Introduction: Reading Schematics and PCB Boards 101: Electronic Circuit Reference Abbreviations and Symbols

In this instructable I will talk about how to read a schematic and how to identify electrical components on a PCB (Printed Circuit Board).

Electrical components are identified two main ways.

  1. Abbreviations
  2. Symbols.

On a schematic you will also see a electrical components symbol next to it will have a identification number next to its abbreviation (ie. You will see the symbol for a resistor. The abbreviation for a resistor "R" followed by a number to identify it on a PCB "R102". Next to the symbol you will also see its value "2.2K". This tells you resistor 102 has a value of 2.2K ohm's. Ohm's because resistance is measured in Ohm's.

On a PCB is a completely different story. Sometimes you will not have any abbreviations, and Most of the time you will not see any symbols. Most of the time you will see a components next to a letter with a number next to it(ie. "R102") the "102" wont mean much unless you have the schematic But know you know its a resistor and you can look up how to read a resistor value. (the colored lines on the resistor will tell you its value.)

Step 1: Abbreviations.

There is a good list Here.

Step 2: Symbols.

There is a good list Here and Here.