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Electronics

Electronic Components and Tools

TermDefinition
Resistor Used to resist the flow of current or to control the voltage in a circuit. Measured in Ohms.
Potentiometer These components can be found in devices such as a light dimmer or volume control for a radio. When you turn the shaft of this device, the resistance changes in the circuit. Also known as a variable resistor.
Photocell Also called a light-dependent resistor - its resistance changes with the intensity of the light. Often found in exterior lights that automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.
Capacitor This stores electricity and then will discharge it back into the circuit when there is a drop in voltage. This is like a rechargeable battery and can be charged and then discharged.
Diode Allows electricity to flow in one direction and blocks it from flowing the opposite way. This acts as a "one-way" street. Its primary role is to route electricity from taking an unwanted path within the circuit.
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Emits light when electricity flows through it. Is like a standard diode in the fact that electrical current only flows in one direction.
555 I.C. Timer A circuit that’s been reduced in size to fit inside a tiny chip. This circuit contains electronic components like resistors and capacitors but on a much smaller scale. Each pin on an IC is unique in terms of its function.
Switch Basic function is to interrupt electric current by turning a circuit on or off.
Breadboard An essential tool for prototyping and building temporary circuits - they contain holes for inserting wire and components - they allow you to create circuits without soldering.
Digital Multimeter A device that’s used to measure electric current (amps), voltage (volts) and resistance (ohms). It’s a great tool for troubleshooting circuits and is capable of measuring both AC and DC voltage.
Battery Holder A plastic case that holds 9V batteries and/or other small batteries. Some are enclosed and may have an on/off switch built in.
Alligator Clips Also called "Test Leads" - great for connecting components together to test a circuit without the need for soldering.
Wire Cutter A tool used for stripping stranded and solid copper wire.
Jumper Wire Used with breadboards to make connections and are usually made of thin, shorter, solid core wire.
Transistor Tiny switch that turn a current on or off when triggered by an electric signal. It can also be used to amplify electronic signals.
Electric Motor An electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy - can be powered by DC or AC.
Created by: poliszuk