some small robotic arm motors, and reading in the analog voltage with an Arduino Uno. I've had reasonably good results, but only after ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

In theory, is it possible to make a logic gate that uses zero current?

CMOS greatly reduces the current draw of ICs because one of the complementary FETs is always in the non-conducting mode, so there is only a flow of current during the transition between states, which ...
18
votes
1answer
3k views

How much time does it take for a switch to go from on to off?

The equation for the voltage across an inductor is v = L di/dt. When a switch changes the circuit from closed to open, it changes the current very quickly. My question is how would one know exactly ...
18
votes
3answers
20k views

Why is earth used for ground? Literally earth?

I never considered earth to be particularly conductive. It's just dirt, after all. However, I've seen "earth ground" conductive stakes driven into the ground in order for electricity to be grounded, ...
17
votes
7answers
7k views

Why can sticking fingers in an electric outlet kill you?

I just wanted to learn some differences between volts, amps, ohms and so forth and came up with this question. If your skin has 100k ohms resistance and the outlet is 220v wouldn't the current flowing ...
17
votes
9answers
11k views

How can AC current power anything?

I understand the difference between AC and DC. What I don't understand is how does AC power anything when it's reusing the same electrons over and over as they are moving back and forth? A visual ...
17
votes
2answers
31k views

Constant current, constant power and constant impedance loads

Ive been looking for information on constant power, constant current and constant impedance/resistance loads, there's some information about the constant current loads, but very little that really ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does a body submerged in a more conductive fluid still conduct current?

Let's take for example an electric eel applying an electric shock by creating a potential difference across two points in the water. It would seem, however, that the current would find a "shorter ...
16
votes
12answers
33k views

Ways to determine polarity (dc) without a meter

I came across this question about how to figure out the polarity of a cell phone charger without a meter. This made me think of what methods you could use to figure out the polarity other than using a ...
16
votes
3answers
14k views

Lithium Coin Cell CR2032 battery specifications

I am using a CR2032 battery module to operate a BLE 4.1 module. The BLE radio for communication takes around 3.5ma to 5ma of current. But when I look at the datasheet of the battery (https://cdn-shop....
16
votes
3answers
65k views

What is CV & CC in power supplies?

In many power supplies, there's CV & CC indicators. What does they mean?
16
votes
4answers
10k views

Why don't AC transformers burn up

I'm marginally familiar with the way that an AC transformer works. After viewing this question: Why don't all motors burn up instantly? It got me thinking about the same thing with AC ...