Electrical Components Guide

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Here are some of the things you might see in the equipment you take apart.

capacitor Capacitors are nonconductors that are used to store electrical power. They are used in circuits that are tuned to a particular frequency.
diode Diodes are semiconducting crystals that allow electrical current to flow only in one direction. One use for them is to convert AC (alternating current) into DC (direct current).
integrated circuit Integrated Circuits are electrical circuits so tiny thatmetallic etching on silicon wafers replaces traditional wiring. Each IC is made for a specific task and many are used in combination.
LED LED's, or light-emitting diodes, produce light from electrical current, giving the kind of electronic display found on older calculators and digital watches. Since they use so much power, they have largely been replaced with liquid crystal displays in newer equipment.
resistor Resistors conduct poorly, so they are used to control the amount of electrical current, thus protecting circuits from too much.
transistor Transistors are used to amplify and control electrical current. By replacing large vacuum-tube diodes, they allowed the miniaturization of electronic equipment.
transformer Transformers are used to convert the high voltage and current from a wall outlet into the smaller voltage and current that electronic equipment uses.


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