Rectifier diodes are primarily used to ensure that current can flow in one direction but not the other.
Basic rectifier diode Properties
- 2 terminals: Anode and Cathode. Anode is made of P type semiconductor material while Cathode is made of N type semiconductor material.
- Forward biased: Anode is more positive than Cathode. Allows current to flow easily as long as the forward voltage is exceeded. Forward voltage is the amount of voltage that a diode drops from series components while it is wired forward biased. Forward voltage is typically about 0.7V for silicon diodes, 0.3V for germanium diodes and around 2-3V for LEDs.
- Reverse biased: Cathode is more positive than Anode. – Blocks a lot of voltage and thus current. – Most diodes must be able to block whatever reverse biased voltage may be applied to them or risk being destroyed. Zener diodes however are specially made to safely conduct some current while connected reverse biased – Remember that alternating current (AC) reaches voltages a bit higher than than the root mean square (RMS) value that is usually given.
- 1N4001 – DO-41 plastic package. Rectifier diode part number that is commonly included in kits. 1A max. forward current, approx 0.7V forward voltage, and 50V DC/35V RMS (AC) maximum DC reverse voltage.
- 1N4148 – Small signal, fast switching diodes – DO-35 glass package, up to 100MHz switching. 100V VRRM (repetitive reverse voltage), 300mA IF (forward DC current), 200mA IO (average rectified current), 500mW PD (maximum power dissipation)
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Other basic topics:
- Electronic component appearance and schematics – Commonly used through hole versions
- Electronic circuit basics
- Voltage sources for electronics basics
- Multimeter measuring voltage
- Resistor component – Learning electronics resistors
- Light Emitting Diodes – Indicator LEDs
- LED circuit -Lighting a Light Emitting Diode
- Resistor limiting current – Ohms law
- Multimeter measuring current
- Wattage – Electrical Power unit
- Resistors connected in parallel
- Series resistors
- Voltage divider – Setting a fractional voltage
- Resistor color code
- Diode – Rectifier
- Trimpot – Trimmer potentiometer – Voltage divider – Variable resistor
- Capacitor component
- Capacitor RC time constant
- Voltage ramp Demonstrated using a capacitor.
- LM334 three terminal adjustable current source not a common component. I use for an easy current source in many circuits.
- Switch NOT logic gate – digital signal inverter
- Switch OR gate – LED circuit
- Switch AND gate – LED circuit
- Switch based NAND logic gate – LED demonstration circuit
555 timer is an integrated circuit (IC). Being an IC, it has complex circuitry combined in a single package with external pins/terminals to connect to other circuitry. You can easily make all kinds of fun circuits with just a 555 timer and the components covered above, so I think it’s a good component to learn next.
- 555 Timer IC This particulars of this integrated circuit covered on this page make a lot more sense after you study the basic circuits that follow.
- 555 timer bistable mode – Flip flip basic circuit
- 555 timer monostable mode – One shot
- 555 timer astable multivibrator mode – Flashing LEDs
- 555 timer schmitt trigger logic inverter – NOT gate
- 555 timer LDR controlled astable multivibrator mode LED flasher circuit
- 555 timer – Buzzer output – Astable multivibrator mode – Light dependent resistor LDR controlled circuit
Transistors will probably be the most challenging components to learn. Understanding them will help you understand all of electronics much better, and help you the most in being creative while designing your own circuits.
- NPN BJT switch circuit – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3904
- PNP BJT switch – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3906
- NPN BJT emitter follower circuit – transferring a voltage minus a diode drop
- PNP BJT emitter follower circuit – Transferring weak signal voltage with a diode voltage shift
- Bipolar Junction Transistor BJT voltage follower circuit improved to eliminate base emitter diode shift
- NPN BJT current source – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3904
- PNP BJT current source – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3906
- Schmitt trigger – NPN BJT
- Zener diode component – voltage reference – regulator
- Voltage doubler circuit fragment- Capacitor charge pump – Some V loss
- 7805 5V positive voltage regulator IC
- Battery voltage state of charge SOC – From fully charged to discharged
These pages are still being compiled.
A lot of the components that I use are in this diode and transistor semiconductor kit.
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