How to Build a Basic Electronic Circuit

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The components within an electronic circuit are much lower, in terms of energy consumption, than an electrical circuit. Find out how to use a transistor to create an integrated circuit with help from a science teacher in this free video on electronic circuits.

Part of the Video Series: Physics Help
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to build a basic electronic circuit. Now this is an electronic circuit and not an electrical circuit. The components within the electronic circuit are different. They are much lower in terms of energy consumption. They are very much smaller. So the typical component is a transistor. We don't use individual transistors an awful lot nowadays. We tend to use integrated circuits, which you might be familiar with because they're illustrated everywhere nowadays. The difference between the two is nothing. It's the packaging. The transistor is an operating device and it's normally, if it's on its own, is in a little compact package like this with three legs on it marked c, b and e. To find out which is which , you look at a data sheet which is provided with it. And the data sheet usually also gives you circuit diagrams which will be used with that device. So here is my transistor c, b and e and the only other components I'm using here are two resistors and a light emitting diode. So this is a circuit which would show you how to use a transistor. Doesn't matter about that. What is important is how we actually construct the circuit. And we would use normally a stripped board or a printed circuit board. You tend to use printed circuit boards when you have finished the design of your circuit So then you can etch a printed circuit board. This circuit board is strip board where you've got copper strips with holes in parallel on a substrate which is insulating. Always your components are placed on the insulated side and the legs from the components, these legs, go through the board and poke out of the other side. They can then be soldered there. If we use integrated circuits, more often we use a holder and we solder the holder in first and then plug in the integrated circuits. This is in case the integrated circuit fails for some reason. Or to avoid getting it hot. Because getting it hot damages it. So when we do this as you can see we've got a continuous line of copper here, but I've got two legs and the legs are both going into the same line of copper. That is not good. So what I have to do is, I have to break the strip here and there is a special little tool which you put in one of the holes and turn it. It just drills the surface out and leaves a space so that you end up with two holes, like this. You end up with two pieces of copper and each one is connected to one of the legs here. Then if we want to put other components on, if I want to add a resistor, I put it on the back. It's behind there. Say if I want it between here and here, I put the leg through here and here and I solder it. If I want it between here and here, I do the same. I can put pieces of wire on, I can attach the battery connections on, etc. So this enables me to build up my circuit in a very compact fashion or close together so that the whole thing actually takes up very little space. So this is basically how to create and build an electronic circuit.


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