Let discuss in detail the basic electronic components with the help of a list that is explained with images. We need to use basic electronic components to build electronic circuits. Without having an idea of these components, knowing their names and how they work, the circuit designing is never complete and the circuit does not work well.

The basic electronic components include resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, LEDs, integrated circuits (ICs), etc.

Quick learn basic electronics components

Most components have two or more terminals (leads) to solder them on the circuit boards or make a wire connection.

In this article, you can find an overview of basic electronic components. You can get some in-depth information by clicking on the link of each component.

Resistors—resist the flow of electricity

The popularly used Resistor

Mostly we use resistors to divide a large voltage into a smaller voltage. This makes them very useful for reducing the current to light-emitting diodes which are otherwise damaged by too much current.

Resistors can also be used to increase the time required to charge the capacitors and they also speed up the discharging of capacitors.

They are also used to control the gain of amplifiers.
Read more:

Capacitors—Store an electrical charge

3 most common capacitor types

They have many uses. For example:

  • Storage of an electrical charge.
  • To smooth a fluctuating Signal.
  • Block continuous current while passing current pulses.

Capacitors have many types and sizes.  We often use three types of capacitors called Ceramic, Mylar, and Electrolytic.

  • The Electrolytic capacitor has a lot of capacitance shown on its body. Important! Important! It is a polarized capacitor so it has a positive and negative leg.
    Its negative leg (has a mark on it) must always connect to the negative terminal.
  • The Ceramic and Mylar capacitors have capacitance less than the Electrolytic capacitor.  They are really small so there is a code capacitor on them instead.
    Capacitor color code calculator
    For example, 104J is 0.1μF on 5% tolerance.
  • Nonpolarized capacitor code
    • First and Second Digit are fixed number having unit in pF.
    • The third is Multiplier with number ten raised to the power. For example 10³.
    • Fourth is tolerance level such as J = 5%, K = 10%, M = 20%.How to calculate?
    •  What is 104k capacitor value?
      1. 10 x 10 pF which it is 0.1μF and 10% tolerance.

Read Also

Diodes—one-way valves for electrical current

The diode acts as a rectifier allowing the current to flow one way.  It must be a right way connection only.

most common diodes

Symbol and most common diodes

Diodes have different sizes and usage according to their specifications. Their number will be printed on their body as shown in the picture below. It is a diode that we use very often.

Diodes—keep a fixed voltage across them

most common Zener diodes

Symbol and Most common Zener diodes

They have shape that looks like a diode and they also work in the same way. A positive current can come to anode to go to the cathode easily.

But this current will not be able to flow back through the cathode to anode until the voltage drops across it to a set point. It will allow the current to pass.

And this voltage (VZ) drop across it will not change. For example, VZ is 5.6V so we use it as a constant voltage regulator.

Transistors—make an amplifier or switching circuit

shape of all transistors

Transistors are semiconductor devices with three leads.
A very small current or voltage at one lead can control a much larger current flowing through the other two leads.

There are many kinds of transistors but they can be all put into two groups. One group is NPN type. I like to use it with positive voltage. The other group is PNP type. They work in the negative voltage.

Transistors have different shapes according to their usage and characteristics. The number of a transistor will be printed on its body.

SCRs (Silicon-Controlled -rectifiers)

All shape of SCRs

The SCR is similar to a bipolar transistor but its symbol is similar to a diode. It has three legs. It acts as a barrier to prevent electricity from flowing through it. From the anode leads to the cathode until there is a control current to trigger the gate only.

But electricity cannot flow back to the cathode from the Anode.

They have the following symbols and shapes.

Triac—two SCRs connected in parallel

Triac acts like an SCR but allow both directions of currents to flow through it. They control the flow that is right and hence they are good at AC switching controllers. They have the following symbols and shapes.

All shape of Triac

Diac—like zener diode in parallel

Diac is similar to a Zener Diode but the difference is that it does not allow the current to flow through both sides until the voltage drops across it and reaches the specified value only. Diac allows the current to flow through it and it doesn’t have any specific terminal like a resistor. Diac has the following shapes and symbols.

Symbol shape Diac

ICs—Integrated Circuits

IC is the abbreviation for Integrated circuit. IC is actually an electronic device that has integrated circuits inside it. They have legs coming out so many legs can be used. To use ICs, we need to read about their various functions in the manual of that device. The most common function is a model of dual in the package (DIP). Take a look at the description given below.

The IC has a counting pin system as follows:

Most common IC and counting pins

Observe the top of the IC. You will see an index marker that is indicating pin 1. Then we can start from counter counterclockwise 1 index point. Here the IC number of each IC is printed on the chassis as shown.

On the right hand is a metal can model for OP-AMP IC. It is of very high quality and is also very expensive.

Resettable fuse or PolySwitch

Have you ever had a chance of using a fuse? If yes, then you must be aware that it protects the current and saves all electronic components from excess current. The polywsitch actually damages itself but protects the circuit otherwise high current blows a fuse away.

We call this electronic component a Resettable fuse, polyswitch, multifuse, polyfuse or a polyswitch. Polyswitch is a passive electronic component and its functionality is very much similar to PTC thermistors.

There are many sizes available of a polyswitch to protect against the current such as 0.4A 75V, 72V 500mA, etc.

Check out the description given below:

PPTC Resettable Fuse PolySwitch

Cr: by uxcell
They look like capacitors but they are a great fuse.

Also, take a look at the poly switch symbol.

Resettable fuse symbol

Cr: Image of Electronic circuit project book 1

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