Instructables
Picture of Electronics made easy
So I have seen a lot of people asking where is a good place to learn about electronics. I think it is about time that someone made an instructable about it. In this instructable I will cover some of the main electronics components, their uses and what they look like in schematics. I would like to request the members who are good with electronics to help out; if I missed a component, tell me I missed it, if I got some information wrong, tell me, please.

Note: I am by no means an expert, but I consider my knowledge (and the knowledge of the instructables community at large) sufficient enough to educate those who wish to be educated.
 
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Step 1: Resistors

Resistors are simple: they limit the amount of current allowed through a circuit. Resistors are color coded to make it easier, and can have four, five, or six colored bands. Resistors are measured in Ohms.

To find the resistance of the four-band resistor:
look at the resistor, make sure the side that has a silver or gold is to the right (there might not be a band with one of these colors, make sure the side that has no band is to the right).

now you simply read it.
write down the first value
write down the second value
the third number tells you how many 0's to add to the number
the fourth number tells you the tolerance.
black=0
brown=1
red=2
orange=3
yellow=4
green=5
blue=6
Purple=7
gray=8
white=9
Silver=10% tolerance
Gold=5% tolerance

In the picture the resistor is red green red gold, so that would be 2500-5%. This means that it is 2500 Ohm's and has a tolerance of 5%.
techturtle24 years ago
The diagram is wrong. there is a curved line on the negative.
cappaciter.png

Again: It could be right as presented.

that is a european symbol for polarized capacitors. American symbol is like non-polarized with just plus sign to the positive side.
A-Nony-Mus (author)  techturtle24 years ago
Just, to double-check: From my understanding the parallel bars are for the non-polar capacitors (it doesn't matter which way they are inserted) and the diagram you posted is for polarized capacitors (it does matter which way they are inserted). I know, I realize it was a sloppy mistake to not put both.
raghav579 months ago
the symbol of capacitor is wrong it has a curved line below plz check it
Mihsin raghav574 months ago

It's also OK as presented.

Tbus6 months ago

This was an excellent review for my first electronics exam. I am taking a Basic Electronics course from home (http://www.ciebookstore.com/basic-electronics-cour...) and this Instructable covered a lot of what we learned. Thank you!

surya_1431 year ago
Thanks for the basic stuff
yhdesai1 year ago
transformers are also used to convert ac to dc
Wisaam yhdesai1 year ago
A transformer alone cannot be used to convert ac to dc, for that you would need diodes and use them as a rectifier.
R3gou2 years ago
Thank you! This was very helpful for me! Keep up the good work!
David972 years ago
You might want to state how to tell what the pins are on a IC. The pin closest to the dot or notch is 1 and the numbers go counter clockwise.
icpins.gif
David972 years ago
Putting this link on might be usefull. http://hamradio.lakki.iki.fi/new/Datasheets/transistor_pinouts/
David972 years ago
I might be worth adding a section on using the diode tester on a voltmeter.
David972 years ago
I already know how to read resistors but it might be worth adding a resistor chart.
pigeonpants3 years ago
Could a section be added on relays and/or potentiometers?
A-Nony-Mus (author)  pigeonpants3 years ago
Sure, it may take a while thoguh, because I've been doing a lot of work and haven't been getting much sleep. I'll notify you when I've done it.
Yay! Btw, it's pretty super awesome that you, and all the other smarties who've contributed comments, put this instructable together, so thanks for having done all this! ^_^
Purple Guy3 years ago
As someone else has said, The "S" in Laser stands for "Stimulated", not "Simulated". Not particularly important but since its a guide for beginners, best not for them to pick up little errors.
Otherwise, Great guide!
Here you go.
G13599B.jpg
A-Nony-Mus (author)  LiquidLightning3 years ago
Thank You.
No problem. Although you should add that a transformer has two coils and four pins on it, and that voltage and amperage are stepped up or down.

Here's a diagram.
02133.png
mofoya3 years ago
your definition of LASER is incorrect.
it is: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emition of Radiation
vitalzero4 years ago
hey! what about coils?
A-Nony-Mus (author)  vitalzero4 years ago
Could you be more specific? I covered coils briefly in the motors section.
I meant inductors
Very nice tutorial. I learned a little more knowledge.
techturtle24 years ago
What about MOS FETs?
I've been tinkering with "beginner" electronics for a year and haven't touched a MOSFET. I'm familiar with what they are but have never needed one in small projects.
F430gx troseph4 years ago
MOSFET is an acronym for "Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor". MOSFET is the most used transistor, but is not realy relevant to talk about a special type of transistor in a basic guide, is like introducing subwoofers and tweeters with speakers.
It is also a VERY good voltage regulators. (7805, 7812, 7803 ect.) I built a divice that uses a 7805 on a 9v and a female USB to charge my iPhone!
troseph4 years ago
I think this guide could help you get a better understanding of how those kits you're building works. Some good further learning would be Collin Cunningham's electrons videos on youtube.
jman 314 years ago
One thing to note is that the npn and pnp are representative of the "doping" of the materials (i.e. silicon etc.) in a transistor, not the polarity of the legs. There is much more to it than just negative,positive,negative. I realize that this is a very brief overview, but it could lead to some confusion.
adamazing4 years ago
Good instructable, but I think the description of the diode may benefit from a change or two.

Electrons indeed "flow" from the cathode to the anode. But most people think of electricity as a flow of positively charged particles, moving from + to - when looking at a circuit diagram. So suggesting that equivalency between electrons and electricity is misleading.

It might be better to state more explicitly that the stripe indicates the forward direction or, put simply, where the current will "flow" out of.
A-Nony-Mus (author)  adamazing4 years ago
I thought the stripe is where the positive energy is connected
Also note, only electrolytic and tantalum capacitors are polarized (have a + and -) ceramic, mylar, film etc. do not care which way they are inserted. Caps which are polarized are almost always have either the positive or negative marked on them.
Another way to tell which side of the LED is which, if the legs are cut and it is a square LED that has no flattened spot, is to look at the metal encased in the plastic. One side will look like a "flag" and be a lot larger than the other side, this large side is the negative.
Godkranek4 years ago
great instructable, i know very litlle of electronic, and this give you a very easy start, i hope you continue adding stuff
A-Nony-Mus (author)  Godkranek4 years ago
Thank you