Electronic components list and links

This page (newly created and soon to be updated) will be a long list of components used in electronic circuits.

For purposes of this page, a component is considered being anything that is used as part of an electronic circuit.

Simple circuit powering an incandescent light bulb diretly from a battery illustrative diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom
Simple circuit powering an incandescent light bulb diretly from a battery illustrative diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom

General circuit parts:

  • Power Source.
    1. Bench power supply.
    2. Battery(ies).
    3. Alternatives (lots of options)
  • Load.
  • Connectors.

Basic passive components

Passive components generally respond in a straightforward way to the voltage across them and the current through them.



There’s a lot of electronic component kits that provide a large sample of basic components. The search tool shown above is an affiliate link ad that supports this site.

Resistor component schematic symbol and common appearance image
Resistor component schematic symbol and common appearance image
  • Resistor – Current through resistor is determined by the voltage across it. Resistor component
      • Rated value:
        1. Resistance
        2. Tolerance
        3. Wattage
      • Current.
    • Light Dependent Resistor (LDR).
    • Thermistor.
    • Potentiometer/trimmer potentiometer/trimpot.
      1. Voltage divider.
      2. Variable resistor.
Diode LED schematic symbols and forward reverse biased polarity basics illustrated by electronzap
Diode LED schematic symbols and forward reverse biased polarity basics illustrated by electronzap
  • Diode and LED – Current flows easily while forward biased (FB) and blocks current while reverse biased (RB). LED lights up during FB conduction.  Diode and LED components
  • Capacitor – Stores energy a bit like a rechargeable battery. Voltage level and stored charge is directly related to the current put into it, or taken out of it, and it’s capacitance.
    1. RC time constant.
    2. Smoothing.
    3. Voltage ramp.
    4. Coupling.
    5. Ultra/Super capacitors. Capacitors large enough to store a lot of short term power.
  • Inductor – Slows down the rate of change of current.
    1. Inductance/ Henry unit.
    2. Inductive kickback.
    3. Flyback diode/Snubber/Clamp/Suppressor.

Basic active components:

Active components generally have a signal that determines how well they pass power (voltage/current) to other components.

Transistors:

How to read schematic diagrams 04 basic bipolar junction transistor symbol
How to read schematic diagrams 04 basic bipolar junction transistor symbol

Transistors for prototyping hobbyists, mostly come in TO-92 packages. That is where they have a flat front, and a mostly rounded back, with three pins coming out of the bottom.

The pin layout varies for different part numbers. So, always consult a datasheet to verify the pin layout of the part number that you are using.

  • Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) Bipolar Junction Transistor (BJT)
      1. NPN BJT
        • 2N3904
        • 2N2222
      2. PNP BJT
        • 2N3906
    • BJT circuits:
      1. Switch.
      2. Amplifier. Provides more output power (voltage and/or current) than the signal it is looking at.
      3. Current source.
      4. voltage/Emitter follower.
      5. Push/Pull.
  • Field Effect Transistors (FETs)
    • MOSFET
      1. N Channel Enhancement Mode.
      2. P Channel Enhancement Mode.
      3. Other types (not as common)
    • JFET
      1. Current source.

Integrated circuits:

There are a lot of integrated circuits out there. The ones that I list below will just be a small sampling of commonly known ICs. You need to look up the datasheet of the component that you want to use in order to verify that it has the electrical properties you want and can handle the power (voltage and current) that you need.

555 timer integrated circuit IC pin layout
555 timer integrated circuit IC pin layout

Integrated circuits for prototyping hobbyists mostly come in Dual Inline Packages (DIPs). That indicates how it looks. A block of plastic with legs (pins) that stick out.

They DIP integrated circuit (IC) has pins down both sides, which are spaced to easily fit into prototype breadboards.

The IC top usually has one or 2 indents. The pins are numbered counter clock wised. Name and purpose of the pins depends on the component’s part number.

  • 555 timer:
    1. NE555 SE555 and µA555.
    2. LM555 and LMC555.
  • Op amp: Op amp comparator circuits – Inverting and non inverting
    1. Single supply output.
      1. LM358
    2. Dual supply output.
      1. 741
    3. Rail to Rail output.
  • Comparators: Comparator
  • Logic gates (Buffer, NOT, AND, NAND, OR, NOR, XOR, XNOR). Common versions of 7400 (74xx00) series ICs are 74HCxx High Speed CMOS (HC) and 74LSxx Low Power Schottky (LS).
    1. 7400 (including 74HC00, 74LS00 etc.): Quad 2 input NAND gate
    2. 7414 (74xx14): Hex inverter gate with Schmitt trigger input

Temporary connectors:

Used heavily for learning electronics or quickly testing a circuit while being able to quickly modify it. Metal on metal contact is limited.

  • Prototype breadboard
  • Jumper wires/cables
  • Alligator clips

Long term but easily removeable connectors:

  • USB
  • Barrel plug
  • Screw terminal
  • Banana plug
  • Binding post
  • Blade
  • Spade
  • Ring
  • Bullet
  • Butt
  • Heat shrink (typically wraps other connection types tightly).
  • T-Tap

Power Source options:

  • Battery
  • DC power supply (typically powered by household AC outlet)
  • Portable power bank: Not very large battery pack with USB and maybe other DC outlets. Some versions have low wattage AC and/or can jumpstart a vehicle.
  • Portable battery station/generator: Larger battery unit that can produce household voltage AC and usually a variety of DC options. Sometimes called a solar generator, because it is usually easy to recharge them with solar panels.

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Really nice looking resistor kit for those beginning studying electronics. Affiliate link ad.

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