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stranded wire: Two or three small bundles of very fine wires, each wrapped in insulation.
stray capacitance: A condition where electric fields occur between wires or leads in a circuit that are placed too close together and electrons are stored unintentionally.
sweep generator: A device that produces signals that are somewhat different from the ones that a standard generator puts out in that it sweeps the frequencies up and down.
terminal: A piece of metal to which you hook up wires (as with a battery terminal).
thermistor: A resistor whose resistance value changes with changes in temperature.
thermocouple: A type of sensor that measures temperature electrically.
third hand clamp: (also called helping hands clamp) A small, weighted clamp that holds parts while you solder.
tinning: Heating up a soldering tool to full temperature and applying a small amount of solder to the tip to prevent solder from sticking to the tip.
tolerance: The allowed variation, expressed as a percentage, in the value of a component due to the manufacturing process.
traces: Wires on a circuit board that run between the pads to electrically connect the components together.
transistor: A device composed of semiconductor junctions that controls the flow of electric current.
V: The symbol for voltage; also commonly represented by E.
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398 Electronics For Dummies
variable capacitor: A capacitor that consists of two or more metal plates separated by air. Turning the knob changes the capacitance of the device. See also capacitor.
variable coil: A coil of wire surrounding a movable metal slug. By moving the slug, you change the inductance of the coil.
variable resistor: See potentiometer.
voltage: An attractive force between positive and negative charges.
voltage divider: A circuit that uses voltage drops to produce voltage lower than the supply voltage at specific points in the circuit.
voltage drop: The resulting lowering of voltage when voltage pulls electrons through resistors (or any other component), and the resistor uses up some of the voltage.
voltage spike: A momentary rise in voltage.
watt hour: A unit of measure of energy; the ability of a device or circuit to do work.
waveform: Voltage fluctuations such as seen in a sine wave or square wave. See also oscilloscope, sine wave, square wave.
wire: A long strand of metal, usually made of copper, that you use in electronics projects. Electrons travel through the wire to conduct electricity.
wire gauge: A measurement of the diameter of a wire.
wire wrapping: A method for connecting components on circuit boards using wire.
zinc-carbon batteries: A low quality, non-rechargeable battery. See also battery.
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• Numerics •
3M (Dual Lock), 349, 351 60/40 rosin core, 163-164, 396 555 timer IC as astable multivibrator, 301, 310, 319 as tone generator, 314 use in blinking lights project, 300-304 use in light alarm project, 314-315 use in lighting effects generator project, 319-321 use in siren project, 310-311 4017 CMOS Decade Counter chip, 319-321
• A •
AA batteries, 101 AC. See alternating current acetate, 260-262 Acroname, Inc. (Web site), 384 acrylic plastic (construction material), 328 Action Electronics (Web site), 387 active infrared motion detector, 113 ADC (analog-to-digital converter), 183 Advanced Circuits (circuit board manufacturer), 273 alarm project, 314-315 alkaline battery, 102, 389 All About Circuits (Web site), 384, 385 All Electronics (parts source), 369 Allen screw/wrench, 389 Allied Electronics (parts source), 370 alligator test leads, 306-307 Alltronics (Web site), 387 alternating current (AC) converting to DC, 14, 37, 79 description, 14, 389 electrical shock from, 31, 32 frequency, 24-25, 228-230 problems with, 15
safety issues, 14, 37-39 waveform, 221-222, 227, 229 aluminum in capacitors, 72, 73 as conductor, 11 American Science & Surplus (Web site), 387 American Wire Gauge (AWG), 96 ammonium persulfate, 267, 268 amp (unit of measurement), 22 amplifier audio as IC, 17 project, 316-317 transistor use as, 152-154 amplitude, 221, 389 analog circuit, 89
analog-to-digital converter (ADC), 183 AND logic gate, 107, 108, 133 anode, 81, 389 anti-static bag, 171 anti-static mat, 35-36, 59, 171 anti-static spray, 171 anti-static wrist strap, 36, 170-171 AP Circuits (circuit board manufacturer), 273 assembly language, 284, 285 astable multivibrator, 301, 310, 319 Atmel (AVR series microcontrollers), 290 audio amplifier, as integrated circuit, 17 audio waveform, 227 autoranging, 389 Autorouter feature, 276, 278 AVR series microcontrollers (Atmel), 290 AWG (American Wire Gauge), 96 axle, 333
• B •
bag, anti-static, 171
bandwidth, 219, 389
base lead, transistor, 86, 151-152
BASIC (programming language), 285, 288
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400 Electronics For Dummies
BASIC Stamp controller, 111 Board of Education (BOE), 289, 292-293, 295-297, 340-341, 352-355 circuit construction, 292 description, 287-288 programming software, 289-290 programming the controller, 292-298 project board addition, 289 in smart rover project, 340-341, 352-358 varieties, 288 battery charging, 14 chemical types, 102 connecting in series, 99-100 description, 389 direct current (DC), 13 electrochemical reaction in, 13, 98-99 holder, 100-101, 354 invention of, 34 lantern, 99 memory effect, 102 milliamp-hour rating, 101 multimeter, 185, 189 parts, 13 polarity, 138 rechargeable, 101, 102 in robot project, 336-338, 354 safety, 31