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Electronics Glossary 555 TimeA type of integrated circuit. The chip is used comenly in timer circuits. ACAlternating current, current that continuously varies in a sinusoidal manner. The polarity goes from - to + 50 times per second in the UK and 60 in the USA. We say this is 50/60Hz. AC is used to supply electricity to buildings. AC opposes DC. AnalogueUS:Analog. A continuously changing number. In electronics, analogue opposes 'digital'. ANDA type of logic function where the output is high (logic 1) only when all inputs are high. Angular VelocityThe rate of rotation around an axis (in radians). Known as rotation rate. Measured in degrees per second. ArmatureThe moving part of an electromagnetic device. The part that spins in a motor, generator or alternator. AxleA rod that is free to rotate. for example, the part a wheel is attached to. BinaryA way to count using two characters - 0 and 1. Used in digital circuits. ChamferA sloping edge caused by cutting away the corner of a shape. A beveled edge. Used to remove any sharp or uneven edges. CommutatorThe part of a motor that is attached to the armature and directs current into the windings of the motor. It is the rotating part of a DC generator. ComponentThe name given to an electronic part. For example, resistor and capacitor. ContactThe electromotive force or electric potential that causes a current to flow in a circuit. Switches are two contacts, when separated they break a circuit and when connected, make a circuit. CurrentThe flow of electric charge through a conducting material. Measured in amperes. The current is like the speed of water coming out of a hose pipe. DemagnetiseTo lose magnetism. DenaryA number system that uses 10 numbers. This is the most common way of counting. numbers range from 0-9. See also, Binaryand hexadecimal. DiameterThe length of a straight line that passes from one edge of a circle to the opposite edge. The diameter symbol is 'd'. DigitalA value that is either, 1 or 0, on or off, open or closed etc. Digital opposes analogue. Digital signals are used in microprocessors to tell them which pins to allow current to flow. So, 1 would mean open and 0 would be close. DiodeA component that will only allow current to pass through it in one direction. This accounts for many components, one being the LED (Light Emitting Diode). ElectrodesA solid conductor that is used to make electrical contact with a non-metallic material. Can provide the chemical action needed to turn chemical energy into electrical energy. This process is used in batteries. ElectromagnetA temporary magnet consisting of a soft iron core wrapped with a wire coil that becomes magnetic when current is passed through the coil. With a switch, it is a magnet on demand. Used to lift heavy metal easily. Electromagnetic coilA coil of wire that creates a magnetic field when current is passed through it. ElectronA particle inside an atom that has a negative a charge. Electrons that search for an atom needing them is the flow of electricity Energy (Electrical)The energy made available by the flow of electrical charge through a conductor. It is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), megawatt-hours (NM) or gigawatt-hours (GWh). HexadecimalA form of counting using 16 characters. Characters from 0-9 are in denary, the other 6 are from A-F. So, 0123456789ABCDEF. InstantaneousAt any instant in time. 'At an instant'. LeadA wire that connects to a component. Used when the connecting components aren't on the same printed circuit board. Light Emitting Diode (LED)A component that produces light. This only lets current flow through it one way. The short leg is negative and the long leg is positive. The flat side of the LED indicated the cathode (negative). Linear motionMovement in a straight line, backwards and forwards. MagnetAn object that is surrounded by a magnetic field that will attract iron or steel to it. MagnetisesTo become magnetic. Milliamp (mA)A unit of measurement for current, equal to 0.001 of an amp. MinimisationThe process used to simplify a logic circuit. The PCB track is moved closer to it's neighbor to make the board smaller and to save space. Programs are used to do this. MinimisingThe process of simplifying a logic circuit. NANDA type of logic function where the output is low (logic 0) only when all inputs are high (logic 1). NORA type of logic function where the output is low (logic 0) when any of the inputs are high (logic 1). NOTA type of logic function where the output logic level is opposite to the input logic level. ORA type of logic function where the output is high (logic 1) when any of the inputs are high. Ohm's LawThe law that defines the relationship between current, voltage and resistance. To find volts, cover the 'V', to find current, cover the 'I', to find resistance, cover the 'R'. OscillatingVoltage or current that moves between two extremes back and forth at a constant rate. OscillatorA device that produces electrical oscillation. PIC MicrocontrollerStands for Programmable Interrupt Controller. Programmable chip used in modern day electronics. PinElectrical connection point on a component. Pin-outmicrohenry, a unit of measurement for inductance, equal to 0.000001 of a henry. PolarisedThe amount of electrical energy in a circuit. Measured in watts . Watts = amps x volts. ResistorA component that limits the flow of charge (current) in a circuit. Protects other components from receiving too much current and burning out. PowerThe amount of electrical energy in a circuit. Measured in watts . Watts = amps x volts. ResistanceThe property that limits the flow of charge (current) in a circuit. Rotational motionMovement in a circular manner by rotating or spinning. For example, a motor. SinusoidalA waveform of the sine function. Also know as the sine wave. ToleranceHow much above and below a value a load can be. When talking about resistors, a tolerance of 1% (brown colour band) on a 100 ohm resistor would tell you the resistor could vary from 99 ohms and 101 ohms. The tolerance will tell you the quality/ accuracy of a resistor, a lower tolerance rating will be more accurate. Truth tableA table used with logic circuits that shows the output logic level for every combination of input levels. VoltageThe measurement of a unit of voltage. WattThe measurement of a unit of power. XNORA type of logic function where the output is off when the two inputs are different. XORThe opposite of the XNOR logic function. When both inputs are different, the output it on. |