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How To Check Electrical Capacitor

For power factor correction over a wide operating temperature range, the paper chlorinated diphenyl
type, preferably of the type having capacitance-temperature stabilization is easily the first choice, both
as to size and endurance under 60-cycle voltage. Here again next best choice would be a mineral-oil unit
of larger size.
In this voltage-regulated power supply the capacitance value must not deviate by more than 10 per
cent due to all causes. In judging whether a electrical capacitor will meet these deviation limits we must
take into account not only the initial capacitance tolerance at the time of manufacture but also the
probable changes in service due to temperature and aging. For example, if our se lection is to be a
mineral-oil paper capacitor, then we can expect a variation of the order of d=i per cent relative to 70 .
Aging may be expected to contribute i per cent. So temperature and aging changes may total 2 per
cent. The difference between 10 per cent and 2 per cent, namely 8 per cent, represents the limits to
which the capacitance must be adjusted in the factory. Information on the capacitance stability of
specific types is usually obtainable from the manufacturer.
In a telephone subscriber's set, the capacitor usually works under lenient conditions of temperature
and humidity and the voltage is low. Long service life and reliability are prime requirements while
capacitance limits and Q are of secondary importance. Here the Halowax-paper capacitor with
inexpensive asphalt or wax sealing, offers a compact and economical solution. However, in the tropics or
the arctic, similar telephone equipment might call for more expensive and larger capacitors made with
different impregnates and hermetic seals suitable for extreme heat, cold or humidity.
In electric wave filters, precise location of the pass- frequency band Imposes narrow capacitance limits.
Also the Q must be high to Insure satisfactory discrimination against unwanted frequencies at the cutoff points of the pass-band. In cases where the highest precision and stability are required, mica
capacitors, preferably of silvered mica construction are Indicated.

For the wave filters where requirements for precision and stability are much less exacting than In
Example F and where higher capacitances are Involved as, for example. In audio-frequency filters, the
hydrocarbon wax impregnated paper capacitor offer the economical solution. The smaller Halowax -type
capacitor could afford neither the capacitance stability nor the Q of the hydrocarbon type. Working at
room temperatures under normal conditions of humidity, the capacitor may be adequately sealed with
asphalt or wax. Wider temperature ranges or severe conditions of humidity would call for more
expensive and larger mineral-oil Impregnated capacitors with hermetic seals.

For by-pass and audio-frequency coupling in a home radio, paper capacitors In tubular casings mounted
by their wire leads supply the needed mechanical compactness. Under temperate indoor conditions, a
tubular casing of waxed cardboard may be sufficient protection, but at higher humidities, for example,
along sea coast locations and in tropical climates, the cardboard might take In sufficient water to cause
dielectric failure especially If the capacitor is worked close to its voltage rating. In addition. If the
capacitor Is for grid-plate couphng, the absorbed water might seriously Impair the needed low, directcurrent leakage. In such cases a metal-encased, hermetically-sealed, tubular type Is Indicated. For
cathode resistor by-pass purposes where the voltage is low and the leakage unimportant.