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vonfilm 15th October 2008 08:59 PM

Field Guide to Identifying Components ?
I have recently been given a bunch of old circuitboards filled with all kinds of parts- resistors, capacitors, transistors, IC's, microprocessors,etc. I was thinking they might be useful for tinkering and experiments. I am a newbie and can not identify them by sight. I generally know a cap from a resistor, but that is about as far as it goes.

I was wondering if there is any sort of "field guide" that would help me identify them by the shape and whatever numbers might be printed on them. I assume that once I know what they are, I could test them with my multi-meter to see if they are still good.

Mooly 17th October 2008 04:06 PM

If you are keen you will learn. You need to be able to identify resistors so learn the colour code :) resistors now can have 3, 4, and 5 bands on them, not like the good old days ;) You have to be able to read them as you would words on a page. You pick one up and see red red orange, you dont think about the colours you just see 22K.
Caps these days are numbered so a 0.1 mfd (micro farad) is 104. That is to say 100,000 pf or pico farad. A 10nF (nano) is 103 or 10000pf. Easy isn't it.
Get library books, as for transistors etc Google them.

johnYks 17th October 2008 04:29 PM

Hello Vonfilm

I am also a newbie - this may be of help!
Read the 'Components Explained' section

These are excellent sites for a beginner.

Yours Sincerely

wboyd 17th October 2008 04:47 PM

One of my best friends for finding data on odd components, switches, etc has been google as suggested by mooly.

Normally you can just type in the ID number into google and locate manufacturer, type, uses and the like.

Good luck and have fun....and remember to try and be safe when messing with electronic parts, etc - Capacitors (especially large ones can hold a charge for a long while....and give you a good zap (or possbly kill you) if you are not careful.


vonfilm 17th October 2008 09:59 PM

What is the safe way to remove capacitors from the board and discharge them?

Mooly 18th October 2008 06:57 AM

Unless you are working on high voltage stuff like switch mode PSU's etc it's not a problem.
If you do ever need to discharge a large electroylitic ( say 470 mfd charged to 400 volts ) you should always use a resistor, say 22 k 2 watt to do it. Never short out directly.
It's not a problem, don't worry. If in doubt just measure the voltage across them. If they are on a PCB they will be discharged anyway, exception being PSU's as mentioned.

gmphadte 20th October 2008 04:52 AM

Parts suppliers catalog often contain photos of the components.

Gajanan Phadte

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