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MAKE Electronics: Experiments 1 to 3

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by nyancatvsghosthead, Jul 16, 2012.

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  1. nyancatvsghosthead


    Jan 7, 2012
    I need help. I don't know if I know the material in the book for the first three experiments quite yet.

    Okay, so here is a little of what I've learned so far, in experiments 1 to 3:

    In a multi-meter, there are three sockets. The two wires coming out of the multimeter are leads (pronounced "leeds") The red one goes into volts and the black one goes into common.

    The ohm was discovered by George Simon Ohm and the Amp was discovered by Andre Marie Ampere.

    A fuse melts to protect the rest of the circuit, in order to stop it from getting too hot or starting a fire. A resistor resists a certain amount of electricity and is measured in ohms.

    Electrolyte is the conductive fluid that conducts electricity in a battery.

    An LED is much smarter than a light bulb, in that it conducts almost all of its power into light.

    If a resistor with a higher number of ohms is put into a circuit, the LED gets darker and vice versa.

    DC Current is direct current. AC is Alternating current. DC means that the current flows in one direction, while AC switches from positive to negative. AC is used more in wall sockets, cars, and other things that the book says it won't discuss very much. DC is used more with things run on small battery power.

    Resistor color code determines the amount of ohms in a resistor.

    Electricity runs from one terminal of the battery to the other, and electricity is very much like two tanks of water. If one tank is allowed to flow into the other, they will flow until they reach equality, as is electricity.

    I did each of the first three experiments and they each worked perfectly. :) Please let me know how I'm doing so far.
  2. nyancatvsghosthead


    Jan 7, 2012
    Oh and a little more

    I know that ohms are resistance, volts are pressure, watts are power, and amps are flow. Also, I know that ohms are measured by the omega sign, 1/1000 of a volt is a millivolt. 1/1000 of an amp is a milli-amp. 1000 OHMS is a KILOHM and 1,000,000 Ohms is a MEGOHM.
  3. nyancatvsghosthead


    Jan 7, 2012
    Oh, and I've learned resistor color coding, which I use an online calculator for.
  4. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    You've got it workably close to perfect :)

    But let me just correct a few minor issues so you don't trip up later on

    Resistance is something that impedes the flow of current, it is measured in units called Ohms (use an uppercase letter, it would please Mr Ohm)

    Potential difference is measured in Volts (again, uppercase for Mr Voltaire). A potential difference is like a difference in pressure. We often talk about potential difference because there is often no absolute measure of zero.

    It's a bit like saying a step is 20cm tall. It doesn't matter if the step is at the top or the bottom of the staircase, it's the difference in height we're interested in, and where would we measure zero from anyway? (but we can measure from the bottom step to the top step!)

    Power is measured in units of Watts (be nice to Jim).

    Amps (Mr Ampere was a person) are the units used to measure current. Flow in this case is a fairly tricky concept, but the analogy fits well.

    The symbol used to denote values in Ohms is the omega sign.

    1000 Ohms is a Kiloohm (often written as kilohm, but more often as kOhm, kΩ, or just k. Pronounced as kilo-Ohm, not Kill-ohm, or just 'k')
    1000 kiloohms is a megaohm (often written a megohm or MΩ, and pronounced as either mega-Ohm or meg-Ohm, or just "Meg")

    Note that "k" is the rare beast of SI multiplier that is for a value greater than 1, yet appears in lowercase. Normally multipliers > 1 have uppercase (M, G, T, P, E) and < 1 have lowercase (m, u, n, p, f, ...).

    Quite often when referring to resistance values we just use the multiplier. This can cause confusion, but we rarely ever use a multiplier without a unit except for resistance and distance and speed, and those three will rarely be confused (Get a 1k. You have to go about 20k down the road. It was only 10k's over the speed limit officer)
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
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