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Every now and then we all have some or the other electronic gadget in our hand. However, thought about the components that the gadget is made of does not even run through our mind. But without these basic components, no electronic gadget would exist.
The fundamental electronic components can be resistors, capacitors, transistors, relays, switches, inductors, transformers, diodes, LEDs, transmitter, receiver, battery, microphone, buzzers, motors, multimeters, sensors, etc.
Resistor – An electronic component that is capable of regulating the electric current flowing in the circuit is termed as a resistor. They can be categorised as thin film resistors, thick film resistors, wire wound resistors, carbon composition resistors based on the materials used to manufacture them. On the basis of the construction methods resistors can be categorised as fixed and variable. The variable resistors are rheostat, potentiometer, trimpot. The resistance is measured in terms of ohms.
Capacitor – A device that is capable of storing an electric charge is termed as a capacitor. It usually consists of one or more pairs of conductors that are separated by an inductor. This stored charge is provided to the circuit when required. Thus we can say that the capacitor can perform charging as well as discharging. Capacitors are used for power factor correction, power conditioning, coupling, tuning, pulsed power and weapons, decoupling, used as timing element, signal processing and are also used in sensors.
Transistors – Transistor is an electronic component that can act as a switch as switch as well as amplifier since it can regulate the current and also the voltage flow across the circuit. They can be categorised as bipolar junction transistors and field effect transistors. The bipolar junction transistors can further be categorised as NPN and PNP. The field effect transistors are further categorised as JFET and MOSFET. The transistor is a key component in majority of the electronic devices. It is the transistor because of which we are able to get calculators, radios, televisions, etc in smaller sizes and at a cheaper cost.
Transformers – We might require to increase or decrease the current or voltage in an electric circuit. This can be achieved with the help of transformers. Kilovolt-ampere is the rating that is used to rate a transformer. There are two coils in the transformer. These coils need to be electrically isolated. The principle of mutual induction is employed in the operation of a transformer. A primary coil of the transformer generates electric flux which then further generates an electromotive force in the secondary coil of the transformer. The variety of transformers consists of audio transformers, power transformers, RF transformers, polyphase transformer, oil-cooled transformer, etc.
Diode – Diode is an electronic component that allows the flow of current in only one direction. It has two electrodes namely a cathode and an anode. They are made up of materials such as germanium, silicon, etc. i.e semiconductor materials. The various types of diode available are schottky diode, laser diode, light emitting diode, PN junction diode, photodiode, PIN diode, zener diode, backward diode, varactor diode etc. Diodes can be used as switches, rectifiers, voltage regulators, modulators, demodulators etc.
Inductors – An electronic component that is capable of storing energy in the form of magnetic field is called as the inductor. The inductance of an inductor depends on the number of turns in the inductor coil and this inductance is measured in terms of a unit called Henry. To store more energy in the inductor the current through it must be increased whearas to withdraw energy from the inductor the current through it must be decreased. Thus the inductor can act as a load as well as a source. The variety of inductors are air core inductors, iron core inductors, soft ferrite core inductors, hard ferrite core inductors, iron powder inductors, laminated core inductors, film inductors, toroidal inductors, etc.
Transmitter – An electronic device that is capable of producing radio waves is termed as a transmitter. For this, it makes the use of an antenna. Transmitters are a vital component of the majority of communication devices such as radio, television, cell phones, radars, walkie talkies, BlueTooth enabled devices, etc.
Receiver – An electronic device that is capable of converting the incoming signal into the human understandable form is termed as a receiver. The incoming signals can be radio waves, microwaves, etc. However, the converted signals can be light, sound, etc. The different types of receivers available are tuned radio frequency receivers, direct conversion receivers, regenerative receivers, super regenerative receivers, etc.
There exists a pool of electronic components without which it is impossible to build any of the revolutionary electronic devices or products.
These basic components are indeed the heart of electronics.