Introduction: Custom Capacitor Values
Sometimes schematics call for an uncommon capacitor value. Instead of ordering a new capacitor online, consider creating a custom capacitor by combining multiple capacitors together in parallel.
Capacitance adds in parallel, this means that the total capacitance of a set of capacitors in parallel equals the sum of all the contributing capacitors. The images above show how to wire capacitors in parallel. When two capacitors, C1 and C2 are wired in parallel, their combined capacitance equals C1 + C2. This principle applies to more than two capacitors, three capacitors in parallel, C1 C2 and C3, have a combined capacitance of C1 + C2 + C3.
As an example I wired together a 0.1uF and a 0.01uF capacitor in parallel on a breadboard in fig 1, the total capcitance between the yellow wires is 0.01 + 0.1 = 0.11uF.