The average person uses a lot of electricity in the many things they do every day. We are used to being able to turn on a light, watch the television, use our mobile devices, and stream music or videos. Because electricity is so much a part of our lives, we should know something about it.
An electrical circuit is like a line or path that the electrical current flows through. The path can be one of two types of circuits:
To understand the simple electrical circuit you need to know the basic parts and the symbols that the scientists and electricians have given to them. All of the electronics in use today are based on electronic circuits that combine many parts including wires and components.
When scientists, electricians, and engineers want to draw electronic functions they create a diagram known as a schematic. They need to use these pictures because electronic circuits and their many functions can be really detailed.
Schematics show how each of the components are connected to each other, their function, and the ultimate success for the design. To make it easy for professionals around the world to understand schematics, a common set of symbols are used.
We use devices every day that have printed circuit boards, including laptops and tablets. These are boards that have many different electronic components in one place to create a working circuit.
The “wires” that we described earlier are all located right into the board and many printed circuit boards have different layers. Each circuit board layer has a specific set of wires and functions.
There are small holes that are drilled into the circuit board called “vias” that connect one layer to another layer. The components are soldered to the surface of the board and it makes electrical connections.
Printed circuit boards are really complicated and there are usually at least one layer that is devoted to being the “ground” and one layer that is for the “power supply.”
The ground layer is called the ground plane and acts as a return path for the current for many of the components. A majority of the active components that have a minimum of one “pin” that is needed to be connected to ground.
The standard circuit must also have at least one DC power supply. On some of the more complex circuit boards they can have more than one power supply. Remember that “V” represents voltage.
A majority of these power supplies will be +3.3V, +2.5V, or +1.8V. The type of voltage depends on the type of technology that it is being used for. In many cases a full layer of the circuit board is devoted to the main power that is supplying the voltage and is used to keep the power active to the components or parts.
There are some components that exist in the current path of the circuit but don’t have a need to be connected to the power supply. These are called “passive components” and examples can include capacitors, connectors, inductors, and resistors.
The components that require external power are called “active components.” They connect to the power supply and can inject or push power into the circuit.
Some amplify signals, while other examples can include transistors, diodes, and the CPU (central processing unit) in a computer that has integrated circuits.
What are the two types of electric circuits?
Closed end and Open end
What are the four parts of an electric circuit?
conductors, switch, load, and cell
What are passive components?
components that don’t need to be directly connected to a power supply
What are active components?
components that require external power
What is a printed circuit board?
boards that have many different electronic components in one place to create a working circuit