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Basic Electronics

To understand basic electronics, you will need to understand the following concepts:

  • circuit - a simple loop through which electricity flows.
  • power source - the source of electricity in the circuit. This can be a battery, a generator, a transformer, or a connection to a power supply or outlet. The unit of measure of power is the "volt."
  • resistor - a device that resists the flow of electricity. The unit of measure of resistance is called the "ohm."
  • capacitor - a device that can store electricity. When a current is applied to it, a capacity will absorb electricity up to its capacity (measured in "farads"); when the current is removed, the capacity will discharge back into the circuit.
  • diode - a device that, within its range, allows electricity to flow only one way.
  • transistor - a device that can control the flow of electricity by varying the electricity applied to its "base" wire.
  • current - the amount of electricity flowing past a particular point in a circuit. The measure of current is the "ampere" or "amp."


The terms "AC" and "DC" refer to "alternating current" and "direct current." That is, in AC, the current alternates directions, while the direction is fixed in DC.

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