Monthly Archives: September 2008

Circuit Bending

Have you ever taken apart a kid's electronic toy to see how it worked? Maybe tried to cut the wires or rewire the circuitboard? That's how circuit benders begin their hobby. Circuit bending is the creative, short-circuiting of electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and small digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators. One of the most popular toys to circuit bend is the "Speak n Spell". Here's a great Read more [...]

Resistors In Series

Electronic components used in electronic circuits to regulate and limit the flow of electric current in the circuit are known as Resistors. Resistors can be connected in two basic configurations – in series and in parallel. When connected in a series connection, the resistors are connected in a line. The current flows through the resistors one after the other. When the resistors are connected in such a configuration, they exhibit the following properties: The current flowing through Read more [...]

Early Crystal Radios

Requiring no battery, the crystal radio was one of the earliest forms of radio having been developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s. At this time the crystal radio sets were used to receive Morse code messages, but as time progressed the voice messages could also be received by such sets. This progression had much to do with an improvement in materials, which included the diodes and tuning coil. Even with an improvement in materials though, the construction of a radio set was fairly simple to Read more [...]

The Basics of Potentiometers

Potentiometer Basics A potentiometer is a manually variable resistor. It has 3 terminals, one of which is connected to ground, the second to a current source and the third to a sliding contact that runs along a strip of resistor. The varying resistance is used to control other parameter like volume. Potentiometers are widely used electronic components used in volume control, brightness control etc. though recently they are being replaced by digital control circuits. A potentiometer can regulate Read more [...]


Relays Relays are electronic or electromechanical switches that operate under the control of an external circuit. Originally when first invented in 1835, electromechanical relays consisted of an electromagnet and a set of contacts. When the electromagnet was energized, it closed the contact by attracting a lever held by a spring. When no current is flowing through the circuit, the electromagnet got demagnetized and the spring pulled back the lever and the circuit was left open. This type of Read more [...]

What Happens to Old Electronic Components and Boards?

We came across this blog post the other day and thought it was worth bringing here. Here's an excerpt: Yesterday I had the opportunity to shoot video in a facility that is the largest company in America that recycles the glass from electronics and computers. The men who own this company, built the machines that separate and break up the glass, themselves. Electronic products and computers are torn apart. The plastics are sold to one vendor while the electronics and circuit boards are sold Read more [...]

How to Use an Analog Multimeter

How to use an Analog Multimeter's simpler than you think! Multimeters are inexpensive and easy to operate, making them very popular. They are very commonly used as devices for electronics circuits testing. Multimeters are categorized into two different types – analog and digital. While the internal circuitry and operation of both are very different, their usage is more or less similar. Analog multimeters have been in use for a long time and are very flexible in their operation. Read more [...]

How to Read Capacitors

Capacitance Values - and How to Read Them Capacitors are used in a wide range of electronic components and circuits. They form an integral part of electronics. The capacitance of capacitors is measured in a unit known as Farads, represented by the letter ‘F’. A capacitor that has higher capacitance can be used for storing more charge as compared to one with a smaller capacitance value. One Farad is a very high value for capacitance and usually smaller units are used, namely pico Read more [...]

What is Transistor-Transistor-Logic – TTL?

TTL or Transistor-Transistor Logic is a type of digital circuit that is made from BJT or bipolar junction transistor along with resistors. Both the amplifying function and the logic gating function are carried out through transistors, thus the name transistor-transistor logic. TTL is used for many applications like industrial controls, computers consumer electronics, test equipment, synthesizers and more. The TTL designation is also used in some places to imply ‘compatible logic levels’ Read more [...]