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Electrical and Electronic Components Functions & Symbols

Component
Image

Component
Symbol

Component Name

Description/Function

Antenna

Antenna is a device for converting radio frequency


(RF) current from a radio transmitter into an
electromagnetic signal (radio wave) radiated into
space, or for capturing a small portion of the
electromagnetic wave from space and then feeding it
into a receiver for amplification.

Battery

A battery is a device consisting of one or more cells


that produces electricity from a chemical reaction and
is used as a source of power.

Capacitor

A capacitor is an electronic component made up of


two conductors (plates), separated by a dielectric or
insulating material, which accumulates electric
charge when connected to a power source. Common
uses for capacitor: Stores electric charge.
Acts as a filter to smooth out variations in a direct
current.
Blocks DC and permits AC in a circuit.
Couples or bonds electrical signals from one part
of the circuit to another.

Fixed or Non-polarized
Capacitor

A capacitor with no implicit polarity and, therefore,


can be connected either way in a circuit.

Polarized Capacitor

A capacitor with positive and negative leads and can


be connected only one way in a circuit.

Variable or Tuning
Capacitor

A capacitor whose capacitance may be intentionally


and repeatedly changed mechanically or
electronically. Used mostly in radio tuning circuits,
hence, the name tuning capacitor.

Trimmer/Padder

A miniature variable capacitor designed for providing


extremely small increases in capacitance. It is a
trimmer when connected in parallel with another
capacitor and a padder when connected in series
with another capacitor.

Crystal

A wafer of natural quartz or any piezoelectric material


having a definite thickness that vibrates to create an
electrical signal with a very precise frequency. Its
main uses are in oscillator circuits, clocks, radios,
computers and cellphones.

Diode

A semiconductor component which allows current to


flow through it in only one direction. When the
correct voltage polarity is applied, the diode is in a
forward bias condition, and when the polarity is
incorrect, it is in a reverse bias condition. A diode
can be used: As a rectifier that converts AC to DC for a power
supply device.
To detect or separate the signal from radio

frequencies.
As an on/off switch that controls current.
Light Emitting Diode
(LED)

A LED is a semiconductor component that emits light


when current flows through it. Used mainly as an
indicator lamp in many devices.

Photodiode

A photodiode is a semiconductor component that


allows current flow when exposed to light.

Zener Diode

A Zener diode is a special kind of diode which allows


current to flow in the forward direction same as an
ideal diode, but will also permit it to flow in the
reverse direction when the voltage is above a certain
value known as the breakdown voltage, " or "Zener
voltage."

Fuse

A fuse is a protective device having a short length of


wire that melts or blows when the current that
passes through it exceeds a specified or
predetermined value.

Inductor

A coil or solenoid that generates magnetic field that


induces or creates voltage. Inductor has two types:
an air core whereby it is just a wound of wire and a
magnetic core which is a coil of wire wound on a
ferrite.

Variable Inductor

An inductor with a core that can be moved into or out


of the coil, increasing or decreasing the number of
turns of a coil, which in turn increases or decreases
the inductance.

Integrated Circuit (IC)

Also called a chip, an IC is a miniaturized electronic


circuit consisting of several interconnected active
devices (transistors, diodes) and passive
components (resistors, capacitors, etc.) fabricated
together on a thin substrate of semiconductor
material (usually a silicon).

Op Amp is a form of linear IC that has two inputs,


called inverting and non-inverting, and a singleOperational Amplifier (Op
ended output which produces an output voltage that
Amp)
is typically hundreds of thousands times larger than
the voltage difference between its input terminals.
Loudspeaker

A loudspeaker (or "speaker") is a transducer that


produces sound in response to an electrical audio
signal input.

Meter

A meter is an electrical or electronic measuring


instrument having a dial or digital display as an
indicator.

Ammeter

Ammeter is a measuring instrument used to measure


electric current in a circuit. Its unit of measurement is
called ampere (A).

Ohmmeter

An ohmmeter is a measuring instrument used to


measure the electrical resistance. The unit of
measurement is called ohm ().

Voltmeter

A voltmeter is a measuring instrument used to


measure the potential difference or voltage between
two points in an electric circuit. The unit of
measurement is called volt (V).

Microphone

A microphone is a transducer or sensor that converts


sound into an electrical signal.

Relay

A relay is an electromechanical device having one or


more contacts that are opened and closed by a
magnetic field. This magnetic field is generated by its
own built-in electromagnet that can be activated by
an external circuit.

Resistor

A resistor is an electronic component that resists or


reduces the flow of current in a circuit. There are two
kinds, fixed and variable. A variable resistor has a
resistance track made of carbon or cermat (a mixture
of metal and ceramic) with a wiper that slides along
the track to pick off selected voltages.

Potentiometer

A potentiometer is a variable resistor with three


terminals, two of which are connected to the voltage
source and the third one to the wiper to select a
specific voltage from that source.

Rheostat

A rheostat is a variable resistor with two terminals,


one of which goes to one end of the track and the
other goes directly to the wiper to vary the level of
the source.

Thermistor

A thermistor is a temperature-sensitive resistor


having a high resistance when its cold and a very
low resistance when its heated. Usual application is
in transistor bias-stabilization circuits and also widely
used as inrush current limiters, temperature sensors,
& self-regulating heating elements.

Thyristor

A thyristor is a semiconductor device that consists of


four alternating layers of N-type and P-type material
and functions as a bistable switch it starts
conducting when its gate receives a pulse of current.

Transformer

A transformer is a device consisting of two or more


coils coupled together by magnetic induction that
transfers electrical energy from one circuit to
another. Usual application is to convert a 220-volt
AC line into a lower secondary winding voltage.

Transistor

A transistor is an active semiconductor device that


controls the flow of electric current and is used in a
variety of applications such as a switch, amplifier,
rectifier and oscillator. It has three electrical
connections or electrodes which are called base,
emitter and collector.

Phototransistor

A phototransistor is a light-sensitive transistor. It is


an ordinary transistor that conducts electric current
when light shines on it. Its base is usually left
unconnected in a circuit.