Category Archives: Diodes

Why Does An Inductor Need A Fly-Back Diode?

An inductor usually stores energy when current flows through it, and releases it once the current flow stops. When the power supply to an inductor is suddenly reduced or removed, the inductor generates a voltage spike, which is also referred to as an inductive fly-back. Any current flowing through the inductor cannot change instantly and is limited by the time constant of the inductor. This is similar to the time constant of a capacitor, which limits the rate of change of voltage across its terminals. Read more [...]

What are Zener, Schottky and Avalanche Diodes?

Diodes are very commonly used semiconductor devices. They are mostly used as rectifiers for converting Alternating to Direct current. Their special characteristic of allowing current flow in only one direction makes them indispensable as rectifiers. Apart from rectification, various types of diodes are available for different purposes such as for generating light, microwaves, infrared rays and for various types of switching at high speeds. For example, the power supply industry has been moving Read more [...]

How did the diode get it’s name?

Although most diodes are made of silicon nowadays, it was not always so. Initially, there were two types – thermionic or vacuum tube and solid state or semiconductor. Both the types were developed simultaneously, but separately, in the early 1900s. Early semiconductor diodes were not as capable as their vacuum tube counterparts, which were extensively used as radio receiver detectors. Various types of these thermionic valves were in use and had different functionalities such as double-diode triodes, Read more [...]

HTC Incredible’s real price tag: $163.35

iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service conducted a study of the cost of materials for the HTC Incredible. The total was $163.35 for the parts and electronic components used to build the smartphone. Nearly 20% of the cost of the handset is from the processor which cost $31.40. Right behind the processor was the display and touch screen which is manufactured by Samsung. The display, which is an advanced Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED), cost $31.20. In third place was the memory Read more [...]

Turn your old PC fans into mini wind generators

Here's a great project that you can do either to experiment with wind turbines or to generate some energy! While the amount of energy produced is not overwhelming, this project can sure get your brain moving in the right direction. The best thing about this project is that you probably already have everything you need lying around: Thick plastic bottle Old PC fan, bigger the better! A few feet of small wire A piece of wood about 1.5" square and around 20cm long Two lengths of steel Read more [...]

West Florida Components is Social!

Are you doing the whole Facebook thing? How about Twitter? Well, we are....and we're also on StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious and a whole bunch more. Why should you care? Because we give away a lot of discounts to our Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers! And our Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers are the first to know about newly discounted electronic components, parts and supplies. We never overload our customers with too much communication but we like to keep in touch. The social media sites Read more [...]

The Titan – Newest (and biggest) Vacuum Tube Amp from Steve

Just in from our friend Steve W. in Canada (who constructs the most amazing vacuum tube amplifiers)... The best way to describe this next amplifier is it’s a Titan. It has to be the biggest, baddest, heaviest and most powerful amplifier I’ve made to date! Weighing in at just under 60 lbs. this push-pull-parallel EL-34 / 6L6 is conservatively rated at 110 watts per channel using EL-34 tubes. Capable of driving 4 or 8 ohm speakers via a switch on the back panel, this amp is a Read more [...]

Schottky Diodes – What makes them so special?

Some of the most common questions we get are about Schottky diodes. The simple definition of a Schottky diode is a diode with a very fast switching action as well as a lower forward voltage drop. As the current flows through a diode, it experiences a slight voltage drop across the diode terminals. Normally, a diode has approximately 0.7-1.7V drops. A Schottky diode, however, will see a drop in voltage between 0.15-0.45V. The benefit of this lower drop? A much higher system efficiency. The Read more [...]

Types of Diodes

Diodes are an important part of today’s electronic components and are widely used for a number of applications. Accordingly, a large number of different types of diodes have been created to cater to their wide array of uses. The more popular types of diodes are described below. Schottky Diodes: These diodes are made from a semiconductor to metal contact instead of semiconductor-semiconductor junction. This gives them a lower forward drop voltage as compared to pn junction diodes. They have 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 [...]