For those just starting out learning about electronic components (specifically capacitors and capacitance), we know that there can be some confusion related to this topic.
In short, the answer is yes — mFd is the same as uF- which is also the same as the symbol ‘µ’ as seen in ‘µF’.
Technically ‘mfd’ represents ‘milliFarad’ while ‘uF’ stands for ‘microFarad’ which is an order of magnitude smaller. Here is where the confusion begins. Some older capacitor manufacturers used ‘mF’ in place of uF on their capacitors. Whether it was because their machines could not imprint the correct symbol ‘µ’ or for another reason not known to us, this was the common practice.
Nowadays, we see about 25% of the capacitors that come into our warehouse marked as mFd but we RARELY have any that are truly milliFarads.
On our site, we refer to microfarad as ‘uF’ to keep consistent and to make it easier for customers to find the capacitors they need. In the end. there is really no right or wrong – some other sites might use mF or mFd.
If you need more information about capacitance, check out our handy capacitance conversion chart which will help you convert microfarads into picofarads and nanofarads.
No, this is not a comparison of the two smartphones features and benefits like the screen size or processor speed. It’s something way more sinister.
We’ve always been fans of the Blend Tec videos where they destroy items to see if their blender can chop the items into dust. When their blender is done with them, there is not a recognizable component left in the machine.
Here’s the latest one we ran across where they compared the iPhone 5 to Samsung Galaxy S3. Can you imagine that they just grind these up to nothing in their blender? Seems like a waste of two perfectly good phones but all in the name of fun, right?
We have been anxiously awaiting the release of the newest Chromebook. After reading about the larger Chromebook 550 last year, we wondered if this smaller version might be the answer to our ‘bigger than a tablet and netbook’ and ‘better for travel than a laptop’ needs.
With it’s smaller memory (16GB – not expandable), you most certainly will be relying on the cloud (100GB free for 2 years from Google) to store your documents, music and images. This is not necessarily a drawback as you can then access those same files from other computers as needed.
The battery life is estimated to be about 6.5 hours which is plenty for travelers on long flights or extended car rides and the weight is under 2.5 pounds – ideal for slipping into a backpack or large purse. Total thickness is under an inch (0.7″ to be exact) yet the screen size is just under 12″ and it has a full size keyboard (no full numeric keyboard but I guess that would just make it TOO perfect).
So what are the drawbacks to the new Chromebook? Other than the lack of storage space on the device (although it does accept memory sticks and SD cards), you will have to get used to web based applications such as Google Docs or Microsoft Live Documents for productivity and office type programs. Again – not necessarily a bad thing – just a shift in the programs that most businesses and people currently use.
Another benefit is the built-in virus protection which stays updated as well as the start-up speed of around 10 seconds (how long did your Windows based machine take to load this morning?). For the all-important internet access, you can count on 802.11 dual band WIFI access (a/b/g/n enabled). It is also Bluetooth enabled, has 2 USB ports and a built-in VGA camera for Skyping. Honestly, this has just about everything most folks would need – especially if used as a spare or travel computer.
Google will also be releasing another version that is 3G enabled so that like your smartphone or tablet computer, you can have access to the internet without relying on a network or WIFI. This adds another $70 to the price but in addition, you will have to pay monthly access charges to use the 3G. I think the WIFI is enough for us for now.
Ready to purchase a Google Chromebook? They are currently available at Amazon (short delays right now for orders) and some Best Buy stores (call before heading down there).
We are sure that the Chromebook will be a hot seller for the holiday season at $250.
This wallpaper will not only look good hanging on the wall but can also be used as part of the lighting scheme in a room.
The creator of the LED wallpaper, Ingo Maurer says in his web site video, “I’ve always dreamed of glowing walls.” He, along with an electrical engineer and his sales manager spent five years developing the wallpaper and the production process. As you can imagine, it is very complex to create wallpaper that lights up with LED lights. Part of the issue with developing the process hinged on the placement of the circuit paths on the reverse side of the paper. This had to be created so that the circuits would not sink into the paper itself. Another challenge during the production process is ensuring that the conductive paint which form the circuit paths are constructed fully. Any breaks will of course break the circuits and the wallpaper pattern would not be complete.
The price for this LED wallpaper is not listed on their web site but we can only imagine that it can not be inexpensive based on the production process. However, we are certainly looking forward to ordering some for our office walls!
OK, so maybe we are showing our age here by even talking about this but we are taking bets that we are not the only ones on the planet with a cassette collection. Yes, we’ve made the transition to CDs and now our MP3 players but we’re still hanging on to all our great music from the 80′s and 90′s with just about no way to play that music.
Enter the ‘Cassette to iPod Converter’ which we think is a great find! This device will convert your cassette tapes into MP3 files then store them on your iPhone or iPod. Insert the tape, dock your iPod or iPhone and press ‘play’ to start the conversion process. Pretty cool, huh? You can also convert the tapes to a PC (Windows7, XP or Vista required) or Mac. Priced at just under $80, we think this gadget is a great gift idea for anyone – like us – that is stuck in the 80′s!
We’ve been very busy expanding another category for you: Box Capacitors. Now in stock and ready to ship are more than 60 different values of box capacitors. In general, box caps are constructed of polyester film or metallized polypropylene. Some of the more popular manufacturers are Wima, Mallory and Philips.
In addition, (and somewhat related), we’ve greatly expanded our suppression and safety capacitor category. Between both categories, there are almost 75 new products added this week alone! Look for quantity discount pricing on almost all of the capacitors.
And, as always, we do not require a minimum purchase and our first class mail shipping rates are still a very reasonable $3.50 for all US purchases up to $15.00.
If you have any Apple brand device, chances are you have at least one pair of their headphones laying around. If you use them on a regular basis, here are some tips to get the most from your Apple headphones:
During phone calls:
1 – Incoming calls: Tap the center button to answer a call
2 – Ignore a call: Long-press the center button to ignore the call – you should hear 2 ‘beeps’ and you will know that the caller was successfully sent to voice mail
3 – Swapping calls: Tap the center button once to swap calls – Hold the center button down for about 2 seconds to end the new call
4 – Disconnecting/Hanging up: Tap the center button once again to hang up
When listening to music:
5 – Toggle pause/play: Single tap the center button
6 – Skip a song: Double tap the center button
7 – Return to the previous song: Triple tap the center button
8 – Fast forward a song: Tap the center button two time; long-press the second tap
9 – Rewind a song: Tap the center button three times; long-press the third tap.
Using the camera function:
10 – Shutter Release: Tap the volume-up button to snap a picture. This trick will help you get very steady shots.
For Siri users (iPhone 4S and above):
11 – Activate Siri: Long-press the center button
Remember – any Apple device that utilizes their headphones and have these functions (i.e. iPad and iPod) can also take advantage of these features. Do you know of any headphone tricks that we’ve missed? Send them our way!
Google has released a great new feature for mobile users – Handwrite. It takes just a few seconds to enable this feature on your mobile phone or tablet. Once enabled, using the tip of your finger or a stylus, you can handwrite the term you are searching anywhere on the Google home page. Even with pretty sloppy handwriting, Google’s Handwrite is impressive at recognizing which letters you are handwriting on the search page. For most smart phones, this gives you three options to submit a Google search: type, voice entry or handwrite!
Here’s how to turn this feature on:
Go to the www.google.com homepage (mobile version). Scroll down to the bottom of the page and tap ‘Settings’. On the ‘Settings’ page, choose “enable” in the “Handwrite” section. Go back to your Google homepage and refresh the page – and now you can start writing your search term anywhere on the page. TIP: If you don’t have cookies enabled, you should turn that functionality on first in your settings as that is required in order for Handwrite to properly function.
Handwrite is available in 27 languages for iOS 5 (+), Android 2.3 (+) phones, and Android 4 (+) tablets (on Android devices, Handwrite works best using Chrome).
If you want to stop the Handwrite feature, simply tap in the search box. You can re-enable Handwrite at any time by tapping the cursive ‘g’ in the bottom of the Google home page screen.
This is an amazingly handy little light – thin enough to use on your house key or car key. Think of it as a stick-on LED! The Thumb-Lite’s compact design makes it easy to turn anything into a flashlight. Whether you use it for unlocking a car door or finding something dropped in the dark, the Thumb-lite is a convenient way to provide extra light when needed.
What makes this stand out from the other tiny LED lights is that the Thumb-lite can be used effortlessly with one hand. Pressing the button requires NO EXTRA EFFORT. The standard amount of pressure needed to turn the key is more than enough to turn the light on. This mini LED flashlight was designed to be used the way a person naturally grips an object. The Thumb-lite is easily activated and shines light in the direction the object is pointing. No tools or assembly are required. Just pull off the adhesive protector and stick it on a key or other object – it’s that easy. Because of it’s small size and advanced adhesive, Thumb-lite sticks to most size keys.
The light is very small but it’s just enough to be helpful in finding things in the dark. We’ve used them on our TV remote controls (ever try to find the right buttons on your remote in the dark?), our power tools, inside our purses and even attached them to our cell phones. We can think of dozens of uses for these mini LED flashlights. How about you?
Motor Start Capacitors
The primary purpose of a motor start capacitor is to briefly increase the motor starting torque as well as to allow a motor to be cycled on and off very quickly. It operates in the circuit by staying active long enough to allow the motor to be brought to 3/4 of it’s full capacity. It is removed at that point by a switch in the circuit. You will find that the voltage rating is often one of these four: 125VAC, 165VAC, 250VAC, and 330VAC.
Motor Run Capacitors
Motor run capacitors will then operate after the circuit is started. Using a motor run capacitor will run the motor with greater efficiency. Motor run capacitors are designed for continuous duty. They are energized while the motor is in operation. You will often find motor run capacitors with a voltage rating of 370VAC or 440VAC with a capacitance of 1.5uF – 100uF. Typically, the construction material is polypropylene film.
Electric motors that are single phase require a capacitor for a second-phase winding. If you use the wrong motor run capacitor, the rotor may hesitate due to an uneven magnetic field. The hesitation may result in performance issues such as a noisy or overheated motor, increased energy consumption and general decreased performance.
Faulty motor capacitors
You can sometimes spot a faulty motor run capacitor by it’s swollen appearance – or it may have blown and become leaky. Of course, these capacitors should be carefully replaced. In addition to an outright capacitor failure, the capacitance may become reduced over time. Capacitors that are operating with a decreased capacitance may create performance issues. Again, these capacitors should be carefully replaced.