The following are some of the most basic electronic components available today, and you can find all of them in Australia – in specialty shops and on the web.
- Resistors – The resistor, as the name would suggest, is the component that resists the flow of the current. These are some of the most common devices inside of electronic circuits. The resistors have various resistance values, which lets you know how much current they can resist. They measure this resistance value in ohms. The resistors will also have a power rating, and this lets you know how much they can handle before burning out. They measure this value in watts.
- Capacitors – Capacitors are also quite useful in electrical circuits. These devices have the ability to store an electrical charge on a temporary basis. Again, they come in a number of different varieties. Most of the capacitors you will see are either ceramic disk capacitors or electrolytic capacitors. They measure the capacitance, or the amount of electrical charge the capacitor can hold, in microfarads. This amount varies based on the capacitor.
- Diodes – A diode is a small device that lets the current flow, but only in one direction. All diodes have two terminals. One of the terminals is the cathode and the other is the anode. The only time the diode will allow current to flow is when positive voltage hits the anode and negative voltage hits the cathode. If reversed, the current will not flow.
- Light Emitting Diodes – Light emitting diodes, commonly called LEDs, are a special type of diode. They have the same basic makeup with the anode and the cathode, and the principle behind them is the same. The only real difference is that they light up when the current passes through them. Some of the common usages for LEDs have been as indicator lights, alarm clocks, and similar devices. However, they are starting to become more prominent as a form of general lighting.
- Transistors – All transistors will have three terminals. One of the terminals is the base, which is where the voltage enters it. The other two terminals are the collector and the emitter. The transistor is common in many types of electronic device, including integrated circuits. Most computers, as well as radio and television receivers, use transistors.
- Integrated Circuits – The integrated circuit is a very special device. It contains an entire circuit, including the diodes and the transistors. These are then added to small pieces of silicon. They can do the same jobs as larger circuits, but because of their convenience and smaller size, they have become one of the most common elements in modern electronics today. Without these, we would not have the same technology for phones, computers, and other devices of convenience.