Understanding Capacitors and Their Uses (1964) -- Contents and Intro


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Definition-History-Basic Construction-Basic Theory Measurement Units-Variations in Construction-Capacitor Safety


Energy Absorption-Power Factor-Temperature-Dielectric Material-Dielectric Stress-Plate Losses-Equivalent Capacitor Circuit-Capacitance Measurement-Capacitor Operation-Time Constant-Capacitive Reactance-impedance-Resonance


Basic Development-Air Capacitors-Paper and Film Capacitors-Mica Capacitors-Ceramic Capacitors-Tubular Ceramic Capacitors-Variable Ceramic Capacitors-Miscellaneous Ceramic Capacitors-Electrolytic Capacitors Tantalum Capacitors-Specialized Capacitors


Operating Characteristics-Energy Storage-Filtering Dividing-Coupling or Blocking-Buffers-Tuning-AC Motor Starting and Running


Tolerance - Temperature - Type Consideration - Electrolytic Substitution-Voltage Rating-Parallel Capacitors Series Capacitors-Shape Consideration-Multiple Units Replacement Techniques - Lead Length - Soldering Precautions


Testing with the VOM or VTVM-In-Circuit Capacitor Checkers-Out-of-Circuit Capacitor Checkers-Color Codes and Symbols

Capacitor theory, design, application, replacement, and testing ... for anyone who works with electronic circuits.


Did you know that capacitors have been in existence for over 200 years? Discovered by accident and for many years regarded as little more than a scientific curiosity, they are still surrounded by much mystery and misinformation.

Even the name of this component is confusing. It was originally called "condenser" and many persons still use that terminology. The word "condenser" came into use because the unit apparently condensed electricity. More investigation, however, disclosed that this was not the case. As a matter of fact, capacitors have the ability to store electrons and thus the capacity for retaining a given charge. Therefore, the more accurate name of capacitor is used through out this guide.

This is a practical treatise and not a lengthy scientific dissertation. It has been written to answer practical questions that might arise in the everyday servicing of electronics equipment. While a certain amount of theory has been included, the principal purpose of this book is to eliminate the mystery surrounding capacitors, and explain how they operate, how they are made, how they are used, and why they fail in service. In addition, there is practical information on testing and replacement.

When you have digested the contents, you should have a much better understanding of the working principles of capacitors.

The author wishes to express his sincere gratitude for the assistance rendered by many engineers, technicians, and editors who made this guide possible.

--WILLIAM F. MULLIN; May, 1961

Also see:

Using Scopes in Transistor Circuits (1968)

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