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Electronic Component Testing

For those of the TL;DR meme, click here to jump to the components table

There are obviously numerous components used in the various projects, each of which requires some knowledge to utilise appropriately. As pointed-out on many a web site/discussion forum, in the first instance ALWAYS READ THE DATASHEET to familiarise yourself with the component. The following tables provide lists of the various components I have used and corresponding links to background information, problems and solutions I have found, including the relevant datasheets.

The numerous components that can be used in the construction of an electronic circuit appear daunting when first starting out. I found the following classification scheme to be of benefit in organising and approaching the learning process. There doesn't appear to be a "definitive" electronic component classification scheme, but it is generally accepted that components may be classified broadly as either passive or active (1). I also think it is useful at this "first level" to make the further distinction of having a "electro-mechanical" category (2).

Passive components are those which have electrical characteristics generally independent (obviously within "limits") of the applied voltage. This category is therefore mainly the ubiquitous resistors, capacitors and inductors comprising the majority of circuit components. Associated "variable" components derived from these include potentiometers, variable capacitors, inductors (chokes or coils) and transformers.

Active components can be defined as those "which can produce power gain, that is, the output signal has higher power than the input signal", or "rely on a source of energy (usually from the DC circuit) and usually can inject power into a circuit". Transistors and integrated circuits of every type meet this loose definition, and diodes use the same basic semiconductor technology as transistors so they are usually considered as being active devices.

Finally, electromechanical components can carry out electrical operations by using moving parts or by using electrical connections. This category includes switches, relays, piezoelectric devices, crystals, fuses, fans, etc etc. Each of these three "top" level categories is sub-divided further generally by either technology and/or materials used in the construction of the component.

This then leads to the following approximate classifications:


The following table provide a list of the various components I have physically used and corresponding links to background information, problems and solutions I have found, including the relevant datasheets. Click on the title of a listed component which will display the appropriate page giving component usage details such as schematic diagrams, example circuits, breadboard/PCB layouts, programming code etc as appropriate.

Tested/Used Components

Click column title to change sort order
Category Component Description Data Sheet
Sensors DHT-11 Temperature and humidity composite sensor that outputs a calibrated digital signal of the temperature and humidity. DHT11
Sensors DS18S20 Temperature and humidity composite sensor that outputs a calibrated digital signal of the temperature and humidity. DS18S20
Sensors HX711 ACD Weigh Scale Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) for weigh scale, connected to load cell, interfaced to PIC microcontroller. HX711
Output Device Nokia 5110 LCD 84x48 LCD module, Nokia 5110 using PCD8544 display chip Nokia5110
I/O Device MAX7221 LED Driver Serial I/O common cathode LED display driver MAX7221
I/O Device SN74HC595 Shift Register 8-bit serial in, parallel out shift register SN74HC595N
I/O Device nRF24L01+ Radio Transciever nRF2401 single-chip radio transceiver for the world wide 2.4 - 2.5 GHz ISM band NRF24L01+
I/O Device ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module Wi-Fi Module with 802.11 b/g/n/e/i TCP/IP stack ESP8266
Sensors LM35 Precision Temperature Sensor - linear output 10mV/degree Celsius LM35
Sensors TCS3471 Color Light to Digital Converter TCS3471
Output Device WS2812 RGB LED Integrated RGB LED with control circuit ("pixel" full colour chip) WS2812
IC - Voltage Regulator LM317T 3-terminal positive voltage regulator (variable 1.2-37V) LM317T
IC - H-Bridge Driver SN754410 Quadruple Half-H Driver for inductive loads (relays, solenoids, dc and stepper motors SN754410
IC - H-Bridge Driver A4988 A4988 microstepping motor driver interfaced to PIC microcontroller and bipolar stepper motor A4988
Output Device HC-SR04 HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Ranging Module interfaced to PIC microcontroller, with RS232 communication to PC HC-SR04
Peripheral DS1307 RTC DS1307 Real Time Clock interfaced to PIC microcontroller, with RS232 communication to PC DS1307
I/O Device HC-05 Bluetooth Module HC-05 and Android Smart Phone App used for bluetooth communications and control of PIC microcontroller circuit (LM35 temp sensor, PWM fan motor and LED controls) HC-05
IC - Voltage Regulator LM2596 Buck SMPS (3A 1.23-37V) DC-DC step-down SMPS voltage regulator (variable 3A 1.23-37V) LM2596
Sensors ACS-712 Bidirectional Current Sensor ACS712
Sensors MAX-471 Bidirectional Current Sensor MAX471
I/O Device MCP-4921 DAC 12-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter (DAC) MCP4921
Peripheral SG90 Servo Motor SG90 Servo Motoro SG90
Peripheral MAX31855 Thermocouple Driver MAX31855 Thermocouple Driver MAX31855



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