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Can I tell specs of transistors from names?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by NuLED, Jun 7, 2013.

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  1. NuLED


    Jan 7, 2012
    2N3904, 2N3906...

    Are these just arbitrary names?

    For example, do I need to "brute force" memorize them the way we memorize CPU models such as 6502, 68000, etc. which have no real meaning except the product model at the time of conception?

    Is there ANY information gleaned at all from the part number?

  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Heck, it depends on the device.
    The two transistors you listed are JEDEC, or industry standard numbers.
    Some manufacturers try to keep particular families of devices with similar part numbers.
    I used to have to rely on manufacturer data books to get the specs on parts.
    Now you can just Google them, when you need those specs.
    Some semiconductor families turn-out to be 'flash-in-the-pan' devices, that are only
    in production for a few years. There's no point in memorizing specs unless you work
    on a particular component on a daily basis.
    Google is all you need, and it's there when you need it.
  3. NuLED


    Jan 7, 2012
    Ok thanks. Finally got some free time these days to experiment with transistors. Amazing stuff!
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