8 Steps
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).

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%.
yhdesai says: Mar 6, 2013. 2:27 AM
transformers are also used to convert ac to dc
Wisaam in reply to yhdesaiMar 12, 2013. 10:23 AM
A transformer alone cannot be used to convert ac to dc, for that you would need diodes and use them as a rectifier.
R3gou says: Jul 26, 2012. 8:37 AM
Thank you! This was very helpful for me! Keep up the good work!
techturtle2 says: Jul 16, 2010. 3:58 PM
The diagram is wrong. there is a curved line on the negative.
cc67 in reply to techturtle2Mar 21, 2012. 11:56 PM
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) in reply to techturtle2Aug 12, 2010. 12:51 PM
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.
David97 says: Sep 12, 2011. 9:40 PM
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.
David97 says: Sep 12, 2011. 9:31 PM
David97 says: Sep 12, 2011. 9:28 PM
I might be worth adding a section on using the diode tester on a voltmeter.
David97 says: Sep 12, 2011. 9:26 PM
pigeonpants says: Feb 12, 2011. 7:00 PM
Could a section be added on relays and/or potentiometers?
A-Nony-Mus (author) in reply to pigeonpantsFeb 12, 2011. 8:03 PM
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.
pigeonpants in reply to A-Nony-MusFeb 13, 2011. 8:24 AM
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 Guy says: Jan 28, 2011. 1:43 PM
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!
LiquidLightning says: Jan 13, 2011. 11:50 PM
Here you go.
A-Nony-Mus (author) in reply to LiquidLightningJan 14, 2011. 2:16 AM
Thank You.
LiquidLightning in reply to A-Nony-MusJan 14, 2011. 3:39 AM
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.
mofoya says: Nov 23, 2010. 10:20 AM
your definition of LASER is incorrect.
it is: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emition of Radiation
vitalzero says: Aug 27, 2010. 2:08 PM
A-Nony-Mus (author) in reply to vitalzeroAug 29, 2010. 4:10 AM
Could you be more specific? I covered coils briefly in the motors section.
vitalzero in reply to A-Nony-MusAug 30, 2010. 5:50 AM
I meant inductors
devinmccloud says: Aug 22, 2010. 2:29 PM
Very nice tutorial. I learned a little more knowledge.
techturtle2 says: Jul 16, 2010. 3:53 PM
troseph in reply to techturtle2Jul 21, 2010. 9:34 AM
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 in reply to trosephJul 21, 2010. 2:10 PM
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.
techturtle2 in reply to F430gxJul 21, 2010. 6:49 PM
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!
troseph says: Jul 21, 2010. 9:37 AM
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 31 says: Jul 16, 2010. 9:27 AM
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.
adamazing says: Jul 15, 2010. 3:35 PM
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.