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(CODE: AAB 10302)

Compiled by: Reference Text Book:

1. Sanderson, J (2004). A&P Technician: General
Textbook. Englewood, CO: Sanderson Training
Mohammad Faizal b. Mohd Sharif 2. Glencoe Aviation Technology Series – Aircraft
Specialist (Avionics) Electricity and Electronics
for UniKL MIAT Sdn Bhd 3. Principles of Electric Circuits by Floyd

1. Electron theory states all Matter is comprised of molecules, which in turn are comprised of
atoms, which are again comprised of protons, neutrons and electrons.

2. A molecule is the smallest part of Matter which can exist by itself and contains one or more

3. Matter is anything that has weight and occupies space, hence everything that we can see and

4. Matter exist in solid, liquid and gas which are,

solid – any form of metal e.g. iron, copper, gold and etc.
liquid – any form of fluid e.g. water, oil, acid and etc.
gas – state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states e.g. vapor, air, oxygen and etc.

5. Matter is made up of Element and Compound.

6. The basic substance of matter is Element.

7. Element is a substance that contains the same kind of atom such as copper, gold, oxygen and

8. Compound is a substance that contains different kind of atom e.g. water consist of element
hydrogen and oxygen i.e. H2O.

9. The smallest particle of an Element which contains the characteristic of an element is called

10. The smallest particle of a Compound is called Molecule which does retain the characteristic
of a compound.
Solid Line
MATTER K shell
_ (-)


Atom of the Atom of
same kind different kind Proton Neutron
(+) (no charge)
Central Dense
Region or

11. The size of an Atom is 10-8 cm.

12. Atom consist of;.

a) a rotating substance called Electrons.

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b) a fixed central dense region called Nucleus.

13. Electron carries a negative charges (-) and rotating along a track called Orbit or Shell.

14. The number of Shells or Orbits that surround the nucleus are 7, determine by the Physical

15. Electron travel at a speed of light (186,000 mile/sec or 299,000 km/sec) and is indicated by a
Solid Line.

16. The maximum number of electron orbiting on the outermost shell is 8 electrons as determine
by the Law of Quantum Mechanics.

17. The Shell are named using letters K, L, M, N, O, P and Q.

18. Valence Shell contains at least one electron at the outermost shell.

19. Valence Electrons are electrons that orbit on the outermost shell (i.e. Valence Shell) of an

20. The result of unbalanced electrostatic condition, the atom will be electrically charged.
Charged atoms are called Ions.

21. Ionization is a term indicating the state of charge of an atom i.e. positive charge or negative
charge based on Adding and Subtracting a valence electrons or free electrons.

22. A Conductor is a material that allows electrons to flow. It has 1 to 3 valence electrons. All
metals are conductor. Four excellent conductors are gold, silver, copper and aluminum.

23. An Insulator is a material that restricts current flow e.g. wood, plastic and etc. It has 5 to 8
valence electrons.

24. A Semiconductor is a material that has a very high resistance to current flow in their pure
state and very low resistance to current flow when electrons are added or removed. It consist of
4 valence electron i.e. germanium or silicon to make a semiconductor devices.

25. The central dense region or nucleus of an atom contains Protons and Neutrons.

26. Protons carry positive charge (+ve) and neutron carries No Charge or Neutral.

27. The purpose of the Neutron is to provide a Newton Shield to the proton, e.g. a substance of
the same charges i.e. positive and positive will repel.

28. The chemical characteristic or charge of an atom is based on the numbers of electrons and
protons i.e. a positive charge atom consist more protons and a negative charges atom consist
more electron then protons.

29. The physical property of an atom or the weight factor depends on the number of protons and
neutrons in an atom i.e. the atom is very heavy when it is has more proton and neutron.

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1. Static electricity is called electrostatics. The word static means stationary or at rest, and
electric charges that are at rest are called static electricity.

2. Rubbing certain materials together can cause the buildup of electrical charges on the surfaces.
Opposite charges attract and same charges repel. Either charge will be attracted to something of
neutral charge. Sparks are an extreme case of electrons being attracted to an object that has a
positive charge.

3. An excess of electrons creates a negatively charged body and deficiency of electrons creates a
positively charged body. This excess or deficiency of electrons can be used by friction between
two dissimilar substances. See figure below.

4. The force that created between two charged bodies is called the electrostatic force. This force
can be either attractive or repulsive, depend on the object’s charge. Like charges repel each
other, and unlike charges attract each other.

5. The strength of an electrostatic field between two bodies is directly proportional to the strength
of the charge on those two bodies.

6. The strength of electrostatic force either repelling or attracting is also affected by the distance
between the two charged bodies. If the distance between the two charged substances increases,
the electrostatic force decreases; conversely, if the distance decreases, the force increases.

7. Coulomb's law stated as follows:

“The magnitude or strength of the electrostatic force between two point charges is directly
proportional to the magnitudes of each charge and inversely proportional to the square of the
distance between the charges.”

In equation form, Coulomb's law can be stated as

k (Q1) (Q2)
F (Force) = --------------

where, Q1 represents the quantity of charge on object 1 (in Coulombs), Q2 represents the quantity
of charge on object 2 (in Coulombs), and d represents the distance between the centers of charge
of separation between the two objects/charges (in meters). The symbol k is a proportionality
constant known as the Coulomb's law constant. The value of this constant is dependent upon the
medium that the charged objects are immersed in. In the case of air, the value is approximately

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9.0 x 109 N • m2 / C2. If the charged objects are present in water, the value of k can be reduced by
as much as a factor of 80. It is worthwhile to point out that the units on k are such that when
substituted into the equation the units on charge (Coulombs) and the units on distance (meters)
will be canceled, leaving a Newton as the unit of force.

8. If the distance between two objects with dissimilar charges is doubled, the force of attraction is
reduced to one-fourth its original value.

9. If the distance between two electrical charged objects is cut in half, the force of attraction
between them increases by a factor of four.

10. For examples, as an aircraft flies, friction between air and the aircraft surface builds up a static
charge. When aircraft land, these charges must be grounded to neutralize the static charge before
refueling the aircraft. A spark can ignite the explosive fumes and cause a serious fire.

11. During flight, to prevent an excessive charge from building up, many aircraft utilize static
discharge wicks, and then discharge into the air.

12. Several aircraft utilize bonding strap which provides a conductive path between the two
structures. The maximum permissible resistance of a bonding strap is 0.003 ohms (3 milliohms).

13. Conduction of electricity is the movement of electrically charged particles through a

transmission medium. The medium can be either,
a) Solids - example metals (copper, silver, gold, aluminum, etc), semiconductor, and

b) Liquids - example electrolytes in the battery, where the electric currents in

electrolytes are flows of electrically charged atoms (ions)),

c) Gasses - example if the potential across the gas is high enough it will spontaneously
ionize a path and a current will flow, if only for a short time till the
potential difference drops below ionization levels and this phenomena is
what causes a lightning,

d) Vacuum - it is only become conductive by injecting free electrons or ions through

either field emission or thermionic emission. Thermionic emission occurs
when the thermal energy exceeds the metal's work function, while field
emission occurs when the electric field at the surface of the metal is high
enough to cause tunneling, which results in the ejection of free electrons
from the metal into the vacuum. Vacuum tubes (e.g. Cathode Ray Tube)
and sprytrons are some of the electronic switching and amplifying devices
based on vacuum conductivity. However, a "perfect vacuum" contains no
charged particles, vacuums normally behave as very good insulators.

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1. The purpose to generate electricity is to provide electrical pressure or force in order to drive
the electrons along the conductor or wire in the circuit. This also creates a potential different
between two points or terminal so that the electrical current can flow.

2. There are 7 types of power sources:

a) Light - produces a voltage when light strike on a photosensitive / photoemissive

material such as zinc/selenium.
- when zinc/selenium expose to ultraviolet light, it produces a voltage
known as photoelectric effect.
- application in spacecraft, satellite use sun as electric power.

b) Heat - when two dissimilar metals such as copper/zinc, iron/constantan,

alumel/chromel heated up, it will produce voltage known as
thermoelectric effect.
- combination of two dissimilar metal called thermocouple.
- current flow depend on temperature between the two junction.
- application on aircraft instrumentation is used in Exhaust Gas
Temperature (EGT)and Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) sensor.

c) Friction - friction between two dissimilar materials together produces static

- not useful form of power for aircraft application.

d) Pressure - electricity created by applying pressure to certain types of crystal like

quartz will cause their molecular structure distorted and electrons may
be emitted into a conductor and this process known as piezoelectric
- application in microphone which is converting sound wave into
electric power.

e) Chemical - two different plate carbon rods and zinc immersed in a chemical and
reaction take place thus produces voltage known as battery.
- application on aircraft is battery for engine starting and emergency.

f) Magnetism - voltage is produced by moving a conductor through a magnetic field

and this process known as electromagnetic induction.
- application on aircraft is generator which provides majority of all
electric power.

g) Motion - wind is a simple air in motion to produce electricity. The motion of wind
is collected by converting the rotation of turbine blades into electrical
current by means of an electrical generator (the magnetism principle is
- application on aircraft is a Ram Air Turbine Generator in aircraft
mainly for standby power if all power inclusive battery failed.

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1. Potential Difference is difference in the electrical potential of two points, being equal to the
electrical energy converted by a unit electric charge moving from one point to the other. The SI
unit of potential difference is the Volts (V). The potential difference between two points in a
circuit is commonly referred to as voltage (and can be measured with a voltmeter).

2. Electromotive Force (EMF) is a electrical force causes electrons to flow in an electrical

circuit. This force is measured in Volts (V). A number of terms used to express electrical force is
voltage, voltage drop, potential, potential difference and IR (current and resistance) drop.

3. Voltage (V) is also called electromotive force or potential difference. Voltage is produced by
the power source e.g. battery, generator, solar cell, etc. It is also measured in Volts (V) and
represent by symbol E or V.

4. The main factor affecting all the above is the power source. Certain power source can
maintain its electrical force or voltage e.g. generator and some the power source will be degraded
its voltage e.g. battery.

5. One volt is the EMF required to cause current to flow at the rate of 1 ampere through a
resistance of 1 ohm.

6. Other measurement of voltages are;

a) Megavolts (MV) – 1,000,000 Volts (106 V)
b) Kilovolts (kV) – 1,000 Volts (103 V)
c) Volt (V) – unit
d) Milivolts (mV) – 1/1,000 Volt or 0.001 Volt (10-3 V)
e) Microvolts (µV) – 1/1,000,000 Volts or 0.000001 Volt (10-6 V)

7. Current is defined as a flow of electrons forced into motion by voltage in the electrical
circuit. The amount of current in a circuit is measured in amperes (Amps). The letter “I” is used
to represent the amount of current in a circuit.

8. Other measurement of currents are;

a) Amps (A) – unit
b) Miliamp (mA) – 1/1,000 Amp or 0.001 Amp (10-3 A)
c) Microamp (µA) – 1/1,000,000 Amp or 0.000001 Amp (10-6 A)

9. When one coulomb of electron flow passed a point in one second it is termed as one coulomb
second and this also equal to one ampere of current flow.

10. The greater the number of electrons passing a given point in a circuit, the greater the intensity
of the current. The intensity of current depends on the size or the cross sectional area of the
conductor/wire (as shown below), power source and resistance in the circuit.


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11. There are two types of current flow:

a) Conventional Current Flow: Current flow from high potential ( + ) to low potential
( - ) or positive terminal to negative terminal. Refer Figure below.

LP HP HP – High Potential
- + LP – Low Potential

b) Electron Flow: Current flow from a region (area) of more electrons to a region of
less electrons or from negative (-) to positive (+) terminal. Refer figure below.

LE – Less Electron
- + ME – More Electron

12. When a current flow through a conductor it causes the following effect;
a) Heating effect – toaster, rice cooker etc
b) Light effect – lamp
c) Magnetic effect – generator, motor etc
d) Chemical effect – refreshing chemical in battery

13. Three types of current:

a) Direct current (DC) is a movement of electrons in one direction in a conductor.
- current that travels in the same direction at all time to the load (unidirectional)
- is a non varying in nature such that obtained from a battery or filtered power supply
- the amplitude of voltage and current remain steady often referred as ‘pure DC’


b) Pulsating DC is a current in one direction that varies in intensity at a regular interval

of time.
- either current or voltage vary from zero reference level to maximum or peak value
- to find Average Value of pulsating D.C. is by peak value multiply by 0.637.

Peak Value


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c) Alternating current (AC) is a current flow through a load in one direction and then
reverses with continually changes its value and periodically.


14. Resistance is a property of materials that oppose or restrict the movement of electrons or
reduce the current flow. All materials have some resistance. Resistance is measured in Ohms.
The symbol for Ohms is the Greek letter Omega, Ω and the letter “R”, representing resistance,
are used in formulas.

15. Other measurement of resistance are;

a) Megaohms (MΩ) – 106 Ω
b) Kiloohms (kΩ) – 1,000 Ohms (103 Ω)
c) Ohms (Ω) – Unit

16. There are few factors affecting resistance and there are;
a) Materials used:- Example mica, glass, carbon, copper, aluminum.

b) Area:- cross-sectional area- bigger cross-sectional, less resistance

smaller cross-sectional area, high resistance
i) measurement for round conductor’s cross-sectional area is called
Circular mils.
- One mils = 0.001 inches
- To find cross-sectional area of the conductor in circular mils, square the
conductor’s diameter. ( A = d2)
Example: Diameter of the round wire is 3/8 inches or 375 mils, therefore, its
circular area is 375 x 375 = 140,625 circular mils.
ii) measurement for square or rectangular conductor’s cross-sectional area is
called Square mils.
- To find cross-sectional area in square mils, length x width.
Example: A copper that has 400 mils thick and 500 mils wide, therefore, its
area is 400 mils x 500 mils = 200,000 square mils i.e. bus bar.

Note: One circular mil = 0.7854 square mil

To convert circular mil to square mil – multiply circular mil area by 0.7854.
To convert square mil to circular mil – divide square mil area by 0.7854.

c) Length:- increase wire length, increase resistance

decrease wire length, decrease resistance

d) Temperature
i) positive coefficient – increase in temperature, increase in resistance
decrease in temperature, decrease in resistance
ii) negative coefficient – increase in temperature, decrease in resistance
(e.g. ceramic) decrease in temperature, increase in resistance
iii) zero coefficient – increase or decrease temperature, no change in

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17. Conductance is a term that opposites of resistance. It has the ability of a material to pass
electrons. The factors that affect the magnitude of conductance are the opposite manner of
resistance. Therefore, conductance is directly proportional to area, and inversely proportional to
the length of the material. The temperature of the material is also a factor. The unit of
conductance is the MHO (G), which is ohm spelled backwards. Recently, the term mho has been
redesignated SIEMENS (S). The symbol used to represent conductance (G) is (S). The
relationship that exists between resistance (R) and conductance (G) or (S) is a reciprocal one.

1 1
R = ------ , G = ------

18. Electric charge is a fundamental conserved property of some subatomic particles, which
determines their electromagnetic interactions. Electrically charged matter is influenced by, and
produces, electromagnetic fields. The interaction between a moving charge and the
electromagnetic field is the source of the electromagnetic force, which is one of the four
fundamental forces. In general, same-sign charged particles repel one another, while different-
sign charged particles attract.

19. The SI unit for quantity of electricity or electric charge is the coulomb, which represents
approximately 6.24 × 1018 elementary charges (the charge on a single electron or proton). The
coulomb is defined as the quantity of charge that has passed through the cross-section of an
Electrical conductor carrying one ampere within one second. The symbol Q is often used to
denote a quantity of electricity or charge.

20. Fuse is an electrical circuit protective device.;

a) Used to protect the circuit or wiring from overheating and burn off the insulation.

b) Made of low melting point alloy enclosed in a glass tube and made of lead, lead and
tin and tin and bismuth.

c) When current flow becomes excessive, the metal alloy melts and open the circuit.

d) The fuse wire has a very low resistance and connected in series with the load.

e) Replace fuse only when the defect has been rectified and with a correct rating.

f) Fast blow fuse for general purpose use.

g) Slow blow fuse is used in power surge area and accept a momentary surge by a spring
also known as current limiter. There is a short delay before the metal link melts. The
metal link is made of copper which has high melting point.

ii) Aircraft use is of the High Rupture Capacity (HRC) type. Aircraft spare fuse
requirement are based on 3 of each or 10% of each type.

i) Fuses are not resettable and are rated based on Maximum current rating.

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21. Circuit Breaker is another electrical circuit protective device, which can be reset;

a) Purpose to isolate the electrical circuit if excess current flow.

b) An improve of the fuse where CB is resettable.

c) Symbol for CB

d) CB operate is based on;

xi) heating effect (used bimetallic strip), and
xii) magnetic effect.

e) The type of CB used on the aircraft is of the Trip Free Type and classified as;
i) Toggle
ii) Push to Reset
iii) Push Pull type

f) The type of CB used on the aircraft is of the Trip Free Type and classified as;
i) Toggle
ii) Push to Reset
iii) Push Pull type

i) The Push Pull type is widely used in the aircraft because it can behave as a switch.

i) Automatic reset type CB is not recommended for aircraft used.

i) CB is rated based on the maximum current rating.

22. Switch is an electrical control circuit device.

a) A switch can be defined as a device for closing or opening (making or breaking) an

electrical circuit.

b) Consists of one or more pairs of contacts made of metal alloy which allow current to
flow when contact is closed.

c) Switches can be manually operated, electrically operated and electronically operated.

d) Manual switch usually operated by either a lever or a push button, electrically

operated switches are generally called relays or solenoids and an electronically
operated switch utilizes a transistor.

e) Type of aircraft switches

i) Toggle switch; used to control most of electrical components and some fitted
with restrictor and have to pull to ‘Select’.
ii) Rocker switch; same as above.
iii) Rotary or wafer switch; it has many input and provide one output and
commonly used on radio control panel.

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iv) Precision switch or micro switch; requires an extremely small movement to trip
and drive the contact together commonly used in landing gear, flaps, speed
breaks, spoilers etc also known as limit switch.
v) Guarded switch; spring loaded to ‘OFF’ position and for the operation of critical
aircraft system

f) Switch can be configured in

i) Single pole single throw (SPST); used to open or close a single circuit.
ii) Single pole double throw (SPDT); used to control more than one circuit.
iii) Double pole single throw (DPST); generally used to control both battery and
iv) Double pole double throw (DPDT); control two circuits has either two or three

g) Contact of switches are configured in

i) Normally open (n/o); normally used as monitoring.
ii) Normally close (n/c); normally used as failure indication

h) Switches rated as current and voltage.

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a) The purpose is to control the amount of current flow by converting some of the electrical energy
that flows through the circuit into heat.

b) There are two types of resistors:

a) Fixed resistor
b) Variable resistor

c) Fixed resistors has three common types :

a) Composition resistor - to control small amount of current.
- made of mixture of carbon and an insulating material.
- percentage mixture of two material determine the resistance
- size available from 1/8 to 2 watts; the larger the physical size,
the more power it can dissipate.

b) Film resistor - used in modern electronics equipment.

- consist of a thin layer or film of resistive material wrapped
around a nonconductive ceramic core material.
- resistor leads are inserted into a cap and placed onto the end
of ceramic core.

c) Wire wound resistor - used when there is a great deal of power to be dissipated
(high current).
- highly resistive wire wound over hollow ceramic tube.

d) Variable resistor has three terminals and can be constructed as a;

a) Rheostat - to control current in a circuit.
- used only two terminals.
- the sliding contact in series with the load.
- application; control brightness of cockpit lighting, dimmer switch.

b) Potentiometer - to control voltage in a circuit
- used all three terminals
- the load connected across the variable resistor
- application; radio volume control, voltage divider


- 2
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e) The value of resistor can be determined by
a) using an ohmmeter.
b) color band.
c) body, tip ,spot (BOTS).

f) Resistor value using color bands :

a) 1st band - 1st figure.
b) 2nd band - 2nd figure.
c) 3rd band - number of zeros (multiplier).
d) 4th band - tolerance in percentage.
- gold – 5%
- silver – 10%
- no forth band – 20%

If the ohmic value is less than 10, then silver or gold for third band.

5% - Gold
10% - Silver

Resistor colors by numbers

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

g) Resistor value using BOTS (use color code above) :

a) Body - 1st figure.
b) Tip - 2nd figure.
c) Spot - number of zeros.
Tip – Second Figure
Dot of Band – Multiplier
h) Resistor is rated as Ohm and Watts Body – First Figure

i) Symbols for resistors :

a) Fixed resistor :

b) Variable resistor :

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j) The following are some example for other standard to determine the resistor value
a) BS 1852 Coding for resistor values
i) The letter R is used for Ohms and K for Kohms, M for Megohms .and placed
where the decimal point would go.
ii) At the end is a letter that represents tolerance.
- Where M=20%, K=10%, J=5%, G=2%, and F=1% D=0.5% C=0.25 B=0.1%

Example: R33 – 0.33 ohm , 2R2 – 2.2 ohms , 1K2 – 1.2k ohms , 4M7 – 4.7M ohms ,
5K6G – 5.6K ohms 2%

k) Military specification for resistor

a) MIL-R-11.
b) MIL-R-39008.
c) MIL-R-39017
d) There is other MIL-R- standards.

Example : RCR07C1003F – 100K ohms ¼ W ± 1%,

RCR07C4700G – 470 ohms ¼ W ± 2%,

RCR07C2071G – 2.07K ohms ¼ W ± 2%,

MIL-R-11 MIL-R-39008
Style Style
1/8 RC05 RCR05
¼ RC07 RCR07
½ RC20 RCR20
1 RC32 RCR32
2 RC42 RCR42
3 - -
4 - -
type Tolerance
5 ±5% J
2 ±20% -
1 ±10% K
- ±2% G
- ±1% F
- ±0.5% D
- ±0.25% C
- ±0.1% B

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l) A thermistor is a type of resistor used to measure temperature changes, relying on the change in
its resistance with changing temperature. Thermistor is a combination of the words thermal and

m) If we assume that the relationship between resistance and temperature is linear (i.e. we make a
first-order approximation), then we can say that:

ΔR = kΔT
where , ΔR = change in resistance
ΔT = change in temperature
k = first-order temperature coefficient of resistance

Thermistors can be classified into two types depending on the sign of k. If k is positive, the
resistance increases with increasing temperature, and the device is called a positive temperature
coefficient (PTC) thermistor, Posistor. If k is negative, the resistance decreases with increasing
temperature, and the device is called a negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistor.

n) Thermistors are commonly used in modern digital thermostats and to monitor the temperature of
battery packs while charging.

o) Varistors (Variable Resistors) are voltage-dependent resistors with a symmetrical V/I

characteristic curve, whose resistance decreases with increasing voltage. Connected in parallel
with the electronic device or circuit that is to be guarded, they form a low-resistance shunt when
voltage increases and thus prevent any further rise in the overvoltage.

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1. The purpose is to store electrical energy in the electrostatic field that exists between two
conductors that are separated by an insulation or dielectric. Sometimes called a Condenser.

2. Capacitor is constructed as
a) Two plates negative (-) and positive (+)
b) Dielectric is an insulator.

3. When two plates of a capacitor are initially attached to a battery, electrons are drawn from the
plate attached to the positive terminal and flow to the plate attach to the negative terminal.
4. This process continues until the plates become fully charged.

5. Once its charged, the voltage across the capacitor will match the voltage of the battery.

6. Then, once the voltage match the current flow stops, if the switch is off, the capacitor will
immediately discharge.

7. Capacitor store energy into 2 ways:-

a) Through the electrostatic attraction across the dielectric.
b) Through distortion of the electron orbits of the atom within the dielectric material.
i) This distortion sometimes called dielectric stress.
ii) The higher the dielectric stress, the higher the insulator’s capacity.
iii) The number used to express dielectric stress is referred to as ‘K’ values. Also
known as relative permittivity.
iv) The greater the number, the greater the permittivity of the material.
v) Air is given a dielectric constant 1 and used a reference to establish the
dielectric constant for other materials.
vi) Mica is generally used as dielectric in capacitor and has a dielectric constant of
5.5. This means that the capacitor using mica as dielectric material has 5.5
times the capacitance of the similar capacitor having air as the dielectric
material. The dielectric constant of a material, its insulating quality or as known
as dielectric strength must be considered and is measured in term of the voltage
required to rapture a given thickness of the material.
vii) In selecting a capacitor for any purpose, it is important that the capacitance be
correct and that the breakdown voltage of the capacitor be greater than the
voltage to which the capacitor will be subjected when in use

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8. Factors affecting capacitance of capacitor are :
a) Plate Area (A)
i) The larger the plate the more electron can be stored
ii) Increase plate area, increase capacitance and vise versa.

b) Distance between plate (D)

i) The plate distance determine the strength of the electrostatic field
ii) The strength of the electrostatic force is increase inversely to the separation of
between the plates.
iii) Increase plate distance, decrease capacitance and vise versa.

c) Composition of dielectric (K)

i) Dielectric increase, capacitance increase

Determine by the formula,

K x A (m2)
Capacitance = -------------
D (m)

A dielectric material with a high dielectric constant is a better insulator than a

dielectric material with a low dielectric constant. Dielectric constants for some
common materials are given in the following list:

Material Constant
Vacuum 1.0000
Air 1.0006
Paraffin paper 3.5
Glass 5 to 10
Mica 3 to 6
Rubber 2.5 to 35
Wood 2.5 to 8
Glycerine (15°C) 56
Petroleum 2
Pure Water 81

9. Unit of capacitor is Farad and denote by the letter C and its symbol are
+ -

Fixed Capacitor Variable Capacitor Electrolytic Capacitor

10. One Farad is the capacity required to hold one coulomb of electricity under a force of one
C (capacitance in Farad) = Q (charge in coulomb), Q = I x t (Amp . sec)
V (Voltage in Volt)

11. Each capacitor has a voltage rating (a working voltage) that should not be exceeded.

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12. Capacitor is constructed in two types
a) Fixed.
b) Variable

13. Fixed type

a) Electrolytic capacitor.
i) Have large amount of capacity with low working voltage.
ii) It is polarized, means must be properly connected and can be used only in DC
circuit. If wrong polarity connection may cause overheat and explode.
iii) Higher capacity for their small physical size extremely thin dielectric.
iv) Positive plate is made of aluminum foil with an extremely thin oxide film
deposited on it to serve as the dielectric. A liquid or paste electrolyte contacts
both the positive plate and the negative container the capacitor is sealed in. This
allows the electrolyte to form the second plate of the capacitor.

b) Non-electrolytic capacitor.

i) Paper Capacitor
- low value of capacitance;
- used paper type where two strips of very thin metal foil separated by a strip of
waxed paper
- usually range in value from about 300 picofarads to about 4 microfarads.
- working voltage rarely exceeds 600 volts.
- are sealed with wax to prevent the harmful effects of moisture and to prevent
corrosion and leakage.

ii) Mica Capacitor

- smaller capacity with higher working voltage;
- used stacks of thin metal foil sandwiched between thin sheet of mica.

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- capacitor parts are molded into a plastic case to prevent from, corrosion and
damage to the plates and dielectric.
- generally the capacitance values ranging from 1 pF to 0.1µF and the voltage
from 100VDC to 2500VDC or higher.
- Mica is an excellent dielectric and can withstand a higher voltage than can a
paper dielectric of the same thickness.

iii) Ceramic Capacitor

- uses a hollow ceramic cylinder as both the form on which to construct the
capacitor and as the dielectric material.
- the plates consist of thin films of metal deposited on the ceramic cylinder.
second type of ceramic capacitor is in the shape of a disk.
- leads are attached to each side of the capacitor
- completely covered with an insulating moisture-proof coating.
- usually range in value from 1 picofarad to 0.01 microfarad
- may be used with voltages as high as 30,000 volts

iv) Oil Capacitor

- often used in high-power electronic equipment.
- Since oil impregnated paper has a high dielectric constant, it can be used in the
production of capacitors having a high capacitance value. Many capacitors
will use oil with another dielectric material to prevent arcing between the
plates. If arcing should occur between the plates of an oil-filled capacitor, the
oil will tend to reseal the hole caused by the arcing. Such a capacitor is
referred to as a SELF-HEALING capacitor.

14. Variable capacitor

a) Constructed in such manner that its value of capacitance can be varied.

b) A typical variable capacitor (adjustable capacitor) is the rotor-stator type.

c) It consists of two sets of metal plates arranged so that the rotor plates move between
the stator plates. Air is the dielectric. As the position of the rotor is changed, the

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capacitance value is likewise changed. This type of capacitor is used for tuning most
radio receivers.

d) use as fuel quantity sensing probe by changing the dielectric constant. Two
concentric tubes fit across the tank from top to bottom and each tube act as one plate
of capacitor. When tank is empty air is dielectric (1).When tank is full fuel is
dielectric (2). Fuel indicator measures the capacitance of the probes and converts it
into number that reflects the amount of fuel in the tank.

15. Trimmer capacitor

a) Consists of two plates separated by a sheet of mica.

b) A screw adjustment is used to vary the distance between the plates, thereby changing
the capacitance.

16. Time Constant of a Capacitor

A % of V

B 100
R 100KOhm 80

60 x 63.2%

C 100µF 40

- t sec.


a) When switch at A, the capacitor will charge at 63.2% of it full supply voltage

b) This is known as Time Constant (TC) and can be determined by the formula

TC = C x R ; where, C- capacitor in Farad

R- resistor in ohms

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Example: TC = 100µF x 100KOhm
= 10 sec
Therefore it require 5 times TC to reach 100 V (power source voltage) = 5 x TC
= 50 sec

c) For the capacitor becomes fully charge, it required 5 x TC (100% of its supply
voltage) that is 50 sec and voltage across C is 100volt. This means the voltage rises to
63.2 volt in 10 second.

d) Once the voltage equal to the source voltage, the current stop to flow.
A % of V
R 100KOhm 80


C 100µF 40 x36.8%

- t sec.



e) When switch at B, the capacitor will discharge to 36.8volt in 10 sec from 100volt
(power source voltage).

f) For the capacitor becomes fully discharge (zero volt), it required 5 x TC thus 50 sec.

g) Application- used as timing circuit (often made using capacitor and resistor in series).

17. Capacitor in Series

a) When more than one capacitor connected in series, the capacitance total (C T) will be
decreased due to increase in distance plate area.

C1 C2 C3

b) CT = ---- for multiple capacitor if all value are the same
n C – value of one capacitor
n – number of capacitor in series

C1xC2 (Product)
c) CT = ---------------------- use when two capacitor of difference value
C1+C2 (Sum)

d) CT = ------------------------------ use when more than two of difference value
1 + 1 + 1 + ……

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C1 C2 C3

18. Capacitor in Parallel

a) When adding more capacitor in parallel, the capacitance total will increase due to
increased in plate area. It can be determined by

CT = C1+C2+C3 +.….
C1 C2 C3

19. Capacitor values are indicated on the body of the capacitor either by typographical label or by
color codes.

20. This label indicates various parameters such as capacitance, voltage rating and tolerance.

21. Example by typographical is in 3–digit designation label, the first two digit are the first two
digit of the capacitance value. The third digit is the number of zeros after the second digit.
Example: 103 means 10,000 pF (pico Farad) or 10,000 x 10-12 F

22. For color-coded type, the color code used for capacitor is basically the same as that used for
resistors. Some variation occurs in tolerance designation. Example of the color code for mica
and molded paper capacitors.

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23. Capacitor failures can be categorized into two areas
a) Catastrophic
Usually a short circuit caused by dielectric breakdown or an open circuit caused by
connection failure.
b) Degradation
Is a gradual decrease in leakage resistor, hence an increase in leakage current or an
increase in equivalent series resistance or dielectric absorption.

24. The above failure can be measured by removing the capacitor from the circuit and checked
with ohmmeter.

25. The steps to check the above suspected capacitor as follows,

a) Be sure the capacitor is discharged (short the leads)
b) Connect the meter (set on a high ohms range such as x1M) to the capacitor and
observed the ohmmeter needle and it should indicate near zero ohms.
c) Then the needle should begin to move toward the high resistance end of the scale as
the capacitor charges from the ohmmeter’s battery.
d) When the capacitor fully charged, the meter will indicate an extremely high

26. If the suspected capacitor is internally shorted, the meter will go to zero and stay at zero.

27. If it is leaky, the final meter reading will be much less than normal.

28. Most capacitor have a resistance of several hundred megohms except electrolytic capacitor,
which is normally have < 1MOhm of leakage resistance

29. If the capacitor is open, no charging action will be observed, and the meter will indicate an
infinite resistance.

30. Value of the capacitor can be measured using digital or analog multimeter with the setting to

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1) When a length of wire is formed into coil, it becomes a basic inductor.

Current through the coil produces an electromagnetic field surrounding the coil in all directions.
The magnetic lines of force around adjacent loops are each deflected into a single outer path
when the loops are brought close together. This effect occurs because the magnetic lines of force
are in opposing direction between adjacent loops and therefore cancel out when the loops are
close together.

2) Anytime current flows in a conductor, it produces an electromagnetic field that surrounds the
conductor or sometimes called lines of flux.

3) The strength of this field is determined by the amount of current flow.

4) When the current changes, the electromagnetic field also changes.

5) An increase in current expands the electromagnetic field.

6) A decrease in current reduces the electromagnetic field.

7) The changing electromagnetic field causes an induced voltage across the coil in a direction to
oppose the change of current. This property called self-inductance.

8) Inductance is typified by the behavior of a coil of wire in resisting/oppose any change of electric
current through the coil.

9) This induced voltage referred to as a counter-electromotive force (back emf) since it opposes the
applied voltage.


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10) You do not have to look far to find a physical analogy of inductance. Anyone who has ever had to
push a heavy load (wheelbarrow, car, etc.) is aware that it takes more work to start the load
moving than it does to keep it moving. Once the load is moving, it is easier to keep the load
moving than to stop it again. This is because the load possesses the property of INERTIA. Inertia
is the characteristic of mass which opposes a CHANGE in velocity. Inductance has the same
effect on current in an electrical circuit as inertia has on the movement of a mechanical object. It
requires more energy to start or stop current than it does to keep it flowing.

11) Faraday's Law stated that,

“Any change in the magnetic environment of a coil of wire will cause a voltage (emf) to be
"induced" in the coil. No matter how the change is produced, the voltage will be generated. The
change could be produced by changing the magnetic field strength, moving a magnet toward or
away from the coil, moving the coil into or out of the magnetic field, rotating the coil relative to
the magnet, etc.”

The amount of voltage induced in a coil is directly proportional to the rate of change of the
magnetic field with respect to the coil (dΦ/dt) and to the number of turns of wire in the coil (N)

Where, e is the induced electromotive force, dΦ/dt is the time-rate of

change of magnetic flux Φ and N is number of turns of wire in the coil.

12) The inductance of a coil is one henry when current through the coil, changing at the rate of one
ampere per second, induces one volt across the coil.

13) Unit of Inductance is Henry and denote by the letter ‘L’. In practical applications, milihenries
(mH) and microhenries (μH) are the most common units.

14) Symbol –

15) Factors determined the coil inductance

a) permeability of the core material
b) physical parameters
i) number of turns of the wire
ii) core length
iii) cross-sectional area of the core

16) Core material. Inductor is basically a coil of wire that surrounds a magnetic or non-magnetic
material called core.

Examples of magnetic materials are iron, nickel, steel, cobalt, or alloy. These materials have
permeability that is hundred or thousand of times greater than vacuum and provides a better path
for magnetic lines of force which permits stronger magnetic field.

Examples of non-magnetic materials are air, copper, plastic and glass. The permeability is the
same as in vacuum

The magnetic materials will give more inductance compare with non-magnetic materials. Below
is the example of the inductance strength.

Inductance strength of IRON > Inductance strength of AIR > Inductance strength of COPPER

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17) Physical parameters.
The number of turns of the wire, the length and cross-sectional area of the core are factors to
determine value of inductance

Inductance is
a) inversely proportional to the length of the core.
b) directly proportional to the cross-sectional area.
c) directly proportional to the number of turns squared.

This relationship as follows: where, L = inductance (henries)

N = number of turns of wire
N2µA μ = permeability in henries/meter
L= A = cross-sectional area in meters sq.
l l = core length in meter.

18) Inductor in Series

a) Total inductance in series circuit equals the sum of the individual inductance in the
circuit. This is illustrated in the formula :

LT = L1 + L2 + L3 +……….
L1 L2 L3

19) Inductor in Parallel

a) When adding more inductor in parallel, the total inductance will less (decrease).

L1 L2 L3

i) if all inductance value are equal, divide inductance by no. of parallel path (n):

LT = ----

ii) if two unlike inductance, to find total inductance the formula will be :

L1 X L2
LT = -----------
L1 + L2

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iii) two or more inductance of unequal value, to find total inductance :
LT = ----------------------
1 1 1
--- + --- + ---
L1 L2 L3

20) Inductor in D.C. Circuit

a) When switch is closed to A, the current does not rise instantly.

A % of I

B 100
R 100Ohm 80

20V 60 x 63.2%

L 50mH 40
t µsec.




b) The final current should be 200 mA from (I = V/R).

c) The current in a circuit find minimum opposition and start to flow.

d) The current flow through the inductor causes a magnetic field to build up and cut its
own field back thus create back voltage (emf).

e) This back voltage opposes the current flow. Therefore current does not begin to flow
at its maximum rate instantly.

f) The time required for the current to rise to 63.2% of its maximum value (peak) is
known as time constant.

g) Time constant (second) in a circuit is determined by the value of inductance and

L (Henry) 50mH
Time Constant (TC) = ------------- = --------
R (Ohms) 100Ohm

= 500μs
h) For the current to reach maximum peak it’s required 5 X TC.

At 1TC = 500 μs : i = 0.632 (200 mA) = 126 mA

At 2TC = 1 ms : i = 0.865 (200 mA) = 172 mA
At 3TC = 1.5 ms : i = 0.950 (200 mA) = 190 mA
At 4TC = 2 ms : i = 0.980 (200 mA) = 196 mA
At 5TC = 2.5 ms : i = 1.000 (200 mA) = 200 mA

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i) When switch is closed to B, the current will not drop to zero instantly. It takes 5 X TC
for current drop to zero. % of I
SW 100
B 80
R 100Ohm 60
20V x36.8%
+ 40
L 50mH
t µsec.




At 1TC = 500 μs : i = 0.368 (200 mA) = 74 mA
At 2TC = 1 ms : i = 0.135 (200 mA) = 27 mA
At 3TC = 1.5 ms : i = 0.050 (200 mA) = 10 mA
At 4TC = 2 ms : i = 0.020 (200 mA) = 4 mA
At 5TC = 2.5 ms : i = 0.000 (200 mA) = 0 mA

21) Application of inductance are,

a) Power supply filter. To smooth out the ripple voltage of the pulsating DC in a power
supply and it is installed in series with the load in conjunction with capacitor in
paralleled with the load.

b) RF Choke. To prevent radio frequencies from getting into part of the system. This is
to minimize interference signals on the power supply line.

c) Tuned Circuits. Inductors are used in conjunction with capacitors to provide

frequency selection in communication systems.

22) Testing Inductors.

a) The most common failure is an open.
b) To check for open inductors, the coil should be removed from the circuit.
c) If it is open, use ohmmeter, the ohmmeter reading shows infinite resistance and if it is
good, the ohmmeter will show the winding resistance.

23) If an inductor is overheated with excessive current, the wire insulation will melt, and two or more
turns will short together. This problem should be tested using LCR meter because ohmmeter will
show the coil is perfectly good.

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1. Magnet comes from the word magnetite which refers to a Loadstone.

2. A loadstone contains oxides of iron.

3. When a loadstone is freely suspended the end of the loadstone will move to align itself with
Magnetic North.

4. The earth magnetic field is generated by a large magnet buried under the earth surface
stretches from Newfoundland in US to Australia.

5. The Earth Magnetic Field travels from the North Pole (MN) to the South Pole (MS)
externally and internally from the South Pole (MS) to the North Pole (MN).

6. The area where the magnetic field felt is called the Field.

7. Field is a term used to indicate a group of lines of force.

8. Magnetism is a force that acts at a distance due to a magnetic field. This field is caused by
moving electrically charged particles or is inherent in magnetic objects such as a magnet.

9. A magnet is an object that exhibits a strong magnetic field and will attract materials like iron
to it. Magnets have two poles, called the north (N) and south (S) poles.

10. The area of the magnetism where there are maximum concentration of lines of force and
attraction is called the Polar Region.

11. Characteristic of lines of force.

a) It travels from Magnetic North
(MN) to the Magnetic South

b) It takes the shortest path.

c) It passes through all material.

d) It does not cross each other.

e) Like poles (same) repel, unlike poles attract.

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12. There are three types of magnet:
a) Permanent magnet.
b) Temporary magnet.
c) Electromagnet.

13. Permanent magnet.

a) A permanent magnet is one that will hold its magnetic properties over a long period of
time (e.g. a bar magnet or a laboratory magnet).

b) It is made from hard iron steel.

i) Magnetite
Magnetite is a magnetic material found in nature. It is a permanent magnet, but
it is relatively weak
ii) Alloys
Most permanent magnets we use are manufactured and a combination of alloy
of iron, nickel and cobalt.

c) It has low permeability.

d) It has low reluctance.

e) It has high retentivity.

f) It is used in aircraft magnetism compass for navigation purposes.

14. Temporary magnet.

a) A temporary magnet is one that will lose its magnetism. For example, soft iron can be
made into a temporary magnet, but it will lose its magnetic power in a short while.

b) It is made from soft iron i.e. ferrous materials or ferromagnetic materials.

Ferromagnetic materials are strongly attracted by a magnetic force such as iron (Fe),
nickel (Ni), cobalt (Co) and gadolinium (Gd). The reasons these metals are strongly
attracted are because their individual atoms have a slightly higher degree of
magnetism due to their configuration of electrons, their atoms readily line up in the
same magnetic direction, and the magnetic domains or groups of atoms line up more

c) All ferrous material contains many microscopic domains, which tends to align
themselves when in the area of the earth field.

15. Electromagnet.
a) By wrapping a wire around an iron or steel core and running an electrical current
through the wire, it can magnetize the metal and make an electromagnet. If the core is
soft iron, the magnetism will diminish as soon as the current is turned off. This feature
makes electromagnets good for picking up and dropping objects. Typically DC
electricity is used, but AC current will also result in an electromagnet.

b) It is used in crane for hoisting metal particles, in generators and electrical equipments.

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16. The term used in magnetism.
a) Permeability - degree of magnetization of material in response to magnetic field.

b) Reluctance - a resistance of a material to a magnetic field.

c) Retentivity - a capacity to remain or keep magnetized after the external

magnetizing field has ceased to exist.

17. Magnetization of materials

a) A piece of iron is supposed to be made of millions of small magnets. When the bar is
unmagnetized, these small magnets have a "helter-skelter" arrangement as illustrated
below. The magnetic forces of one molecule cancel the field of its neighbor.

b) When the bar is magnetized as shown below, the small magnets are arranged so that
all the north poles point in one direction, and all the south poles in the opposite
direction. This systematic "line-up" of the individual magnets causes the whole bar to
act as a single magnet. All the magnetism seems to be concentrated at the two ends of
the bar, with one end designated as North and the other South.

Unmagnetized Magnetized

c) Ferromagnetic materials can be magnetized in the following ways:

i) Placing the item in an external magnetic field will result in the item retaining
some of the magnetism on removal. Vibration has been shown to increase the
effect. Ferrous materials aligned with the earth's magnetic field and which are
subject to vibration (e.g. frame of a conveyor) have been shown to acquire
significant residual magnetism.
ii) Placing the item in a solenoid with a direct current passing through it.
iii) Stroking it with a lodestone or with another magnet. An existing magnet is
moved from one end of the item to the other repeatedly in the same direction
but be sure to lift the stroking bar several inches away at the end of each stroke.
The stroking arranges the molecular magnets within the bar so that the N poles
point in one direction and the S poles in the other. If a bar of iron lies in contact
with another magnet, the bar will in time become magnetized.

iv) Placing a steel bar in a magnetic field, then heating it to a high temperature and
then finally hammering it as it cools. This can be done by laying the magnet in a
North-South direction in the Earth's magnetic field. In this case, the magnet is
not very strong but the effect is permanent.

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18. Demagnetized materials.

a) Permanent magnets can be demagnetized in the following ways:

i) Strongly magnetic ferromagnetic materials like nickel or steel lose all their
magnetic properties if they are heated to a high enough temperature. The atoms
become too excited by the heat to remain pointing in one direction for long. The
temperature at which a metal loses its magnetism is called the Curie
temperature, and it is different for every metal. The Curie temperature for
nickel, for example, is about 350°C.
ii) Contact through stroking one magnet with another in random fashion will
demagnetize the magnet being stroked, in some cases; some materials have a
very high coercive field and cannot be demagnetized with other permanent
iii) Hammering or jarring will destroy the long range ordering within the magnet.
iv) A magnet being placed in a solenoid which has an alternating current being
passed through it will have its long range ordering disrupted, in much the same
way that direct current can cause ordering.

b) In an electromagnet which uses a soft iron core, ceasing the flow of current will
eliminate the magnetic field. However, a slight field may remain in the core material
as a result of hysteresis.

19. Almost all magnets, regardless of their retentivity, lose some of their magnetic strength when
their lines of flux pass through the air.

20. To protect a magnet it is stored with

keepers. Keepers are a piece of soft iron that
is used to link the poles and provide a highly
permeable path for the flux. Soft iron will
resist any attempt to lengthen the lines of flux.

21. Lines of flux pass through a material

having a high permeability will keep all of the
force loops as short as possible.

22. To shield an object from lines of magnetic flux is to enclose it in a shield made of a highly
permeability material. The lines of flux flow through the shield and bypass its center.

23. When current passes through a conductor it gives

rise to a magnetic field which is in circular form.

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24. Electromotive force is developed whenever there is relative motion between a magnetic field
and a conductor.

25. Electromotive force is a difference of potential or voltage which exists between two points in
an electrical circuit. In generators and inductors the emf is developed by the action between the
magnetic field and the electrons in a conductor.

26. When a magnetic field moves through a stationary metallic conductor, electrons are
dislodged from their orbits. The electrons move in a direction determined by the movement of
the magnetic lines of flux. This is shown below:

27. The electrons move from one area of the conductor into another area. The area that the
electrons moved from has fewer negative charges (electrons) and becomes positively charged.
The area the electrons move into becomes negatively charged. This is shown below:

28. The area from which electrons are moved becomes positively charged, while the area into
which electrons are moved becomes negatively charged. The difference between the charges in
the conductor is equal to a difference of potential (or voltage). This voltage caused by the moving
magnetic field which is called electromotive force (emf).

29. The strength of the magnetic field can be increased by: Iron core

a) increasing the current flow. No. of turns

b) having more number of turns, and

c) by having an iron core

30. Lenz's Law gives the direction of the induced electromotive force (emf) resulting from
electromagnetic induction, thus:

“The emf induced in an electric circuit always acts in such a direction that the current it drives
around a closed circuit produces a magnetic field which opposes the change in magnetic flux.”

When an emf is generated by a change in magnetic flux according to Faraday's Law, the polarity
of the induced emf is such that it produces a current whose magnetic field opposes the change
which produces it. The induced magnetic field inside any loop of wire always acts to keep the
magnetic flux in the loop constant

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31. Lenz's Law states that in a given circuit with an induced EMF caused by a change in a
magnetic flux, the induced EMF causes a current to flow in the direction that opposes the change
in flux. That is, if a decreasing magnetic flux induces an EMF, the resulting current will oppose a
further decrease in magnetic flux. Likewise, for an EMF induced by an increasing magnetic flux,
the resulting current flows in a direction that opposes a further increase in magnetic flux.

32. It is important to note that the induced current will always flow in a direction which opposes
any change of magnetic flux, but it does not oppose the magnetic flux itself.

33. Lenz's law can be derived from Faraday's law of induction, simply by noting the minus sign
on the right side of the equation.

Where, e is the induced electromotive force, dΦ/dt is the time-rate of

change of magnetic flux Φ and N is number of turns of wire in the coil.
The minus sign denotes the Lenz’s Law that emf is the term for
generated or induced voltage.

34. Cutting a magnet.

An interesting characteristic of magnets is that when you cut a magnet into parts, each part will
have both N and S poles.

35. Applications.
There are numerous applications of magnets such as,.
a) Relay.
b) Solenoid.
c) Electrical Motor.
d) Loudspeaker.
e) Compass.
f) Circuit breaker
g) NDT using Magnetic Particles Inspection (MPI) for crack inspection.

36. To determine the direction of the magnetic field, applies

a) Right Hand Grasp Rule (CAA) – use conventional flow

b) Left Hand Grasp Rule (FAA) – use electron flow

Electron Flow

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1. Battery is one of power source that generate direct current (DC) electricity by chemical

2. A battery is defined as a device composed of two or more cell that convert chemical energy into
electrical energy. Its symbol is;
+ - + -

Battery 12V or 24V Single Cell

3. The function of a battery is to provide a source of steady dc voltage of fixed polarity.

4. The purpose of battery on the aircraft is for starting small engine and for emergency use. In
emergency the battery is required to supply power only to the essential load e.g. radio
communication in order for the pilot to communicate with the ground tower, gyros (e.g. HSI,
AH), escape light, etc. As a requirement in DCA Airworthiness Notice No. 72, the battery should
last to supply electrical power to the essential load until safe landing for 30 minutes.

5. A simple cell consist of; Loads

a) two electrodes (terminal) – positive and negative.

b) An electrolyte – a liquid which is a conductor, either Electrode
acid or alkaline. + -


6. The cells of a battery are classified as Primary Cell and Secondary Cell.

7. Primary cells.
The primary cells are to provide small/low power output. The good example is the dry cell also
known as “Leclanche Cell”. They are called dry cell because the electrolyte is a paste rather than
a liquid.
They are not rechargeable. The cell will not function once their chemicals are used up and the
cells have to be thrown away. Examples are zinc-carbon cell, alkaline manganese cell and silver
oxide cell.

Zinc-Carbon cells
a) The construction of Zinc-Carbon cell consist of;
i) +ve plate (anode) used carbon rod.
ii) –ve plate (cathode) used zinc casing.
iii) Electrolyte is ammonium chloride with
manganese dioxide in a paste form.
iv) A manganese dioxide use as a depolarizer to
ensure a chemical reaction involving the
constituents of both terminals; this reaction
causes a current to flow through a conductor
that connects the positive and negative

b) The output of the dry cell is 1.5 V per cell regardless of their size.

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c) The size will determine the amount of current it will supply.

Alkaline Manganese cells

a) The purpose is to provide longer life compare Zinc-
Carbon cell.

b) The construction of Alkaline Manganese cell

consist of;
i) +ve plate used carbon rod.
ii) –ve plate used manganese dioxide lined steel
iii) Electrolyte is potassium hydroxide and has a
lower resistance than ammonium chloride thus
provide more load current.

c) The output of the dry cell is 1.5 V per cell and

continuous supply.

Mercury cells
a) These cells have nearly constant voltage at low
discharge currents making them ideal for hearing
aids, calculators, photographic cameras and
electronic watches.

b) It has a high capacity in small size and very long

shelf life, up to 10 years.

c) The construction of Mercury cell consist of;

i) +ve plate used mercury oxide.
ii) –ve plate used zinc casing.
iii) Electrolyte is potassium hydroxide.

d) Due to the content of mercury, and the resulting environmental concerns, the sale of
mercury batteries is banned in many countries.

8. Secondary Cells.
A secondary cell (also known as storage cell) is any kind of electrolytic cell in which the
electrochemical reaction that releases energy is reversible. Secondary cells must be charged
before use. Once used, the batteries can be recharged by using an external electric source that
reverses the cell reaction and creates a non-equilibrium mixture of reactants and it can be
recharged over and over again. Widespread examples are rechargeable batteries found in
portable consumer electronics such as notebook computers and cell phones, and car and aircraft
Two types of secondary cells;
i) Lead acid cells
ii) Nickel Cadmium cells (NiCad)

Lead Acid Cells (Lead Acid Battery)

a) The purpose is to provide power supply to aircraft during emergency, starting etc.

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b) The construction of Lead Acid Cell consist of;
i) +ve plate used lead peroxide fill with
ii) –ve plate used spongy lead and has
extra plate than +ve plate.
iii) Electrolyte is dilute sulphuric acid
with water proportion of 30% acid
70% water by volume.
iv) Casing made of high impact plastic
v) Vent screw type which allow
distilled water to adjust electrolyte
vi) The separator prevents +ve and –ve plate from touching but allow sulphuric
acid to pass through (porous material).
vii) 6 or 12 cells, each cell rated 2.1 volts.

c) Indication of fully charged condition.

i) Terminal voltage - 2.7 V/cell on charged
- 2.1 V/cell off charged
- 1.8 V/cell discharged
or terminal voltage between 30.0 to 32.4 V (on charge), if terminal voltage
below 28.5 V, it should be withdrawn from service.
ii) Specific gravity (S.G.) of electrolyte
- 1.275 and 1.300 at 80°F or 27°C (reference).
- use hydrometer to check the S.G.
iii) Gassing freely.

d) Fully discharge - sulphation occur and electrolyte becomes water.

- S.G. will be low (1.150) due to internal resistance becomes high.
- both plate become white lead sulphate ; act as high resistance.

e) Capacity - ability to produce a given amount of current for specific time e.g.
1A for 1 Hour which is known as 1 Ampere/Hour (A/H) .
- more than 80% efficiency fit for aircraft use
Efficiency (%) = Output capacity X 100
Rated capacity

f) Factor affecting capacity of a battery;

i) number of plate/cell
ii) plate area
iii) strength of electrolyte
iv) temperature

g) Proper servicing is required on this cell.

i) Keep battery clean, all terminals tight and free of corrosions.
ii) Electrolyte level should ¼ above the plates, if low add distilled water and not
iii) When mixing electrolyte always add ACID to WATER.
iv) Coat the battery terminals with petroleum jelly or general purpose grease in
order to prevent corrosion or oxidization on the terminals.

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h) There are two types charging.
i) Constant current charging - most affective
- charge battery by supplying current at a constant
rate (manually).
36 V Charger - when charging more than one battery, it must be
+ - connected in series and battery voltage must not
exceed the charging voltage.
- several batteries in series, charge at the lowest
battery capacity.
+ - + - - need monitoring during charging.
12V 12V - temperature must not exceed 60°C (140°F), as for
40 A/H 60 A/H
the electrolyte it must below 43°C (100°F).
- when cells commence gassing, the voltage and
relative density should be measured periodically.

ii) Constant voltage charging - when battery connected in an aircraft, car, or aother
Generating sys 28V Generating sys 28V - generating voltage system slightly higher than
+ - + -
battery voltage.
- the amount of current flow into a battery being
4A charge is determined by the state charge of battery.
+ - + -
24V 20V

i) Capacity Test - carried out after initial charge.

- 3 monthly.
- at any time if battery capacity in doubt
- acceptable capacity for use on aircraft is 80% and above.

j) Insulation Test - carried out at periodic time.

- at anytime that electrolyte leakage is suspected.
- place a fully charged battery on metal plate, test between terminal
and plate using 250 V insulation tester, reading must not less then
1 MΩ

k) Storage - stored in clean, dry, well ventilated area.

- always stored in fully charged condition this is to prevent
sulphation take place.
- give freshening charge every 2 to 4 weeks.

l) Safety Precaution - lead acid and NiCad battery room must be separated.
- during battery on charged, gaseous hydrogen and oxygen are
released by battery cell therefore battery room must be well
- servicing, test equipments, tools, protective clothing to be
identified being used as lead acid battery servicing only.
- in handling batteries/acid use rubber apron and gloves, and wear

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- no naked light or smoking.
- container for handling acid/distilled water must made of glass,
glazed earthenware or ebonite.
- if acid split on the floor, wash with water and neutralized by
washing with sodium bicarbonate solution.
- if electrolyte contact with skin, wash with cold water and
neutralized by washing with sodium bicarbonate solution than
washed with warm water.
- if electrolyte splashed into eyes, wash with cold water and bathed
with 5% solution of sodium bicarbonate and required immediate
medical attention.
- do net wear rings, metal watch strap and bracelets.
- when removing and installing battery into the aircraft, disconnect
the ground terminal first and install ground terminal last.
- for battery installation, vent the fumes inside the battery box
should be through sump jar contained neutralizing agent of
sodium bicarbonate and water soak with pad.

Nickel Cadmium Cells (NiCad Battery)

a) The purpose is to provide high current or capacity output within a short period main
used for turbine engine starting.

b) An improvement of the Lead Acid Battery.

c) The construction of NiCad Cell consist of;

i) +ve plate used powdered nickel or sintered/nickel hydroxide.
ii) –ve plate used cadmium hydroxide.
iii) The separator is using nylon and cellophane to keep plate apart.
iv) The electrolyte is using potassium hydroxide (30%) and distilled water (70%)
- S.G. between 1.24 to 1.30 at room temperature.
- No S.G. change during discharging or recharging and this electrolyte act as a
v) The casing is made of polystyrene or nylon cell case and sealed.
vi) For each cell the voltage is 1.55 to 1.80 V for open circuit voltage.
For 9 to 10 cells are used for 12 V aircraft system.
For 19 to 20 cells are used for 24 V aircraft system.

d) The advantage for NiCad cell is the internal resistance is very low therefore voltage
constant until it is almost totally discharge.

e) At fully charged condition,

i) terminal/cell voltage is 1.55 to 1.80 V/cell
ii) electrolyte level low when fully discharged (plate absorption) and level high
when fully charged.

f) Servicing and charging for NiCad Cell are as follows;

i) constant current charging in the shop is most preferable.
ii) Constant voltage charging adopt in aircraft system.
iii) 23 A/H for 10 hours rate means 2.3 A for 10 hours.

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iv) alkaline and lead Acid battery room must be separated, thus fume from both
battery can neutralize each other.
v) internal short circuit between the cells are indicated that the battery won’t hold
charge. Check for leakage test.
vi) check all connection any sign of corrosion or burning. The connectors must be
torque tight.
vii) adjust the electrolyte level immediately after fully charge condition with distilled
water only.
viii) Leakage Test - check between terminal and steel casing using ammeter.
- leakage current must not more than 100mA, if more clean the
steel casing
ix) Capacity Test - check by discharging it at a specific rate and time taken for it to
reach a specific on load voltage.
- minimum capacity test is 80%..

g) Thermal Runaway caused by,

i) High discharged and charging rates.
- produce high temperature that will cause breakdown the cellophane separator
thus causes short circuit. Internal resistance drops as temperature rises. Some
cell fitted with temperature monitoring (sensor) to warn pilot the state charge
of the cell.
ii) Unbalance between cells.
- due to constant voltage charging, the unbalance between positive and negative
plates occur. This unbalance reduces the battery available capacity.
- to reduce the chance of unbalance, charge the battery by constant current
charger until positive plate is brought to fully charged.
- if cell unbalance still occurs, discharge cell voltage to approximately 0.2
V/cell, then use shorting strap across each cell for 3 to 8 hours to completely
discharged them. This process known as Deep Cycling (equalization of cells).
- recharge with constant current charger. Each cell should have a voltage of
1.55 to 1.80 V at temperature between 21°C (70°F) and 26°C (80°F).

h) Neutralizing agent or cleaning agent for alkaline spillage is dilute boric acid, vinegar,
lemon juice.

9. Specific Gravity
i) Specific gravity is the ratio of the weight of a certain amount of a given substance
compared to the weight of the same amount of pure water.

ii) The specific gravity of pure water is 1.0.

iii) Any substance that floats has a specific gravity less than 1.0.

iv) Any substance that sinks has a specific gravity greater than 1.0.

v) To measure a battery's specific gravity, use an instrument called

a HYDROMETER. Is a glass syringe with a float inside it.

vi) The float is a hollow glass tube sealed at both ends and
weighted at the bottom end, with a scale calibrated in specific
gravity marked on its side.

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vii) To test an electrolyte:
i) Draw the electrolyte it into the hydrometer using the suction bulb.
ii) Draw enough electrolytes into the hydrometer to make the float rise.
iii) DO NOT draw in so many electrolytes that the float rises into the suction bulb.

viii) The float will rise to a point determined by the specific gravity
of the electrolyte.
i) If the electrolyte contains a large amount of active ingredient, its specific
gravity will be relatively high.
ii) The float will rise higher than it would if the electrolyte contained only a small
amount of active ingredient.

ix) To read the hydrometer, hold it in a vertical position and read the scale at the point
that surface of the electrolyte touches the float.

x) Refer to the manufacturer's technical manual to determine whether or not the battery's
specific gravity is within specifications

NOTE: Hydrometers should be flushed with fresh water after each use to prevent
inaccurate readings. Storage battery hydrometers must not be used for any
other purpose.

10. When cells connected in series, there is an increase in the voltage and current (ampere) remains
+ - + - + - Voltage = 1.5 V x 3 = 4.5 V
Current = 0.5 A
1.5V 1.5V 1.5V
0.5A 0.5A 0.5A

11. When cells connected in parallel, the voltage will be constant and the current (ampere)

Voltage = 1.5 V





Current = 0.5 A x 3 = 1.5 A



12. Internal Resistance.

a) The resistance present inside a battery while connected to a load is called internal
resistance (IR). IR restricts the movement of current inside of any power source,
including battery.
b) As a cell is discharged, its internal resistance increases. Therefore, its output voltage
decreases for a given value of load current.
c) The voltage drop across resistor in series circuit will slightly less than the power
source, hence due to IR or of the power source.
d) In some applications, the changes in cell terminal voltage are so small that they make
no practical difference.

13. A Thermocouple is a thermoelectric temperature sensor which consists of two dissimilar

metallic wires, coupled at the probe tip (measurement junction) and extended to the reference
(known temperature) junction. The temperature difference between the probe tip and the

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reference junction is detected by measuring the change in voltage (electromotive force, EMF) at
the reference junction. The absolute temperature reading can then be obtained by combining the
information of the known reference temperature and the difference of temperature between probe
tip and the reference.

14. Metal pairs most commonly used are Chromel / Alumel and Iron / Constantan. This principal
is used for aircraft Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) and Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT)

15. Advantages and disadvantages of Thermocouples.

Advantages Disadvantages
- Low cost. - Sensitivity is low, usually 50 µV/°C
- No moving parts, less likely to be broken. (28 µV/°F) or less. Its low voltage output
- Wide temperature range. may be masked by noise. This problem can
be improved, but not eliminated, by better
- Reasonably short response time.
signal filtering, shielding, and analog-to-
- Reasonable repeatability and accuracy. digital (A/V) conversion.
- Accuracy, usually no better than 0.5 °C
(0.9°F), may not be high enough for some
- Requires a known temperature reference,
usually 0°C (32°F) ice water. Modern
thermocouples, on the other hand, rely on an
electrically generated reference.
- Nonlinearity could be bothersome.
Fortunately, detail calibration curves for each
wire material can usually be obtained from

16. Photocells act as light sensors. In operation, a photocell acts like a light sensitive resistor with
a high resistance when dark and a low resistance when in the light. When light strikes certain
photoemissive materials such as selenium, light energy is absorbed, then the electrons are
discharged. These electrons can be channeled through conductor to an electrical circuit.

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1. Simple DC Circuit
a) Simple electrical close circuit consist of :
i) Power source – a battery or a generator.
ii) A fuse or a circuit breaker – to protect or safeguard the electrical wiring and
iii) A switch – to interrupt current flow (ON/OFF).
iv) A load – equipment which consume electricity.
v) A conductor – to connect the load to the power source.
Load Conductor

+ -
Switch Fuse
24V source

2. Open and Short Circuit.

a) Closed circuit - one continuous path from one of the source terminals, through the
load and back to the other terminals.

b) Open circuit - any interruption or break in the path i.e. switch open, or fuses blown
or circuit breaker trip.

c) Short circuit - there is a path form one source terminal to the other without passing
through the load.
- a fuse or circuit breaker will blown/trip to protect the wiring.

3. Ohm’s Law stated that:

The current in an electrical circuit is directly proportional to the EMF (voltage) and inversely
proportional to the resistance i.e. 1 volt causes 1 ampere to flow through a resistance of 1 ohm.

4. Ohm’s Law equation is,

V where, I = current in ampere
I = ------ V = voltage in volt
R R = resistance in ohms

5. Ohm’s Law is necessary to determine the correct size and length of wires to be used in a circuit,
the proper sizes of fuses and circuit breakers and many other details of a circuit and its

6. To find voltage : V = IxR

To find current : I = V/R
To find resistance : R = V/I

7. If the voltage applied to a given circuit is doubled, the current will be doubled. If the resistance
is doubled and the voltage remains the same, the current will reduced to one-half.

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8. Series DC Circuit.
a) A series circuit contain only one electron path.
b) All current must pass through each unit of the circuit.
c) If one unit of series circuit should be burned out, or open, the entire circuit will no
longer receive current.

9. Resistors in Series

a) Current:
The amount of current flow remains the same at all points in the circuit regardless of
the number of components.

I = I 1 = I2 = I 3

To measure current in the circuit, use ammeter and connected it in series with the
component or load.

b) Voltage:
When a current flows through a resistance, a voltage or pressure drop is created. The
voltage drop across each resistor (load unit) is directly proportional to the value of the
resistor and the voltage drop is highest across the highest resistor.

The total voltage equals the sum of the voltages across the different parts of the
V = V1 + V2 + V3

To measure voltage, use voltmeter and connected it across the load or power source.

c) Resistance:
The total resistance in series circuit equals the sum of the individual resistances in the
R = R 1 + R2 + R 3

To measure resistance in the circuit, use an ohmmeter with power “MUST BE OFF”
or the components must be isolated from the circuit and connected it in across with
component or load.

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d) Voltage dividers:
When several resistors are connected in series and
connected across the power source, it will create a
voltage drop across each resistor to form a voltage
divider circuit (voltage division).

A voltage divider can provides voltages on either side of

ground or reference voltage (either + or -).

10. Parallel DC Circuit

a) More than one path for the electrons to flow.
b) Voltage is the same across any of the path.
c) The current through each path is inversely proportional to the resistance of the path.
d) The total current is the sum of the current flowing through each of the individual
e) The total resistance of the circuit is less than the lowest resistance in a circuit.
f) Most widely used circuit arrangement i.e. aircraft loads. If one component fails, it has
no effect on the others.

11. Resistors in Parallel.

a) Current:
The total current supplied to the network equals the sum of the currents in the various
I = I 1 + I2 + I 3

b) Voltage:
The voltage across a parallel combination is the same as the voltage across each
V = V1 = V2 = V3

c) Resistance:
The reciprocal of the equivalent resistance equals the sum of the reciprocals of the
branch resistances.
1 = 1 + 1 + 1
R R1 R2 R3

The parallel property can be represented in equations by two vertical lines "||" (as in
geometry) to simplify equations. For two resistors,

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12. Series-Parallel Networks (Complex Circuit)
a) Consist of both series and parallel circuits
i.e. parallel resistors connected in series
with other resistors.
b) A resistor network that is a combination of
parallel and series can sometimes be
broken up into smaller parts that are either
one or the other.
c) The same rules used to determine volts,
amperes and resistance for series and
parallel circuits.
d) Typically, easiest to start at the parallel
branch first, than add up to the series.

13. Kirchoff’s Current (First) Laws (KCL) stated that

The algebraic sum of the currents at any junction of conductors in a circuit is zero.

IT = I1 + I2 + I3 + …… … or I T - I1 - I2 - I3 = 0

The amount of current flowing away from a point in a circuit is equal to the amount flowing to
that point.

14. Kirchoff’s Voltage (Second) Laws (KVL) stated that:

The algebraic sum of the applied voltage and the voltage drop around any closed circuit is equal
to zero.
VT = V1 + V2 + V3 + ……. or VT - V1 - V2 - V3 = 0

The voltage across each load must be exactly the same as the voltage supplied by the source.

15. Wheatstone Bridge

a) The purpose of Wheatstone Bridge is to measure unknown resistance with great
precision or use in temperature indication i.e. carburetor air, cabin air etc

b) Use zero center scale meter (galvanometer) between point A and B thus current can
flow in either direction.

c) When there is no potential difference between point A and B, no current flow through
the meter. At this condition the Bridge is said to be balanced.

d) To find the unknown resistance (Ru) :

R1 R2



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Example 1: R1= 10 kOhm, R2= 1 kOhm, R3= 250 Ohm when the bridge is balanced.
What is the value of Ru?

R1 R2
---- = ----
Ru R3

Therefore ; Ru = R1 x R3  Ru = 10 x 0.25 = 2.5 kOhm

R2 1

Example 2: As a temperature sensor

Wheatstone Bridge at Balanced When Temperature increase, Temperature

bulb resistance increase, thus bridge
unbalanced. Current flow through

i) The pointer is set so that it rest at a balance point, thus no current flow between
point A and B.
ii) At balance point for this circuit is 28°C (82.4°F) and the variable resistance
(temp bulb) has a value of 100 Ω.
iii) If the temperature of variable resistance increases to 60°C (140°F) the resistance
value will change to 112 Ω. Temp bulb has +ve coefficient of temperature.
iv) Point A is more +ve with reference to point B, thus current will flow through the
instrument to indicate temp rises.

16. Internal Resistance of a Power Supply (Batteries)

a) Although we generally consider a cell or battery in a circuit to be a perfect source of
voltage (absolutely constant), the current through it dictated solely by the external
resistance of the circuit to which it is attached, this is not entirely true in real life.
Since every cell or battery contains some internal resistance, that resistance must
affect the current in any given circuit:

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b) Every voltaic cell contains some amount of internal resistance due to the electrodes
and the electrolyte. The larger a cell is constructed, the greater the electrode contact
area with the electrolyte, and thus the less internal resistance it will have.

c) The real battery shown above within the dotted lines has an internal resistance of 0.2
Ω, which affects its ability to supply current to the load resistance of 1 Ω. The ideal
battery on the left has no internal resistance, and so our Ohm's Law calculations for
current (I=E/R) give us a perfect value of 10 amps for current with the 1 ohm load
and 10 volt supply. The real battery, with its built-in resistance further impeding the
flow of electrons, can only supply 8.333 amps to the same resistance load.

d) The ideal battery, in a short circuit with 0 Ω resistance, would be able to supply an
infinite amount of current. The real battery, on the other hand, can only supply 50
amps (10 volts / 0.2 Ω) to a short circuit of 0 Ω resistance, due to its internal
resistance. The chemical reaction inside the cell may still be providing exactly 10
volts, but voltage is dropped across that internal resistance as electrons flow through
the battery, which reduces the amount of voltage available at the battery terminals to
the load.

e) Since we live in an imperfect world, with imperfect batteries, we need to understand

the implications of factors such as internal resistance. Typically, batteries are placed in
applications where their internal resistance is negligible compared to that of the
circuit load (where their short-circuit current far exceeds their usual load current), and
so the performance is very close to that of an ideal voltage source.

f) If we need to construct a battery with

lower resistance than what one cell can
provide (for greater current capacity),
we will have to connect the cells
together in parallel.

g) Essentially, what we have done here is

determine the equivalent of the five
cells in parallel (an equivalent network
of one voltage source and one series
resistance). The equivalent network
has the same source voltage but a
fraction of the resistance of any
individual cell in the original network.
The overall effect of connecting cells in parallel is to decrease the equivalent internal
resistance, just as resistors in parallel diminish in total resistance. The equivalent
internal resistance of this battery of 5 cells is 1/5 that of each individual cell. The
overall voltage stays the same: 2.2 volts. If this battery of cells were powering a
circuit, the current through each cell would be 1/5 of the total circuit current, due to
the equal split of current through equal-resistance parallel branches.

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1. Work is defined as an activity involving a force and movement in the direction of the

2. Energy is defined as the ability to do work.

3. Power is defined as the rate at which energy is used.

4. The applied voltage in an electric circuit causes to move and when they do energy is
transferred from the sources to the circuit e.g. when a lamp produces heat and light.

5. All energy is measured in Joules (J) including electrical energy.

One Joule of electrical energy is when one coulomb passes through a component and the voltage
across the component is one volt, i.e.,

Joules (J) = Coulomb (C) x Volt

As one coulomb is one ampere (I) maintained in a circuit for one second (t) then C = I x t.
Substituting this into the above equation and gives as follows:

Joules = V x I x t

Therefore, Energy = V x I x t Joules

6. Power is the product of Voltage and Current and is measure in Watts using letter W. In circuit
it is indicated by the letter P.

Formula for electrical power :

P=VxI or P=I2R or P= V2 where, P = Power in Watts

R V = Voltage in Volts
I = Current in Amps
R = Resistance in Ohms
t = time in Second
Therefore, Energy = P x t or
P = Energy
One watt is the amount of power when one joule of energy is use in one second.

7. 1 Horsepower (HP) is equal to 746 watts (0.746kW) and 1 watt is equal to 0.00134 HP.

8. 1 watt is the power expended when 1 volts move 1 coulomb per sec (1A) through a
conductor; thus 1 volt at 1A produce 1 watt of power.

9. Watt is a measurement of power consumed by a resistive element or dc circuit is used in the

form of Heat and also known as dissipation of power.

10. Dissipation of power through resistance can is calculated by multiplying by total current by
the voltage drop across each resistor (as the formula given above).

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11. Power in a Series Circuit
Each of the resistors in a series circuit consumes power which is dissipated in the form of heat.
Since this power must come from the source, the total power must be equal to the power
consumed by the circuit resistances. In a series circuit the total power is equal to the SUM of the
power dissipated by the individual resistors.
Total power (PT) is equal to: PT = P1 + P2 + P3 . . .Pn

12. Power in a Parallel Circuit

Power computations in a parallel circuit are essentially the same as those used for the series
circuit. Since power dissipation in resistors consists of a heat loss, power dissipations are additive
regardless of how the resistors are connected in the circuit. The total power is equal to the sum of
the power dissipated by the individual resistors. Like the series circuit, the total power consumed
by the parallel circuit is: PT = P1 + P2 + P3 . . .Pn

13. Power Rating is defined as the safe power a device can consumed without breaking or
damaging itself.

14. The power rating for a resistor can be rated from 200 watts to ¼ watts.

15. If three resistors with different rating connected in series, to determine for the safe current
always based on the equipment which has the lowest power rating.
10W 20W 30W
R1 R2 R3

16. If three different rating resistors connected in parallel, to determine the safe voltage it will
based on the sum of all resistors.

+ -


17. To achieve Maximum Power Transfer in a circuit, the internal resistance must equal to the
external resistance (e.g. speaker).
Battery R Int.

R Ext.

18. A one to one ratio transformer is normally connected to the external resistance (speaker) to
ensure Impedance Matching for maximum power transfers.

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1. Purpose – use to measure current, voltage, resistance and power.

2. Types – the common electric measuring instruments are ammeter, voltmeter, ohmmeter and
wattmeter and its comes in;
a) Analog – utilize variable scale and pointer, and
b) Digital – display only a finite number, more accurate without error.

3. D’Arsonval Meter Movement (Moving Coil)

Use to measure DC voltage and current. If use to measure AC

voltage and current, this meter equip with four full wave bridge
rectifier (ac to dc) before it flow through the meter coil.

This permanent-magnet moving-coil meter movement is the

basic movement in most measuring instruments. A permanent-
magnet moving-coil movement is based upon a fixed permanent
magnet and a coil of wire which is able to move. It is commonly
called the d’Arsonval movement because it was first employed
by the Frenchman d’Arsonval in making electrical

When the switch is closed, causing current through the coil, the coil will have a magnetic field
which will react to the magnetic field of the permanent magnet.

Defecting force – the pointer deflect depend on the amount of current through its within a
reference magnetic field by a horseshoe permanent magnet.
Controlling force – to bring the pointer at rest is by the action of upper and lower hairspring.
Damping force – to minimize the pointer from oscillation is by eddy current

Scale calibrated in RMS value.

Glass fitted on the scale of the meter is to eliminate parallax error i.e. reading taken from an

4. Electrodynamics Meter Movement

An electrodynamic movement uses the same basic

operating principle as the basic moving-coil meter
movement, except that the permanent magnet is
replaced by fixed coils. A moving coil, to which the
meter pointer is attached, is suspended between two
field coils and connected in series with these coils.
The three coils (two field coils and the moving coil)
are connected in series across the meter terminals so
that the same current flows through each.

Current flow in either direction through the three coils causes a magnetic field to exist between
the field coils. The current in the moving coil causes it to act as a magnet and exert a turning

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force against a spring. If the current is reversed, the field polarity and the polarity of the moving
coil reverse at the same time, and the turning force continues in the original direction. Since
reversing the current direction does not reverse the turning force, this type of meter can be used
to measure both AC and DC if the scale is changed.

5. Moving Vane Meter Movement

The moving-vane meter movement (sometimes

called the moving-iron movement) operates on the
principle of magnetic repulsion between like poles.
The current to be measured flows through a coil,
producing a magnetic field which is proportional to
the strength of the current. Suspended in this field
are two iron vanes. One is in a fixed position, the
other, attached to the meter pointer, and is movable.
The magnetic field magnetizes these iron vanes
with the same polarity regardless of the direction of
current flow in the coil. Since like poles repel, the
movable vane pulls away from the fixed vane,
moving the meter pointer.
This motion exerts a turning force against the spring. The distance the vane will move against the
force of the spring depends on the strength of the magnetic field, which in turn depends on the
coil current.
These meters are generally used at 60-hertz ac, but may be used at other ac frequencies. By
changing the meter scale to indicate dc values rather than ac rms values, moving-vane meters
will measure dc current and dc voltage. This is not recommended due to the residual magnetism
left in the vanes, which will result in an error in the instrument. One of the major disadvantages
of this type of meter movement occurs due to the high reluctance of the magnetic circuit. This
causes the meter to require much more power than the D’Arsonval meter to produce a full scale
deflection, thereby reducing the meters sensitivity.

6. Hot Wire Meter Movement

Hot-wire meter movements use the heating effect of

current flowing through a resistance to cause meter
deflection. The deflection depends on the expansion
of a high-resistance wire caused by the heating
effect of the wire itself as current flows through it.
A resistance wire is stretched taut between the two
meter terminals, with a thread attached at a right
angle to the center of the wire.
A spring connected to the opposite end of the thread exerts a constant tension on the resistance
wire. Current flow heats the wire, causing it to expand. This motion is transferred to the meter
pointer through the thread and a pivot.

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7. Thermocouple Meter Movement

Similar to hot-wire meter movements,

thermocouple uses the heating effect of current
flowing through a resistance to cause meter
deflection. The thermocouple meter consists of a
resistance wire across the meter terminals, which
heats in proportion to the amount of current.
Attached to this wire is a small thermocouple
junction of two unlike metal wires, which connect
across a very sensitive dc meter movement (usually
a d’Arsonval meter movement). As the current
being measured heats the heating resistor, a small
current (through the thermocouple wires and the
meter movement) is generated by the thermocouple
The current being measured flows through only the resistance wire, not through the meter
movement itself. The pointer turns in proportion to the amount of heat generated by the
resistance wire.

8. Meter Rating and Terms

a) F.S.D. current – full scale deflection; is amount of current that must flow through the
meter coil to cause a full scale deflection (fsd).

b) Meter sensitivity - is reciprocal value of fsd current and

represents the total amount of resistance for each volt
needed to produce a full-scale current.
example: fsd = 1mA
its sensitivity = 1/fsd
= 1/0.001
= 1000ohms/V

i) a meter requires 1000ohm meter resistance to limit 1mA flow to produce fsd and
this meter have a sensitivity of 1000ohm/volt.
ii) meter with higher sensitivity give accurate measurement e.g. sensitivity meter is
20,000 ohm/volt.
Fsd = 1/20,000ohm/volt
= 50 microamp
Therefore a meter required 20,000ohm resistance coil to limit 50microamp to
produce fsd.

c) Meter resistance – total resistance of a meter to include the moving coil, the
hairspring and temperature.

c) Temperature compensating resistor.

- meter resistance coil has +ve coefficient of temperature, when temp increase the
coil resistance also increase thus reduce current flow and give false reading
- a temp compensating resistor connected in series with meter coil which have –ve
coefficient which resistance decrease when temp increases thus meter resistance
remains constant as temp changes.

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5. Ammeter

An ammeter is a device that measures current. Ammeters are

always connected in series. By adding several shunt resistors
in the meter case, with a switch to select the desired resistor,
the ammeter will be capable of measuring several different
maximum current readings or ranges.
For higher current ranges (above 50 amperes) ammeters that
use external shunts are used. The external shunt resistor
serves the same purpose as the internal shunt resistor. The
external shunt is connected in series with the circuit to be
measured and in parallel with the ammeter.
This shunts (bypasses) the ammeter so only a portion of the
current goes through the meter. Each external shunt will be
marked with the maximum current value that the ammeter
will measure when that shunt is used.

Shunt in parallel connection with the meter coil also can

extend the range of an ammeter. Shunt resistance has very
low value compare to the meter resistance coil and the
voltage drop across an ammeter shunt is proportional to the
amount of current flowing through it.

a) Ammeter Reading

Figure (A) shows the initial reading of a circuit. The highest range (250 milliamperes)
has been selected and the meter indication is very small. It would be difficult to
properly interpret this reading with any degree of accuracy.

Figure (B) shows the second reading, with the next largest range (50 milliamperes).
The meter deflection is a little greater. It is possible to Interpret this reading as 5
milliamperes. Since this approximation of the current is less than the next range, the
meter is switched as shown in figure (C).

Figure (C). The range of the meter is now 10 milliamperes and it is possible to read
the meter indication of 5 milliamperes with the greatest degree of accuracy. Since the
current indicated is equal to (or greater than) the next range of the ammeter (5
milliamperes), the meter should NOT be switched to the next range.

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b) Proper Ammeter Connection

An ammeter is always
connected in series with the
circuit you wish to test.
Connecting an ammeter in
parallel would give you not
only an incorrect measurement
but it would also damage the
ammeter, because too much
current would pass through the

c) Ammeter Sensitivity

Ammeter sensitivity is the amount of current

necessary to cause full scale deflection
(maximum reading) of the ammeter. The smaller
the amount of current, the more "sensitive" the
A meter with 1,000 ohms per volt sensitivity
means that the current requires to cause a full-
scale deflection is 1 milliampere or
0.001ampere (1/1,000).
A meter with 20,000 ohms per volt sensitivity
means that the current requires to cause a full-
scale deflection is 50 microamperes or 0.00005
amperes (1/20,000).
When the meter is switched to the 10-milliampere position as shown in the figure,
only resistors R1, R2, and R3 shunt the meter. More current will go through the shunt
resistors and less current will go through the meter movement. As the resistance
decreases and more current go through the shunt resistors. As long as the current to be
measured does not exceed the range selected, the meter movement will never have
more than 100 microamperes of current through it.

d) Ammeter Safety Precaution

i) Prevent injury to yourself or others and to prevent damage to the ammeter or

the equipment on which you are working.
ii) Ammeters must always be connected in series with the circuit under test.
iii) Always start with the highest range of an ammeter.
iv) De-energize and discharge the circuit completely before you connect or
disconnect the ammeter.
v) In dc ammeters, observe the proper circuit polarity to prevent the meter from
being damaged.
vi) Never use a dc ammeter to measure ac.
vii) Observe the general safety precautions of electrical and electronic devices.

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6. Voltmeters

Voltage measurement is accomplished by using a

voltmeter. Voltmeters are always connected in parallel.
Voltmeters can be constructed with several ranges by the
use of a switch and internal resistors. The figure shows a
voltmeter with a meter movement of 100 ohms and 1
milliampere full-scale deflection with 5 ranges of voltage
through the use of a switch. In this way a voltmeter can
be used to measure several different ranges of voltage.
The current through the meter movement is determined
by the voltage being measured. If the voltage measured is
higher than the range of the voltmeter, excess current will
flow through the meter movement and the meter will be
damaged. Therefore, you should always start with the
highest range of a voltmeter and switch the ranges until a
reading is obtained near the center of the scale.

To extend the range of a voltmeter, a resistor call

multiplier connected in series with the meter coil. The
value of multiplier is very high compare to the meter coil.
The voltage drop across multiplier is much higher than
the meter coil.

a) Sensitivity Of Voltmeter

Voltmeter sensitivity is expressed in ohms per volt (Ω/V). It is the resistance of the
voltmeter at the full-scale reading in volts. Since the voltmeter’s resistance does not
change with the position of the pointer, the total resistance of the meter is the
sensitivity multiplied by the full-scale voltage reading. The higher the sensitivity of a
voltmeter, the higher the voltmeter’s resistance.

To determine the sensitivity of a meter movement, you need only to divide 1 by the
amount of current needed to cause full-scale deflection of the meter movement. The
manufacturer usually marks meter movements with the amount of current needed for
full-scale deflection and the resistance of the meter.

For example, if a meter has a full-scale current of 50µA and a resistance of 960Ω, the
sensitivity could be calculated as:

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b) Voltmeter Reading

Figure (A) shows the meter is in the 1000-volt range. The pointer is barely above the
0 position. It is not possible to accurately read this voltage.

Figure (B) shows the meter is switched to the 250 volt range. From the pointer
position it is possible to approximate the voltage as 20 volts. Since this is well below
the next range, the meter is switched, as in (C).

Figure (C) shows the meter in the 50-volt range, it is possible to read the voltage as
22 volts. Since this is more than the next range of the meter (10 volts), the meter
would not be switched to the next (lower) scale.

c) Voltmeter Safety Precaution

Just as with ammeters, voltmeters require safety precautions to prevent injury to

personnel and damage to the voltmeter or equipment.
i) Always connect voltmeters in parallel.
ii) Always start with the highest range of a voltmeter.
iii) De-energize and discharge the circuit completely before connecting or
disconnecting the voltmeter.
iv) In dc voltmeters, observe the proper circuit polarity to prevent damage to the
v) Never use a dc voltmeter to measure ac voltage.
vi) Observe the general safety precautions of electrical and electronic devices.

7. Ohmmeter

The ohmmeter is widely used to measure resistance and

check the continuity of electrical circuits and devices. Its
range usually extends to only a few megohms.
The ohmmeter’s pointer deflection is controlled by the
amount of battery current passing through the moving coil.
Before measuring the resistance of an unknown resistor or
electrical circuit, the test leads of the ohmmeter are first
shorted together, as shown in the figure.
With the leads shorted, the meter is calibrated for proper
operation on the selected range. While the leads are shorted,
meter current is maximum and the pointer deflects a
maximum amount, somewhere near the zero position on the
ohms scale by adjusting the zero-adjust rheostat.

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It is necessary to remove the test leads when you are finished using the ohmmeter because if the
leads were left connected, they could come in contact with each other and discharge the
ohmmeter battery. When the variable resistor (rheostat) is adjusted properly, with the leads
shorted, the pointer of the meter will come to rest exactly on the zero position. This indicates
ZERO RESISTANCE between the test leads, which, in fact, are shorted together.

When the test leads of an ohmmeter are separated, the pointer of the meter will return to the left
side of the scale. The interruption of current and the spring tension act on the movable coil
assembly, moving the pointer to the left side infinity (∞) of the scale.

a) Using the Ohmmeter

The power switch of the circuit to be measured

should always be in the OFF position. This
prevents the source voltage of the circuit from
being applied across the meter, which could cause
damage to the meter movement.
The test leads of the ohmmeter are connected in
series with the circuit to be measured. This
causes the current produced by the 3-volt battery
of the meter to flow through the circuit being
tested. Assume that the meter test leads are
connected at points a and b as shown in the figure.
The amount of current that flows through the
meter coil will depend on the total resistance of
resistors R1 and R2, and the resistance of the
Since the meter has been preadjusted (zeroed), the amount of coil movement now
depends solely on the resistance of R1and R2. The inclusion of R1 and R2 raises the
total series resistance, decreasing the current, and thus decreasing the pointer
deflection. The pointer will now come to rest at a scale figure indicating the
combined resistance of R1 and R2. If R1 or R2, or both, were replaced with a
resistor(s) having a larger value, the current flow in the moving coil of the meter
would be decreased further. The deflection would also be further decreased, and the
scale indication would read a still higher circuit resistance. Movement of the moving
coil is proportional to the amount of current flow.

b) Ohmmeter Ranges

To enable the meter to indicate any value being

measured, with the least error, scale multiplication
features are used in most ohmmeters.
For example, a typical meter will have four test lead
jacks-COMMON, R x 1, R x 10, and R x 100. The
jack marked COMMON is connected internally
through the battery to one side of the moving coil of
the ohmmeter. The jacks marked R x 1, R x 10, and R
x 100 are connected to three different size resistors
located within the ohmmeter.

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A selector switch for selecting the multiplication scale desired is equipped on the
Assume the ohmmeter in the figure is calibrated in divisions from 0 to 1,000. If R x is
greater than 1,000 ohms, and the R x 1 range is being used, the ohmmeter cannot
measure it. This occurs because the combined series resistance of resistor R X 1 and
Rx is too great to allow sufficient battery current to flow to deflect the pointer away
from infinity (∞). (Infinity is a quantity larger than the largest quantity you can

When the test lead is selected into the next range, R X 10, the pointer deflects to
indicate 375 ohms. This would indicate that Rx has 375 ohms x 10, or 3,750 ohms
resistance. The change of range caused the deflection because resistor R x 10 has
about 1/10 the resistance of resistor R X 1. Thus, selecting the smaller series
resistance permitted a battery current of sufficient amount to cause a useful pointer
deflection. If the R x 100 range were used to measure the same 3,750-ohm resistor,
the pointer would deflect still further, to the 37.5-ohm position. This increased
deflection would occur because resistor R x 100 has about 1/10 the resistance of
resistor R x 10.

c) Shunt Ohmmeter

The ohmmeter described to this point is known as a series ohmmeter, because the
resistance to be measured is in series with the internal resistors and the meter
movement of the ohmmeter.
In the shunt ohmmeter, the resistance to be measured shunts (is in parallel with) the
meter movement of the ohmmeter. The most obvious way to tell the difference
between the series and shunt ohmmeters is by the scale of the meter.
The figure below shows the scale of a series ohmmeter and the scale of a shunt

Figure (A) is the scale of a series ohmmeter. Notice "0" is on the right and "∞" is on
the left.
Figure (B) is the scale of a shunt ohmmeter. In the shunt ohmmeter "∞" is on the right
and "0" is on the left.

In the figure shown, R1 is a rheostat used to

adjust the “∞” reading of the meter (full-scale
deflection). R2, R3, and R4 are used to
provide the R x 1, R x 10, and R x 100 ranges.
Points A and B represent the meter leads. With
no resistance connected between points A and
B the meter has full-scale current and
indicates “∞”. If a resistance is connected
between points A and B, it shunts some of the
current from the meter movement and the
meter movement reacts to this lower current.

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Since the scale of the meter is marked in ohms, the resistance of the shunting resistor
(between points A and B) is indicated. Notice that the switch has an OFF position, as
well as positions for R x 1, R x 10, and R x 100. This is provided to stop current flow
and prevents the battery from being discharged while the meter is not being used. The
shunt ohmmeter is connected to the circuit to be measured in the same way the series
ohmmeter is connected. The only difference is that on the shunt ohmmeter the “∞”
reading is adjusted, while on the series ohmmeter the “0” reading is adjusted. Shunt
ohmmeters are not commonly used because they are limited generally to measuring
resistances from 5 ohms to 400 ohms. If you use a shunt ohmmeter, be certain to
switch it to the OFF position when you are finished using it.

d) Ohmmeter Safety Precautions

The following safety precautions and operating procedures for ohmmeters are
necessary to prevent injury and damage.
i) Be certain the circuit is de-energized and discharged before connecting an
ii) Do not apply power to a circuit while measuring resistance.
iii) When you are finished using an ohmmeter, switch it to the OFF position if one
is provided and remove the leads from the meter.
iv) Always adjust the ohmmeter for 0 (or ∞ in shunt ohmmeter) after you change
ranges before making the resistance measurement.
v) Select the multiplication factor (range) that will result in the pointer coming to
rest as near as possible to the midpoint of the scale.

8. Megaohmmeter

The megaohmmeter or megger is widely used for measuring insulation resistance, such as
between a wire and the outer surface of the insulation, and insulation resistance of cables and
insulators e.g. ignition system and other high voltage circuit. The range of a megger may extend
to more than 1,000 megohms. Two types,
 Type A – 500V DC
 Type C – 250V DC
The megger, as shown in the figure is a
portable instrument consisting of two
primary elements:
- a hand-driven dc generator, G, which
supplies the high voltage for making the
measurement, and
- the instrument portion, which indicates the
value of the resistance being measured.

When a megger is used, the generator voltage is present on the test leads. This voltage could be
hazardous to you or to the equipment you are checking. Therefore, NEVER TOUCH THE
TEST LEADS WHILE THE MEGGER IS BEING USED and isolate the item you are
checking from the equipment before using the megger.

a) Using the Megger

To use a megger to check wiring insulation, connect one test lead to the insulation and
the other test lead to the conductor, after isolating the wiring from the equipment.

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Turn the hand crank until the slip clutch just begins to slip and note the meter reading.
Normal insulations should read infinity. Any small resistance reading indicates the
insulation is breaking down.

b) Megger Safety Precautions

When using a megger, the following safety precautions are observed:

ii) Use meggers on high-resistance measurements only (such as insulation
measurements or to check two separate conductors on a cable).
iii) Never touch the test leads while the handle is being cranked.
iv) De-energize and discharge the circuit completely before connecting a megger.
v) Disconnect the item being checked from other circuitry, if possible, before using
a megger.

9. Electrodynamometer Wattmeter

Electric power is measured by means of an Electrodynamometer

Wattmeter. It may be used in either DC or AC circuits.
In AC circuit, the meter measures true power because even if the
current and voltage are out of phase, they will also be out of phase
within each of the coils of the instrument.
The meter consists of a pair of fixed coils, known as current coils,
and a movable coil known as the potential or voltage coil. The
fixed coils are made up of a few turns of a comparatively large
conductor. The potential coil consists of many turns of fine wire. It
is mounted on a shaft, carried in jeweled bearings, so that it may
turn inside the stationary coils. The movable coil carries a needle
which moves over a suitably marked scale. Spiral coil springs hold
the needle to a zero position.
The current coil (stationary coil) of the wattmeter is connected in
series with the circuit (load), and the potential or voltage coil
(movable coil) is connected across the line. When line current
flows through the current coil of a wattmeter, a field is set up
around the coil. The strength of this field is proportional to the line
current and in phase with it. The potential coil of the wattmeter
generally has a high-resistance resistor connected in series with it.
This is for the purpose of making the potential-coil circuit of the
meter as purely resistive as possible. As a result, current in the
potential circuit is practically in phase with line voltage. Therefore,
when voltage is applied to the potential circuit, current is
proportional to and in phase with the line voltage

10. Vibrating-Reed Frequency Meter

The vibrating-reed frequency meter is one of the simplest devices for indicating the frequency of
an ac source i.e. A.C. alternators frequency. Vibrating-reed frequency meters are usually in-
circuit meters. They are used on power panels to monitor the frequency of ac. The current whose
frequency is to be measured flows through the coil and exerts maximum attraction on the soft-
iron armature TWICE during each cycle (fig (A)).

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The armature is attached to the bar, which is
mounted on a flexible support. Reeds having
natural vibration frequencies of 110, 112, 114,
and so forth, up to 130 hertz are mounted on the
bar (fig. (B)). The reed having a frequency of
110 hertz is marked 55 hertz; the one having a
frequency of 112 hertz is marked 56 hertz; the
one having a frequency of 120 hertz is marked
60 hertz; and so forth.
When the coil is energized with a current having
a frequency between 55 and 65 hertz, all the
reeds are vibrated slightly; but, the reed having
a natural frequency closest to that of the
energizing current (whose frequency is to be
measured) vibrates more. The frequency is read
from the scale value opposite the reed having
the greatest vibration. In some instruments the
reeds are the same lengths, but are weighted by
different amounts at the top so that they will
have different natural rates of vibration.
An end view of the reeds is shown in the indicator dial of figure (C). If the current has a
frequency of 60 hertz per second, the reed marked "60" hertz will vibrate the amount, as shown.

11. Bonding Tester

a) Purpose – To measure resistance values less than 0.1 ohms.

b) Construction.
i) Low reading true ohm meter.
ii) Nickel iron alkaline cell –
iii) 60 feet length of two cable
terminate in a single spike
iv) 6 feet length of similar cable
attached to a double spike
probe i.e. act as a switch
controlling the power supply
from the cell.
v) Plug and socket connections
permit quick and correct
connection of the cables to
the instrument case.
vi) Low resistance coil A.
vii) High resistance coil B.

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c) Operation.
i) With both spike connected to the bonding or metal airframe, low resistance coil
A energies by current from the cell to single spike, through bonding or airframe
to the right hand spike of double probe, to the coil and back to negative cell.
Coil A is in series with the bond under test.

ii) Coil B (high resistance) is in parallel with the bond, so current through it is
proportional to the potential difference (p.d.) across the bond.

iii) The pointer position is proportional to p.d. across and inversely proportional to
the current i.e. it is proportional to the resistance of the bond.

Notes : - Connect the single probe first, before double spike probe is brought into
- The reading should less than 0.025 ohms for bonding test.
- The reading should less than 0.0025 ohms for ignition harness.

12. Analog Multimeter - Layout

The MULTIMETER is the most common electrical measuring device. It

is simply a combination of ammeters, voltmeters and ohmmeters. Most
multimeters use a d’Arsonval meter movement and have a built-in rectifier
for ac measurement.

The COMMON or -jack is used in all functions is plugged into the

COMMON jack. The +jack is used for the second meter lead for any of
the functions printed in large letters beside the FUNCTION SWITCH
(the large switch in the center). The other jacks have specific functions
printed above or below them and are self-explanatory. The FUNCTION
SWITCH is used to select the function desired.
All analog multimeters have a “zero adjust” knob to reset the scale as the
internal battery discharges with time and usages.

The numbers above the uppermost scale are

used for resistance measurement. The numbers
below the uppermost scale are used with the
uppermost scale for dc voltage and direct
current, and the same numbers are used with the
scale just below the numbers for ac voltage and
alternating current. The third scale from the top
and the numbers just below the scale are used
for the 2.5-volt ac function only.

Most multimeters (and some other meters) have a mirror built into the scale. The figure shows
the arrangement of the scale and mirror. The purpose of the mirror on the scale of a meter is to
aid in reducing PARALLAX ERROR. If there is any parallax, you will be able to see the image
of the pointer in the mirror. If you are looking at the meter correctly (no parallax error) you will
not be able to see the image of the pointer in the mirror because the image will be directly behind
the pointer.

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13. Digital Multimeter (DMM) - Layout

The top portion of the meter contains the digital readout area, which
resembles the digital display of many pocket calculators.

Below the digital readout is a large gray knob, called the FUNCTION
switch. This switch determines which function the multimeter will perform
(voltmeter, ammeter, or ohmmeter).

The sensitivity is defined in Resolution i.e. -/+ 1%.

a) Digital Multimeter – Function Switch

 The V~ (*) is set to measure alternating-current voltages, or

simply AC voltage.
 V= (*) is for direct current voltage, or DC measurements.
 300mV= (*)is used to measure low voltages of direct current
in the millivolt (mV) range.
 The W position (*) is normally used to measure electrical
resistance (in ohms).
 The ®|-))) position (*) is for certain applications that will not
be covered here.
 A~ (*) is used to measure AC current (in amps).
 A= (*) is used to measure DC current (in amps).
 When the digital multimeter is first turned on, it will go
through a self-analysis of its battery and its internal
 While this is proceeding, the meter will light up almost
all of the digital segments including a tiny battery
symbol in the upper left hand portion of the display.

b) Measuring voltage – connect parallel to the load/source.

c) Measuring current – connect in series with the load.

d) Measuring resistance - ‘OL’ indicate infinite resistance mean resistance is greater

than the meter can measure.
- ‘OL’ indicate open circuit.

e) Check continuity – beep sound or buzzer.

14. Troubleshooting tips and techniques

When first approaching a failed or otherwise misbehaving system, the new troubleshooter often
doesn't know where to begin. The following strategies are not exhaustive by any means, but
provide the troubleshooter with a simple checklist of questions to ask in order to start isolating
the problem.
As tips, these troubleshooting suggestions are not comprehensive procedures: they serve as
starting points only for the troubleshooting process. The followings are some of the suggestions.

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a) An essential part of expedient troubleshooting is probability assessment, and these
tips help the troubleshooter determine which possible points of failure are more or
less likely than others.
b) Final isolation of the system failure is usually determined through more specific
c) Prior occurrence. If the device or process has been historically known to fail in a
certain particular way, and the conditions leading to this common failure have not
changed, check for this "way" first. A corollary to this troubleshooting tip is the
directive to keep detailed records of failure.
d) Based on knowledge of how a system works, think of various kinds of failures that
would cause the problem (or the phenomena) to occur, and check for those failures
(starting with the most likely based on circumstances, history, or knowledge of
component weaknesses).
e) Swap identical components. In a system with identical or parallel subsystems, swap
components between those subsystems and see whether or not the problem moves
with the swapped component. If it does, you've just swapped the faulty component; if
it doesn't, keep searching! This is a powerful troubleshooting method, because it
gives you both a positive and a negative indication of the swapped component's fault:
when the bad part is exchanged between identical systems, the formerly broken
subsystem will start working again and the formerly good subsystem will fail.
Occasionally you may swap a component and find that the problem still exists, but
has changed in some way. This tells you that the components you just swapped are
somehow different (different calibration, different function), and nothing more.
However, don't dismiss this information just because it doesn't lead you straight to the
problem, look for other changes in the system as a whole as a result of the swap, and
try to figure out what these changes tell you about the source of the problem. An
important caveat to this technique is the possibility of causing further damage.
Suppose a component has failed because of another, less conspicuous failure in the
system. Swapping the failed component with a good component will cause the good
component to fail as well.

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1. Aircraft wire/cable

a) Is defined as sheath(covered) wire

b) Purpose: as medium for current to flow & complete the circuit. (Source – Load –
c) Are design to withstand extreme vibration, abrasion & adverse weather condition
especially for high altitude flying (temp. -56.5° at 35000ft)
d) Factor when choosing wire:
 Can carry the required current without producing excessive heat or voltage drop.
 The insulation must prevent electrical leakage & strong to stand abrasion
e) Although silver is the best conductor, its cost limits its use to special circuits.
f) Silver is used where a substance with high conductivity or low resistivity is needed.
g) 2 types of cable used: i) copper strand ii) aluminum strand
 stranded for protection against breakage from vibration (more flexible)

a) Used on almost all aircraft’s wiring
b) Better conductor than aluminum
c) Coated with tin, silver or nickel to prevent oxidation
d) Sizes 22 – 4/0 (0000) AWG
e) Before 1990’s, use MIL-W-5086
 Annealed copper coated with tin
 PVC, nylon, glass braided insulator, rated to 600V
f) But PVC emits toxic fumes when burn
g) Today’s use other insulation : - TEFLON®
 Called MIL – W – 22759
h) Always install a/c wire according to OEM approved process specification or aircraft
Advisory Circular AC 43.13-1B or Mil-W-5088.
i) Copper has a higher conductivity and more ductile (can be drawn out) than aluminum.
j) Copper has relatively high tensile strength (the greatest stress a substance can bear
along its length without tearing apart).
k) Copper can also be easily soldered.
l) However, copper is more expensive and heavier than aluminum.

a) MIL-W-7072
b) Used for carrying large amount of current in long distance
c) Can replace copper due to copper’s high cost & scarce (limited) in market.
d) More susceptible than copper – save weight
e) Can carry 2/3 current of the same size copper wire
f) But, has disadvantages:
 Greater resistance
- Can carry 2/3 current of the same size copper wire
 Easily broken by vibration (crystallize)
h) Limitation:
 Wire smaller than 8 gauge is not allowed (easy broken)
 Never attached to engine mount
 Never used at severe vibration area

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 Do not install at frequent disconnect area
 Never use in length less than 3 feet
 Never use at corrosive fumes area
 Not recommended for Comm. & Nav.
i) Aluminum wire that is 2 gauge number smaller (2 size larger) than copper, carries the
same amount of current.
j) E.g.: to replace 12-gauge copper wire – use at least 10-gauge wire of aluminum

2. Wire Size

a) Measured in:
 American Wire Gage (AWG)
 Standard Wire Gage (SWG)
b) To determine wire size, use Wire Gage Tool - insert
stripped portion.
c) Gauge size related to cross sectional area of wire
d) Cross sectional is expressed in circular mils
e) A circular mils
 A standard measurement for round conductor
 = square of the diameter of the wire in thousandths in inch (1 mil = 0.001in)
 E.g.: diameter = 0.0025  25 thousandth of inch; circular mil = 252 = 625cmil
f) A square mil = measurement for square or rectangular conductor, e.g.: bus bar
g) 1 circular mil = 0.7854 square mil
h) Smaller sized used is 22 AWG ( d=0.025in)
i) Largest sized used is 0000 AWG or 4-aught (d=0.52in)
j) The smaller the AWG number, the larger the wire size
E.g.: 20AWG – 15 amp
10AWG - 60 amp

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k) To replace broken wire, used same size and type of wire.
l) For new installation, some factor to be considered:
i. Conductor Material And Insulation
 Copper or aluminum material.
 Flexibility  Number of strands.
 Insulations material with ratings in heat, abrasion and flexibility.
 Length and type of installation also important in selecting the correct size.

ii. Current Carrying Capability

 Refer to Table 11-9 and Table 11-10; AC 43-13-1B

 Aluminum is best for large current for long distance.

 Saved weight, allows lighter aircraft.
 Wire size must be derated if routed in bundle.
 Because of heat generated in bundle.

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iii. Allowable Voltage Drop
 specify the allowable voltage drop for different system voltage

Nominal System Allowable voltage drop

Continuous operation Intermittent operation
14 0.5 1.0
28 1.0 2.0
115 4.0 8.0
200 7.0 14.0

 To choose the wire size for given length, current, voltage systems, use wire
 Wire chart  (for copper wire only)

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m) to find wire size for given length:
 1st, know the operating voltage
 then, the allowable voltage drop
 and either operate continuous or intermittent
 refer chart
 to find wire size for aluminum, follow steps as for copper then convert to
 the curves represent the ability of a wire to carry the current without overheating

3. Types of Wire

Coaxial Cable

Two core twisted shielded wire

Single core shielded wire

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(Code: AAB 10902) by Faizal Sharif
a) Single Wire
 Most aircraft wires are of stranded wire.
 Available as Single Wire or Twisted Wire (2 or 3 or 4 core/wire).
 Common size used from AWG 0 to 24
 AWG 24 and 22 normally for signal wires e.g. communication and navigation
 AWG 20 and 18 normally for Avionics system power and ground wire.
 AWG 0 to 6 normally for electrical power wire e.g. generator and battery.
 The insulations may stand up as high as 1000V voltage rating.
 PVC  221 F or 105 C. / Fluorocarbon materials  392 F or 200 C.
 Commonly used type of wires
- Mil-W-22759 – PTFE, ETFE Insulated, Copper or Copper Alloy Conductor
airframe wire.
Stranding Finished Wire
Wire Size
Part Number (Number of Strands x Diameter
AWG Size of Each Strand) (Inches)
M22759/34-24-XX 24 19 x 36 0.045 ± 0.002
M22759/34-22-XX 22 19 x 34 0.050 ± 0.002
M22759/34-20-XX 20 19 x 32 0.058 ± 0.002
Note: "XX" in the part number shall be replaced with the desired color code designators in
accordance with MIL-STD-681

- Mil-W- 81044 – Irradiated wire for aircraft and hook-up.

(MIN.) (MAX.) (OHMS/1000') INCHES LBS/1000'
M81044/9-24 24 19/36 0.023 0.026 26.2 0.054 +/- 0.002 2.5
M81044/9-22 22 19/34 0.029 0.033 16.2 0.062 +/- 0.003 3.7
M81044/9-20 20 19/32 0.037 0.041 9.88 0.07 +/- 0.003 5.3

 Soft annealed tinned copper, stranded as listed.
 Irradiation cross-linked extruded Polyalkene meeting the requirements of Mil-W-81044/9
 Clear Irradiation cross-linked extruded Polyvinylidene Flouride (PVF) with a wall thickness
of 0.005 +/- .001 inches on Mil-W-81044/9.
 150°C conductor temperature, 600 Volts.

b) Shielded Wire
 A stranded wire with insulated wire that encased in a braided metal jacket. Then
protected from abrasion with nylon jacket.
 Shielded wire is to avoid interference from external or internal signal source.
 Shielded wire available as a single wire or twisted pair (2 cores) or twisted 3 or 4
 Twisted cable/wire is to cancel the electromagnetic field produced by the wires
when the current flow into it.
 Electromagnetic field produced by AC cause interference to electronic equipments.
 To prevent RFI – shielding the wire
e.g. P/N: M27500C26SD4S23, where

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M27500 C 26 SD 4 S 23
Military Individual Basic Wire Number of
Braid Shield
Specification Wire Size Insulation Wires in Outer Jacket
Coverage Coating
Number (AWG) Type Cable

Basic Wire Insulation Type

Conductor Type
Code Specification
(Copper or Copper Alloy)
(show few sample code)
(PTFE) Insulated
LE MIL-W-22759/9 Silver Coated, 1000 Volt, 200°C
RC MIL-W-22759/11 Silver Coated, 600 Volt, 200°C
RE MIL-W-22759/12 Nickel Coated, 600 Volt, 260°C
Crosslinked ETFE, Tin Coated,
SD MIL-W-22759/34 600 Volt, 150°C, Normal Weight

Number of Wires in Cable

1 through 10

Shield Coating Symbol Description

U No Shield
Single Shield
S Silver
T Tin
Double Shield
W Silver
V Tin

Outer Jacket Symbol Description

00 No Jacket
Single Jacket
09 FEP Teflon (white)
23 Crosslinked ETFE (white)
Double Jacket
59 FEP Teflon (white)
73 Crosslinked ETFE (white)

 Some applications e.g. : magnetic compass; the wires in the shielded wire is twisted
to reduce magnetic fields effect.- cancel each other

c) Coaxial Cable

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 Also called “Coax Cable”.
 Mainly for Communication & Navigation equipments.
 Antennas to its receivers.
 Consists of a central solid conductor, inner insulator,
braided metal outer conductor, and outer PVC/plastic
 Carries alternating current at radio frequencies.
 Braided metal:- hold in RFI & protect from outside RFI
 Commonly used type of wires
- Mil-W-17 – Coaxial Cable
Detail Generic Type Impedance Cable
Type Designation
Specification Designation (Ohms) Type
MIL-C-17/60 M17/60-RG142 RG142/U 50 ± 2 Flexible
MIL-C-17/93 M17/93-RG178 RG178/U 50 ± 2 Flexible

 During installations:
- DO NOT crush.
- DO NOT bend the wire with small radius.
- Should be 6 times the diameter
- Routed in straight line as directly & short as possible to minimize its length.

4. Wire Marking

a) To provide:
 safety of operation.
 safety of maintenance personnel.
 ease of maintenance.
b) No standard system
c) Consist of combination of letter & number
d) Should identify:
 type of circuit
 location in circuit
 section of wire from power source
 wire size
e.g. : L21A20N
 L – lighting
 21 – 21st wire in circuit
 A – 1st segment of wire
 20 - Wire gage
 N – connect to ground
g) Some use 2 letter identification  give detail
h) Placed marking at:
 12” – 15” interval along a wire for hot
stamping or laser marking
 24” to 36” interval along a wire for sleeve
 each end of wire
j) Wire less than 3” long  No marking required

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k) Wire 3” - 7” long  mark at the center
l) Print to read horizontally from left to right
m) Print vertically from top to bottom
n) Color should be contrast with wire insulation
o) Should not impair the characteristic of the wire

Method of marking

a) Direct marking
 print on the outer covering

b) Indirect
 used on coax cable, bundle.
 use printed heat-shrinkable sleeve/ tubing/ pressure-sensitive tape (in the form of
small flag).
 individual wire inside cable  marked within 3” from end.
 metallic sleeve/band MUST NOT be used.

c) Type of wire marking

 hot stamp
 dot matrix
 ink jet
 laser
 heat shrinkable sleeves
 tape

5. Wire Bundle

a) A compact group of electrical wires held together with special wrapping devices or
waxed string.
b) for neatest, organized and efficient routing.

c) Method:

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 in shop; marked wires be lined up parallel to each other by using plastic comb,
then tied.
 in a/c; wires may be secured to existing bundle or laid out to form new bundle and
tied together.
 or connect to terminal strip / connector first before tie them in a bundle.
 Factory fabricates wire harness on a jig board-allows manufacture form bundle
with bends needed to fit a/c.

d) limit the number of wires in a bundle :-

 the number of wires in a bundle should be less than 75 wires or
 the size of diameter is 1½ to 2 inches.
- to prevent possibility of single wire faulting & damage entire bundle
e) main and back-up system wire CANNOT bundle together.
f) ignition wire, shielded wire and wires unprotected from circuit breaker SHOULD be
g) bend radii for bundle - more than 10 times the outside diameter of bundle.

6. Tying & Lacing

a) Tie the bundle every 3-4 inches

b) Tie with nylon strap (TYRAP), or spot ties made of waxed linen or nylon cord.
c) 2 types of lacing:
 single-cord lacing.
- used for diameter of 1inch or less.
- can be continuous series of loop or single ties
(clove hitch secure with square knot).
 double-cord lacing
- for larger bundle.

d) Lacing should not be used for bundle installed around an engine since a break in the
lacing cord, loosens an entire section of the bundle.
e) After tied, some are covered with heat-shrinkable tubing, spiral wrap & others.

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7. Wiring Installation

a) Install either as open wiring or in conduit

Open Wiring
b) Wires/bundles route through aircraft without protective covering.
c) quickest & easiest way to install and troubleshoot.
d) at area exposed to outside environment, use good abrasive resistance insulated wire &
low moisture absorption.

e) to provides mechanical protection & metal conduit as shielding.
f) enclosed wires in rigid (thin metal tubing) or flexible (braided metal) conduit.
g) used in place where bundles are likely to be chafed or crushed.
- e.g.: engine nacelles, wheel well
h) inside diameter 25% larger than bundle.
i) all edges or holes should be deburred to assure smooth surface that will not damage
j) MUST have 1/8 in. drain holes at the lowest point in the conduit.
k) Bent in the conduit MUST NOT be kinked, wrinkled and not flattened excessively
(diameter decrease 75%).
l) Before install the cable bundle in conduit, sprinkle the bundle with talc/ blow talc
through the tubing (as lubricant).
m) Support conduit by clamps attached to a/c structure.
n) Use to minimize radio interference – flexible brass conduit, MIL-C-7931.

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Example of protection of aircraft cable:
a) aircraft cable is protect against chaffing or abrasion of the insulator using rubber
grommet or cut nylon, against the a/c structure
b) a/c cable that is route in the wheel well area is protected against soaking in hydraulic
fluid using rubber sleeve.
c) a/c cable that run along the engine is protected against heat by TEFLON tape or
Fiberglass material in the cable.

Note: Chafing occurs when wires vibrate and rub against each other (or the structure of
the aircraft) causing the insulation layer surrounding the wire to be rubbed away
and   exposed   the   internal   electrical   core.   The   vibration   causing   the   chafing   is
usually   the   cumulative   effect   of   the   high­frequency   vibration   which   naturally
occurs in flight associated with aerodynamic and engine vibrations. The tendency
for wire to chaff is exacerbated by insufficient tensioning, insufficient offset or the
tightening of a wire against an airframe component (especially around corners).
Over­tensioning   of   wires   and/or   insufficient   support   intervals   can   lead   to
"strumming" of wires (causing them to contact other surfaces). Scraping caused
by pulling wire through narrow areas during installation can cause a similar effect
to chafing.

8. Shielding

a) Shielding = intercepting the electrical energy and shunting it to ground (the field is
trapped by the braided metal and carry to the ground).
b) protect from electromagnetic interference by wire carrying Alternating current.
c) consist a braid of tin-plated or cadmium-plated copper wire.
- connected to ground thru a crimped-on ring terminal.
d) in electrical system – both end grounded.
e) in electronic system – only one end grounded.
f) DO NOT solder the connection since it may overheat and cause to break.

9. Routing Wire

a) Route without interfere with controls or moving components unless mechanical guard
is installed
b) DO NOT route it:
 in location likely be used as a handhold
 in place that it can be damaged by person entering or leaving the area, or by any
baggage or cargo
 closer than 6 inches from the bottom of fuselage(bilge)
 below a battery
 closer than 3 inches from control cable
c) Overhead routing is preferable
d) If need to be routed parallel to oxygen or fluid lines, wiring MUST be above or same
level, and no closer than 6 inches from lines
e) Use clamp to support wires & center it through a bulkhead hole
 install grommet if clearance less than ¼ inch or 3/8 inch as shown below.

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10. Clamping

a) Secure bundle close enough together with cushioned clamps to avoid wire sagging
and vibrate excessively.
b) Allow slack of ½ inch deflection between 2 supports.
c) Enough slack at last support/each end :
i) For easier removal or installation.
ii) To prevent mechanical strain.
iii) To permit shifting component for maintenance.
d) Spaced with interval not exceed 24 inches.
e) Assure not to pinch the wire by using correct size of clamp.

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11. Wire Terminations

Permanently installed wires are terminated with crimped-on terminals (solderless terminals).
For frequent connection and disconnection, AN/MS quick disconnect connectors are used.

a) Wire/Cable Terminals

i) Also known as connector, tag, lug or cable end.

ii) Purpose: to allow the cable be connected on electrical components.
iii) Three types of wire terminals:
 Ring-Type.
 Most common or preferred type
 Not easy to disconnect or slide
 Used to connect on stud or electrical ground
 The tongue or tag provides support the wire strands and also indicates
wire size
 Hook-Type.
 Also known as spade type
 Use to connect on instruments
 Slotted-Type
 Not commonly used
 Easy to dislocate
iv) Wire terminals are of :
The preinsulated/ insulated type
 Are used by cable of size AWG 10 and below; and color-coded as:
 Small Yellow → AN26 to AN22.
 Red → AN20 to AN18.
 Blue → AN16 to AN14.
 Large Yellow → AN12 to AN10.
Non insulated type
 Are used by cable large than AN10.
 Use separate insulating:
 Vynil tubing
 Heat shrinkable Teflon sleeve

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b) Stripping

i) Stripping is cutting the insulation & pulling it from the end of wire.
ii) Expose as little conductor as necessary.
iii) Careful not to damage the conductor beyond limit.
iv) Use correct size stripper.
v) FAA specifies limit for allowable nicked or broken strands.
vi) E.g.: copper 20AWG with 19 strands – 2 nicked, no broken.
 Larger the number of strands, the greater the acceptable number of
vii) For aluminum, NO BROKEN or even NICKED is allowed.
 Nicked aluminum wore cause it easier to break.
 Also reduce current carrying capability of the wire.

c) Crimping

i) Crimping is the squeezing of terminal around a wire

to secure the wire & provide a good electrical
ii) 2 types of crimping tool used are:
 ratchet crimping tool
 is most preferable & meet specification.
 it will not open until proper size is reached
 are classified as:
o Pre Insulated Diamond Grip (P.I.D.G)
 Used to crimp pre insulated terminal
& marking is known as P.I.D.G.
o Diamond grip (D.G)
 Used to crimp non insulated terminal
& the marking is known as D.G.
 pneumatic crimping tool
 is used on bigger cable, size AWG 0 - 0000
iii) Crimping tools are precision instrument & must be
calibrate annually to determine their accuracy.
iv) Proper crimping should provide a joint that is as
strong as the tensile strength of the wire itself
v) To eliminate dissimilar-metal corrosion, the
terminal material must be compatible with the wire.
vi) For copper wire, Cadmium-plated copper terminal
is used.
 Installation:
 Strip the insulation at the wire end.
 Insert the stripped end into the terminals.
 Check that the insulation butts up against the terminal sleeve and the wire
stick out slightly beyond the sleeve end (1/32 in).
 Use crimping tool to secure the wire.
 crimp once more on the insulator to secure it.

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vii) Crimp of the insulation to remove strain from the wire strands.
viii) For aluminum wire, aluminum terminal lug is used.
 Strip the insulation carefully, not to nick or broke any wire strands.
 Partially fill the terminal lug with a zinc dust and petroleum jelly.
 Zinc Dust to grind the oxide film from wire.
 Petrolatum to keeps air away from wire, prevent new oxides form.
 Cover inspection hole with finger as wire is inserted into barrel to force
compound into wire strands.
 Inspect to ensure wire is inserted into lug for its full amount.
 Crimp lug in place with pneumatic crimper and insulate terminal with a PVC

d) Wire Splices

i) Crimped-on pre-insulated splice - Color-coded

like wire terminals
ii) For non-insulated splice, protective sleeve must
be installed to prevent shorting.
iii) Soldered splice is not recommended that it cause
the wire to become brittle.
iv) Installation procedure is very much similar to the
v) The same crimping tools are used.
vi) Avoid splice a wire where area is subject to
excessive vibration.
vii) There should NOT be more than one splice
between two connections or each wire segment.
viii) When splicing wires in bundle, the splice should
be staggered along the bundle.

ix) This to keep the bundle diameter at minimum.

x) Do not tie/strap bundle where splice located
xi) Not used to salvage scrap wire
xii) Can not install within 12” from termination device.

e) Soldering

i) Is a process of joining 2 metals together permanently using an alloy to form a

reliable electrical connection thru wetting action.
ii) Wetting action = refers to the inter-metallic bonding between molecules of copper
& alloy solder to form a new molecular alloy.
iii) Resin flux with Mild Additive (RMA) is used to keep the surface area clean &
free from oxidation. It is incorporated in the solder stick.
iv) Alloy solders in composition of tins and lead.
 Pure tin (SN) melt at 375°F
 Pure lead (Pb) melt at 610°F

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v) alloy solder is classified as:
 50/50, 60/40, Sn 63
vi) When exposed to heat, solder reacts into 3 stages:
 Ex: solid  plastic form  liquid form
vii) Solder when melted flow from hot area to cold area.

f) Soldering Iron

i) also known as heater to provide heat

ii) the type used in electronic soldering is a Needle or Pencil type soldering iron
iii) before using always clean the tap of soldering iron using a brush or coarse sand
paper and applied solder on the tip.
iv) After the job has completed, always put solder on the iron tip to prevent tip
v) The method of soldering is a 2 seconds method.
vi) A sign of good soldering is the shining appearance of the solder.
vii) A bad soldering indicated by :
 Dull color of solder
 E.g.: solder had been boiled or expose to high temp.
 Dry joint  due to greasy or dirty work surface

g) Terminal Strips

i) Made of plastic or paper-base phenolic compound.

 High mechanical strength.
 Good insulator.
ii) Groups of threaded stud mounted into the strip.
iii) Studs from size 6 up to 1 inch of diameter are available.
iv) Small size for low current.
v) For power circuit, studs size 10 (smallest) and above are normally used.
vi) Wires terminated with crimped-on terminals are secured to the threaded stud with
washer and nut.
vii) Make sure the terminal’s contact surface carry the current, not terminal strip’s
viii) Most aircraft use is of barrier type.

ix) Barrier between the adjacent to keep wires separated.

x) Ideal installation, two terminals for one stud.
xi) In any situation, there should NOT be more than four terminals stacked on one
xii) For more than four terminals, use Bus Strap to join the studs together.

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xiii) Bus Bar can be made from terminal strip with the use of Bus Strap.
xiv) When stacking four terminals, the wire butts are offset to another and make the lie
xv) These mainly used for interconnection of wiring or mostly using as grounding

h) Terminal Junction Module Type

i) These mainly used for interconnection of wiring or mostly using as grounding

ii) Using pin which is crimp to the wire and insert in the module.
iii) The module pins come with several wire sizes.

i) Terminal Junction Box

i) Housed the terminal strips.

ii) To protect wire from physical damage
& electrical short circuit
iii) for fire resistance  aluminum or an
acceptable plastic material
iv) for fire proof Stainless steel / heat
resistance alloy  placed at high heat/
fire area
v) Mounted at place where least in a way
and minimum chance to be damaged &
water get in the box.
vi) Construct so that no oil canning (bent
box) exist shorting hazard
vii) Must have drain holes to prevent
moisture accumulations.
viii) In powerplant area, mount it vertically
ix) The boxes may be tilted at an angle or
facing downward (open side down) to
minimize shorting terminals from
loose washers or nuts.
x) Isolate it from power whenever its
cover is removed for maintenance
xi) If still need power supply, be very

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xii) Wire bundle installation in the junction
box must be proper to avoid chafing.

j) In practical, all electric wires in the main electric system of an aircraft are of the
flexible type. Therefore, soldered type terminals (splices, lugs or connectors) are not
recommended to be used in aircraft electric system. The reasons are,
i) When terminal is soldered to such wire, the solder tends to penetrate the wire and
make it rigid in the vicinity of the terminal. This makes the wire and terminal
less resistant to vibration with the result that the wire may become crystallized
by fatigue and break off at the terminal.
ii) Another disadvantage is that the flux used may of a corrosive type that bringing
about failure through corrosion.
iii) More time and difficult in maintenance because of unsoldering and resoldering
iv) Well skilled in soldering techniques is required. Failure to have this, the wire
might be damaged i.e. the wire insulation burned.

12. Bonding/Grounding

a) Bonding is a process that grounds all

components in a\c together electrically
b) Bonding to metal airframe with
conductor to eliminate the build up of
unwanted static charges.
c) Figure shows the proper ground terminal
d) To reduce interference and possibility of
e) Bonding strap :
i) must be large enough to handle all
return current.
 Resistance between component &
a/c structure = 0.005ohm or less.
 Resistance of bonding strap is
0.003ohm or less.
ii) long enough for free movement.
iii) made of material that does not
produce galvanic corrosion.
 Use aluminum washer to minimize
corrosion to a/c.
 Recommended to use jumper made
of aluminum
 Copper jumper use with part made of stainless steel, cadmium plated steel,
copper, brass or bronze.
iv) should have enough mechanical strength to withstand constant flexing.
v) should easily installed to allow removal of bonded component.
f) Grounding to provide return path for electrical components
g) Grounding performed on most ground equipment
h) Particularly during fueling, cause fire hazard from static charges spark at fuel opening

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13. AN/MS Connectors

a) Installed on wire that frequently disconnect for easier removal and reinstallation. Ex:
avionic components.
b) 2 types of common connector are:
- AN (Army Navy)
- MS (Military Spec.)
c) Connector consists of 2 part:
- Socket (receptacle) – female
- Pin (plug) – male
d) To reduce accidental short, power connection uses socket while ground side (load
connection) uses pins.
e) To use connector at area exposed to moisture, used special moisture proof connector
or coated connectors with chemically inert waterproof jelly.
f) Wire installed to pin/socket connector by:
i) Crimping
 Pin/sockets are first crimped to wire then slipped into connector by insertion
tools, to remove used extraction tools
 1/32 to 3/32 wire exposed
ii) Soldering.
 Less used
 Apply small amount of solder to stripped wire(tinning process)
 Fill solder pot with solder
 Insert the wire while keeping the solder pot molten.
 Hold the wire until solder solidifies
 Should leave about 1/32 of an inch stranded wire between the top of solder pot
and the insulation for flexibility.
g) Since more than one of the same type connector may be installed, insert orientation
identification becomes very important.
h) Insertion slot prevent wrong mating part connected together.

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The alternating system is one in which a voltage or current periodically reverses in direction in a
regular recurring manner. Figure 1 shows an alternating current (usually abbreviated to AC)
plotted with current on the vertical axes and time along the horizontal axis.

Figure 1 Alternating Current

From figure 1 you can see that the AC passes through a definite sequence, it rises from zero to
maximum in one direction and falls back to zero, it then reverses and goes to a maximum in the
other direction and then goes back to zero again. This complete sequence A to B is called a cycle
and is repetitive.

Figure 2 AC Waveforms

The number of cycles occurring in one second is called the FREQUENCY of the alternating
current. This has the symbol “f” and the unit HERTZ (Hz). The frequency of most aircraft AC
constant frequency systems is 400Hz. In aircraft radio and radar systems many other frequencies
are used ranging from 3 kHz to 30GHz.

The time taken to complete one cycle is known as the periodic time or period denoted by the
symbol T. (see figure 1).

T 

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T  (for a 400Hz system)

= 2.5 ms

The shape of the alternating voltage or current graph is known as its waveform, Figure 2 shows
some example waveforms each having-the same frequency.

1.1 Properties of a Square Waveform

The square wave or derivatives of it is used in electronic circuits (multi vibrators), digital
systems and radar systems.

If a fundamental sine wave (frequency, say 1Hz) and a number of its odd harmonics (3Hz,
5Hz, 7Hz etc) are added together a waveform is produced which tends to be square in
shape. A perfectly shaped square wave would contain an infinite number of harmonics.
The statement “perfectly shaped” means having a flat top and bottom and vertical leading
and trailing edges. The harmonic content of the waveform controls some important
features of the square wave. These include:
a) As the harmonic content is increased so the waveform becomes squarer in shape.
b) The steepness of the sides is determined by the higher order harmonics, the
steepness increasing as higher harmonics are included in the composite square
c) The flatness of the top and bottom of the wave is determined by the fundamental
wave and the low order harmonic content of the square wave.
d) If odd harmonics only are used the resultant square wave will be symmetrical.
e) If both even and odd harmonics are present the square wave will be asymmetrical.

Figure 3 Harmonic Content of a Square Wave

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A symmetrical square wave is one with its positive and negative portions equal in time,
whereas with an asymmetrical wave the portions are unequal. Asymmetrical square
shaped waveforms are sometimes called rectangular waveforms or pulses, which may be
achieved by varying the mark-space ratio of the square wave.

Figure 4 Types of Square Wave

To be able to describe the properties of a square wave without the need for reference to a
drawing, various terms have been introduced. These include:

a) Amplitude of a square wave. The difference in voltage between the upper portion
and the lower portion of the wave. Note that it is not the same as the amplitude of a
sinusoidal wave form.
b) Pulse Repetition (recurrence) Frequency (prf). This is the number of complete
repetitions occurring per second as it is usually expressed as pulses per second.
Some textbooks refer to the frequency of the square wave in Hertz (Hz) and call one
repetition one cycle. This demonstrates the similarity between the square wave and
the sinusoid and helps emphasize that the frequency sinusoid present in the square
wave has a frequency equal to the prf of the square wave.
c) Pulse Width. This is the time interval during which the square wave remains at level
during one complete cycle of operation. It is often referred to as the pulse duration
and can refer to either the positive portion or the negative portion depending on the
use being made of the wave.
d) Polarity of a square wave. A square wave may be described as positive-going with
respect to the lower level, or as negative-going with respect to the upper level.

Figure 5 Square Wave Details

With reference to the square wave shown in figure 6. It could be describe as either:
100 volts positive, going with respect to 50 volts, or

100 volts negative, going with respect to + 50 volts.

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Figure 6 Voltage Level
e) Mark to Space Ratio (M/S Ratio). When a square wave is described as being
‘positive going’ from a reference, that portion of the wave more positive than the
reference, is termed the ‘mark’ and the remaining portion (on the reference line) is
called the ‘space’.

Figure 7 Mark / Space

Figure 8 Mark / Space Ratio

1.2 The AC Waveform

We shall be concentrating on the sinusoidal waveform as all aircraft AC generators and

invertors produce sinusoidal outputs. The generation of AC in its simplest form is as
shown in figure 9. It is a conducting loop rotating within a magnetic field. The loop is
connected to slip rings and then via brushes to an external circuit.

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Figure 9 Simple AC Generator

Faradays Law states that when a conductor cuts a magnetic field an emf (electromotive
force) is induced into the conductor. Figure 10 shows the rotation of the loop through

Figure 10 Voltage Induced in a Rotating Loop

In position (a) no cutting of the flux lines is taking place as the wire is moving parallel to
the lines of flux so no emf (P) is induced. As the loop rotates from this position it starts to
cut the lines of flux and an emf is generated which reaches a maximum at (Q), the coil is
cutting the maximum number of lines of flux hence maximum emf is induced. As it
rotates further the induced emf reduces to zero at (R).

The direction of the induced emf reverses as side A of the loop cuts the flux lines in an
upwards direction, again being a maximum at (S) and then falling to zero at (T). This
waveform produced is known as a sinusoidal waveform or sine wave (got its name from
the fact that if the sine of the angles is plotted against the angles from 0 to 360° a graph

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known as a sine wave is produced). So, one complete rotation of the loop gives ‘one
cycle’ of alternating voltage or current.

An alternative method of representing an alternating quantity which varies sinusoidal is a

straight line called a PHASOR, its length being equal to the maximum emf. The phasor
is assumed to pivot at the end without the arrowhead and to revolve anticlockwise once
for each cycle. If the vertical height at each point of the phasor is projected across and
plotted against the angle a sine wave results (figure 11).

Figure 11 Representation of Sine Wave by Rotating Phasor

If we assume the maximum emf in this case to be 100 volts (ie the length of the phasor
represents 100 volts). Then the height AB in figure 11 and the drawing below represents
the voltage at (a) on the sine wave, this point is known as an INSTANTANEOUS VALUE
- a voltage at an instant in time

Instantaneous values are given the symbol e and maximum emf as E max
By trigonometry, e = Emax sin Ø

in this case, e = 100 sin 30°

= l00 x 0.5
= 50V - the voltage at that instant of the waveform.

Therefore at all other points (angles) the instantaneous emf e = Emax sin Ø

at 90° = 100 x sin 90°

= 100 x 1
= 100 V

hence, the name sine wave as the voltage at any point is the maximum value times the
sine of the angle.

It is common to use the RADIAN as the standard measure of plain angles. A radian is
defined as the angle at the centre of a circle subtended by an arc of the circumference
equal in length to the radius of the circle. As the circumference of a circle is 2π x the
radius, there are 2π radians in a circle (360°). Just over 6 radians in a circle. So 1 radian
= 360° / 2π which is approximately 57.3°.

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So, π radians = 180°
π / 2 radians = 090°
3π / 2 radians = 270°

In one revolution the phasor (loop) passes through 2π radians. If it rotates at “f”
revolutions per second, it passes through 2πf radians per second. This is the angular
velocity of the phasor (loop) denoted by the Greek letter ω (omega). ω = 2πf radians per
second. After an interval of t seconds from the commencement of rotation the loop has
rotated an angle Ø equal to 2πft radians which is ωt radians. The emf at this instant is:

e = Emax sin Ø volts.

but also e = Emax sin ωt volts.

or if it was a current waveform

I = Imax sin Ø volts.

or I = Imax sin ωt volts

1.2.1 AC Values.

The PEAK VALUE of an alternating current or voltage is the maximum value

reached (either positive or negative) during a cycle, the peak or maximum value is
sometimes called the amplitude.

Figure 12 Peak to Peak Values

The difference between the peak positive value and the peak negative value is
called the PEAK TO PEAK VALUE and is twice the peak value.

The AVERAGE VALUE of an AC waveform over a full cycle is zero as there

are equal positive and negative values. It is usual therefore to use the average
value of half a cycle. This can be done mathematically by dividing the
waveform into a number of parts as shown in figure 13.

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Figure 13 Divided Waveform

Measuring the value of the current at each point and adding them together and
dividing by the number of values taken, in the drawing:

I1  I 2  I 3  I 4  I 5  I 6

For sine wave this will also be:

Average value = 0.637 x peak value

The EFFECTIVE or ROOT MEAN SQUARE VALUE (rms) is the value that is
most commonly used.

The heating effect of an electric current is independent of the direction of

current flow. The rms value of AC is that value of current which has the same
heating effect as its equivalent value dc, ie 1 amp AC (rms) = 1 amp dc.
Power in a dc circuit is proportional to the square of the current (I 2R), this also
applies to AC circuits. Figure 14 shows the square of the sinusoidal current
plotted against time. This gives a curve which is positive and symmetrical about
the half-way line max .

Figure 14 Current Squared Plotted Against Time

The energy dissipated is proportional to the shaded area beneath the (current) 2
curves. However, looking at the graph you will see that crest (a) will fit into
through (a), crest (b) into through (b) and so on. This is the same energy that
I max
would be dissipated by a steady value . Therefore the value of alternating
current which gives the same heating effect as the equivalent value dc is max .

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2 I max
I R (dc) = R (AC)
I max
I = ‘the root of the mean on the squares’
I max
I =
I = 0.707 x Imax
I = 0.707 x Peak value
I rms = 0.707 x Peak value

It should be noted that this can also be written as

I rms = x Peak value
or I rms = x Peak value

It is important to note that ‘rms’ is never added after a voltage or current as it is

normally assumed that all values are rms unless stated otherwise. The FORM
FACTOR for a particular waveform is the ratio of rms and average values.

rms value
Form factor = mean value
0.707 x peak
For a sine wave form factor = 0.637 x peak

The form factor is therefore an indication of the shape of the waveform, the higher its
value the more ‘peaky’ is the waveform.

1.2.2 Phase Difference

When two alternating quantities of the same frequency pass through

corresponding points in a cycle at the same instant in time they said to be in
phase with one another.

Figure 15 Two In-Phase values

We can represent these two quantities by phasors (as shown below), the length
of each representing the rms values.

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When in line as shown it indicates that V and I are in phase. If they pass through
corresponding points at different instances in time, there is a phase difference
between them and one is said to be leading or lagging the other by a certain
phase angle. Figure 16 shows the two quantities out of phase.

Figure 16 Values Out of Phase

The voltage rises to its positive peak first and is said to be leading the current,
alternatively the current can be said to be lagging the voltage. The phase
difference is the phase angle Ø.

The phasor diagram below shows this more clearly, (remember phasors rotate

It can be seen that it is easier to represent the sine waves by phasors.


We need to look at the effect of AC applied to resistance, inductance and capacitance as the
results are important as we shall see.

There is no such thing as a ‘pure’ resistance, a ‘pure’ inductance or a ‘pure’ capacitance. A wire
wound resistor, for instance, since it is wound in the form of a coil has inductance as well as
resistance, similarly, a capacitor has resistance as well as capacitance.

However, for the purposes of the next few pages we are going to assume ‘pure’ components as it
makes the treatment easier and it is helpful to show the ‘ideal’ conditions.

2.1 Pure Resistance In AC Circuits

With reference to the graph in figure 17. It can be seen that the voltage and current are in-
phase and the phasor diagram would be as shown below the graph.

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Figure 17 Voltage & Current In-Phase

Ohms law and the use of rms values apply at all times to a purely resistive circuit, eg:

I = V = IxR R =

2.1.2 Power

The power is the average value of all the instantaneous values of power for a
complete cycle. To find the instantaneous power at any moment, the
instantaneous values of voltage and current at that moment are multiplied

Thus in figure 18 at moment x, the voltage is A volts and the current B is amps.
The power at this moment is therefore AB watts (V x I) and is represented by
point C on the graph.

Figure 18 Power – Current & Voltage In-Phase

If this process is carried out over the complete cycle the power curve is
produced as shown in figure 19

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Figure 19 AC Power

The average power over a complete cycle is the average value of the power
curve and this is represented by a line halfway between maximum and minimum
values of the curve, since the shaded areas above and below the line are equal.

Figure 20 Average Power AC

The power waveform has twice the frequency of the supply. Therefore in the
diagram the power fluctuates rapidly between zero and 12 watts, but over a
complete cycle, the average power is 6 watts. We are only interested in average
power as the frequency of the supply is usually high and this is what the device
(lamp, electric motor etc) actually consumes.

The average power will from now be referred to as ‘power’, is half the peak
power in a resistive circuit, and this peak value is the maximum voltage
multiplied by the maximum current.

Pmax = Vmax x Imax

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Vmax x I max
Paverage =
Vmax I max
= x
2 2
P = Vrms x Irms Watts

as, Vrms = Irms x R

then P = I2rms x R Watts
and Irms =
V 2 rms
then, P = Watts

To sum up, in a resistive circuit:

a) V and I are in phase.
b) Normal ohms law calculations apply.
c) dc calculations apply for power.
d) Power is produced.

Pure Inductance in AC Circuits

When an AC supply is connected to an inductance, as the current is continually varying

then an emf (back emf) is induced into the coil. Its value is dependent on the value of the
inductor in henrys (H) (Joseph Henry 1797-1878 American physicist) and the rate of
change of current ( ).
e = -L volts.
where, e = emf,
L = inductance in henrys
minus sign indicates that it opposes the applied voltage.

Figure 21 Inductor in an AC Circuit

This back emf opposes the rise of

current in the circuit and therefore
delays its rise as can be seen by the
waveform diagram. In a pure
inductive circuit V leads I by 90˚ or I
lags V by 90˚.

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Figure 22 V Leading I in an Inductive Circuit

Figure 23 Phasor Diagram for Figure 22

The back-emf in the circuit provides the opposition to current flow. It therefore acts in a
similar manner to a resistance in the circuit. It is a form of AC resistance but is called
REACTANCE, it is given in ohms and has the symbol X, to identify it as reactance in an
inductive circuit the symbol is XL is used.

The inductive reactance of a coil depends upon the rate of change of current (which is
dependent on frequency) and the value of the inductance. It is calculated by the formula:

XL = 2πfL ohms

where XL = Inductive reactance.

2π = 6.28 (approx)
f = frequency in Hertz
L = Inductance in henrys

As in any circuit the opposition to current flow is always so in the pure inductive
XL = Ohms

It is important to determine what happens in a pure inductance circuit when the frequency
to a circuit is increased or decreased.

2.2.1 Power

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Similar to the process carried out in the pure resistive circuit where V and I are
multiplied at each point to give a power curve as shown in figure 24.

Figure 24 Power in a Purely Inductive Circuit

As the voltage and current are 90° out of phase positive and negative powers
are produced. In the purely inductive circuit, the total power is zero, since
positive and negative powers cancel. Positive power is given to the circuit from
the power supply on one half cycles and negative is returned to the supply
source on the other half cycle of power.

Over a complete cycle the net power is zero. It is important to note that current
flows in the circuit but no work is being done when the current is 90° out of
phase with the voltage.

2.2.2 Summary:
a) I lags V by 90° - or V leads I by 90°.
b) Opposition to current flow is INDUCTIVE REACTANCE (X L) XL = 2πfL
ohms, XL = ohms
c) No power is produced in a purely inductive circuit.

Pure Capacitance In AC Circuits

Voltage exists across the plates of a capacitor only after the current has flowed to charge
the plates. With reference to figure 26 it can be seen that the current leads the voltage and
in a pure capacitive circuit it leads by 90°. Remember, it can also be stated that voltage
lags the current.

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Figure 25 Capacitor in an AC Circuit

Figure 26 Current and Voltage in a Capacitive Circuit

Figure 27 Phasor Diagram – Capacitive Circuit

A capacitor opposes any change in the value of the voltage applied to it and so presents an
opposition to current at all times. This opposition is called CAPACITIVE REACTANCE
(XC) and is measured in ohms.
Xc  Ohms
where, XC = capacitive reactance in ohms
2π = 6.28 (approx)
f = frequency in Hertz
C = Capacitance in Farads

In any circuit the opposition to current flow is .

2.3.1 Power

The power curve is produced as previously illustrated in the pure resistive and
pure inductive circuits. Looking at figure 28 (the shaded areas) it can be seen
there are two positive peaks and two negative peaks of power over one complete
cycle so the net power is zero.

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Figure 28 Power in a Capacitive Circuit

2.3.2 Summary:
a) I leads V by 90° - or V lags I by 90°.
b) Opposition to current flow is CAPACITIVE REACTANCE (XC)
1 V
XC = 2fC 2πfL ohms, XL = ohms
c) No power is produced in a purely capacitive circuit.

2.4 Inductance And Resistance In Series

The concept of a pure inductor is not a practical one, as an inductor is a length of wire
wound into a coil. This then will have resistance which can be represented by a pure
inductor in series with a resistor. The waveform diagram (figure 30) shows that voltage
and current are out of phase by an angle less than 90° and with current lagging voltage.

Figure 29 Resistance & Inductance in Series

Figure 30 Waveform Diagram – Resistance & Inductance

To draw a phasor diagram for this circuit everything is drawn from a REFERENCE
PHASOR, which in a series circuit is the current as it is the same throughout the circuit.

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From this current phasor are drawn the voltage phasors. The voltage across the resistor V R
is in phase with the current and therefore drawn on the same line. The voltage across the
inductor leads the current by 90° and is draw vertically as shown in figure 31. Remember
phasors rotate anti-clockwise.

To find the supply voltage (V) we cannot just add these voltages together as you would
do in a dc circuit, because they are out of phase with one another, so by completing the
parallelogram (phasor addition) we can find the supply voltage (V).

Figure 31 Phasor Diagram – Resistance and Inductance

tan Ø =
as VL = IXL , XL = VR = IR
then tan Ø = = L

In other words the ratio of the reactance to the resistance is the tangent of the phase angle.
The phase angle, Ø = tan-1

2.4.1 Impedance

The opposition to current flow in this circuit is provided by the resistance of the
resistor and the reactance of the inductor and when there is a combination like
this the opposition to current flow is called IMPEDANCE (Z) in ohms.

The opposition to current flow is therefore:

Z =
we know VL = IXL
V by Pythagoras, V2 = (IXL)2 + (IR)2
V = (IX L ) 2  (IR) 2

V = I
R  XL

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As I is common to all equations and is the same value, we can redraw the
diagram as follows:

This is known as the impedance triangle and once again Tan Ø =

2.4.2 Summary:
a) Current lags the voltage or voltage leads the current by some angle
between 0 and 90° which depends on values of L and R.
Tan Ø = L
b) Opposition to current flow is impedance (Z) Ohms.
Z= R 2  X L Ohms

2.5 Capacitance And Resistance In Series

The waveform diagram (figure 33) shows the voltage and current are out of phase by less
than 90° with current leading the voltage.

Once again, to draw the phasor diagram use the current phasor as the reference, V R is in
phase with the current so is drawn on top of I. The voltage across the capacitor Vc is
lagging the current by 90° and is drawn vertically downwards. The actual supply voltage
can again be found by phasor addition.

Figure 32 Resistance and Capacitor in Series

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Figure 33 Waveform Diagram – Resistance & Capacitance

The opposition to current flow provided by the capacitive reactance (X C) and resistance
(R) is called impedance (Z) Ohms.

Figure 34 Phasor Diagram – Resistance & Capacitance

Once again, Z = Ohms

Again an impedance triangle can be drawn.

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2.5.1 Summary:

a) Current leads the voltage or voltage lags the current by some angle
between 0 and 90° which depends on values of C and R.
Tan Ø = C
b) Opposition to current flow is impedance (Z) Ohms.
Z= R 2  X C Ohms

The word CIVIL can be used as a convenient way of remembering the relative position of
the phase between current and voltage in capacitive and inductive circuits.

Figure 35 ‘CIVIL’

2.6 Resistance, Inductance And Capacitance In Series

The circuit is shown in figure 36 where resistance, inductance and capacitance are
connected in series.

Figure 36 Resistance, Inductance & Capacitance in Series

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The phasor diagram (figure 37) would be drawn as before ie V R in phase, VL 90° ahead
and Vc 90° behind. As VL and VC are 180° apart, in direct opposition it is the difference
(VL - VC in this case) that is used to find V the supply voltage.

Figure 37 Phasor Diagram – Resistance, Inductance & Capacitance

In this circuit, as VL is greater than VC, then current lags the voltage and is therefore more
inductive. The opposition to current flow is again impedance and is:

Z = R 2  ( X L  X C )2 Ohms
or = Ohms = R 2  ( X L  X C )2 Ohms
and tan Ø =

2.6.1 Series Resonance

If we have a series circuit consisting of R, L and C, and we can vary the

frequency to the circuit we can vary its properties. As the frequency rises the
inductive reactance XL (2πfl) rises but the capacitive reactance XC = ( 2fc )
falls. At one particular frequency XL = XC resonance occurs, the frequency at
which this happens is called the RESONANT FREQUENCY (f O). The graph
(figure 38) illustrates this.

At resonance we need to look at the conditions in the circuit.

XL = XC and therefore VL = VC

The phasor diagrams are

as shown in figure 39.

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Figure 38 Graph of XL & XC against Frequency

Figure 39 Phasor Diagram – XL & XC

If XL = XC they are 180° apart (antiphase) so they will cancel leaving just the
resistance of the circuit so Z = R. If Z = R then the impedance is at a minimum
and therefore the current must be at a maximum

Figure 40 Graph of Z & I against Frequency

Also as VL and VC are antiphase they also cancel so the applied voltage will
equal the voltage across the resistor V R = V. Current will be in phase with the
supply voltage and the power factor is 1.

At resonance, as the current is high the voltages across L and C are equal and
opposite so that their resultant is zero. However, when considered alone they
can be very high voltages, much greater than the supply and it is this voltage
magnification which will be discussed later.

The circuit is very often known as an ACCEPTOR CIRCUIT and the frequency
at which resonance occurs can be found by

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fO = Hz
2 LC

where, fO = resonant frequency in Hz

2π = 6.28 (approx)
L = Inductance in henrys
C = Capacitance in farads

2.6.2 Selectivity

The sharpness of response over a range of frequencies near resonance gives an

indication of the SELECTIVITY of the circuit. Selectivity is the property of a
tuned circuit which enables it to respond to a particular signal and disregard
others at different frequencies.

Figure 41 Selectivity

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Figure 42 Factors Affecting Selectivity

The selectivity of the series circuit depends on:

a) Resistance
As I = at resonance, if R is doubled the current is halved and the
curve ‘flattens’ out reducing selectivity.

b) The ratio of L to C
As fO = Hz
2 LC

If L is doubled and C halved the resonant frequency remains unaltered.

However, the ratio of L to C is increased four times and therefore improves the
selectivity of the circuit. The quantity used to represent the selectivity of the
circuit is denoted by the letter Q.

QO = at resonance (QO = Q factor of resonance)

Considering XL at resonance
2f O L
QO =
As fO = Hz
2 LC

substituting for fO in the expression for QO

1 L
QO =

Again confirming that the selectivity of the circuit in inversely proportional to R

and proportional to the ratio of .

2.6.3 Q and Bandwidth

Series tuned circuits are used in radio to accept inputs at the resonant frequency
and in the immediate neighborhood of resonance.

In order to present high impedance to inputs considerably removed from

resonance, the circuit must have a high Q value or a NARROW BANDWIDTH.
The bandwidth of a circuit is the separation between two frequencies either side
of resonance at which the output current has fallen to 0.707 ( ) of the
maximum value.

BANDWIDTH indicates the degree of SELECTIVITY of a circuit

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Figure 43 Bandwidth

These points are known as the ‘half power’ points. The relationship between
Bandwidth and Qo is Bandwidth = Hz.

So for good selectivity we require

a) Low R
b) High
c) High QO
d) Narrow bandwidth

2.6.4 Circuit Magnification

At resonance we know the voltages across the inductor and capacitor can be
very high.

At resonance VL = IXL

Current is a maximum and equal to . as Z = R at resonance.
VL = x XL
VL = x V
2f O L
VL = xV

The ratio of reactance ( 2f O L ) to resistance (R) is the Q factor of the current
QO. Therefore the voltage across the inductor at resonance is:

VL = QO x V

ie the Q factor times the applied voltage. If QO is 100 and the supply voltage is
1V then the voltage drop across L (and C of course) is 100 x 1 = 100V. That is
VOLTAGE MAGNIFICATION has taken place which can be applied to another
circuit. This magnified voltage is usually tapped off across C. It is usual to

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have a fixed inductor and variable capacitor to adjust the resonant frequency to
that required - for example, tuning a radio station.

2.6.5 Summary:
Series Resonance

a) XL = XC
b) VL = VC
c) VR = V
d) I = Maximum
e) Z = Minimum = R
f) I and V in phase
g) Power factor = 1
h) fO =
2 LC
i) Q = selectivity of circuit depends on resistance and ration
j) QO = Resistance
k) Bandwidth .=


3.1 Resistance, Inductance and Capacitance in Parallel

There are many combinations of parallel AC circuits, however, we shall concentrate on

the resistance, inductance and capacitive circuit.

Figure 44 R, L & C in Parallel

The phasor diagram for figure 44 is

shown in figure 45. Note that the reference
phasor is a voltage as this is a common to all
components in a parallel circuit.

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Figure 45 Phasor Diagram for Figure 44

The current in the capacitor (IC) leads the voltage by 90˚ and the current in the inductive
circuit lags by some angle less than 90° due to the resistance. The total current from the
supply is the phasor addition of IC and IL. If the frequency to this circuit was varied then
at one particular frequency, XL = XC, this is when the current taken from the supply is in
phase with the voltage. What is happening in the circuit is that the capacitor is charging
up and then discharging through the inductor, the emf induced in the inductor will then
charge up the capacitor in the reverse direction and this will continue to circulate a
current between the two components.

The circuit is said to be at RESONANCE, so we are now looking at a PARALLEL

RESONANT CIRCUIT. The conditions above would continue forever but the inductor
has resistance and there is a power loss here. In order to keep the current circulating it is
necessary to ‘top up’ the circuit from the supply.

At resonance the current drawn from the supply is very small and therefore the
impedance is high (opposite to the series resonant circuit).

Figure 46 shows the relationship of Z and I at resonance.

Figure 46 Graph of Z & I against Frequency

It should be noted that the actual current circulating between the inductor and capacitor is

The phasor diagram (figure 47) shows the conditions at resonance with the supply current
in phase with the supply voltage.

The frequency at which resonance occurs in a parallel circuit can be found by

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1 1 R2
fO =  2
2 LC L

Figure 47 Phasor Diagram – Resonance I & V In-Phase

If the resistive losses are small then for all practical purposes the formula is the same as
for a series resonant circuit.
fO =
2 LC

At resonance the impedance of the circuit is high to the maximum possible and is called
DYNAMIC IMPEDANCE ZD and can be found by the following formula:
ZD = Ohms

The current in the circuit at resonance is therefore:

I =
The circulating current at resonance has a high maximum value and is equal to Q O (Q
factor L is remember) times the supply current.

So in a parallel resonant circuit CURRENT MAGNIFICATION takes place.

Selectivity as we saw for the series resonant circuit is the ability of the circuit to respond
strongly to the required signal at the resonant frequency and gives a poor response to
other signals. The sharpness of the resonance curves for the parallel circuit indicates the
degree of selectivity.

Figure 48 Impedance/Frequency Response Curves

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Figure 48 shows the impedance - frequency response curve. As for a series circuit the QO
value and selectivity and bandwidth depend on R and the ratio of L to C.

A parallel circuit is often termed a Rejector circuit since it presents maximum impedance
at resonance.

3.1.1 Summary

Conditions at Resonance – Parallel circuit

a) XL = XC
b) VL = VC
c) IL = IC
d) I in-phase with V = minimum
e) Z = = maximum
f) Power factor = 1
g) fO = resistance neglected
2 LC

3.1.2 Use of Resonance Circuits

One of the main factors determining the use of resonant circuits is in radio
circuits as the internal impedance of the supply. Selectivity is best in a series
circuit when the supply source internal impedance is the same or lowers than the
impedance at resonance. Similarly, the parallel circuit has better selectivity
when the supply source is the same or higher than its impedance (Z D) at

So if a source has high internal impedance a parallel resonant circuit is used and
if the source has a low internal impedance a series resonant circuit is used.

The first tuned circuit is normally a series tuned circuit because it is fed from a
low impedance source (the aerial). Voltage magnification takes place where it is
fed to an amplifier. The ‘load’ for the amplifier stages would be a parallel tuned
circuit because it is being fed from a high impedance source (transistor).

Resonant circuits are also used for control of rotary inverter outputs and some
older aircraft generator frequency control circuits.


We have already established that:

a) In purely resistive circuit, all of the current does work and power is
b) In a purely inductive circuit, the current does not work and no power is produced.
c) In a purely capacitive circuit, the current does not work and no power is produced.

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A practical circuit will contain resistance, inductance and capacitance, and if we take the example
of an AC generator supplying aircraft systems (mainly inductance and resistance) then the current
will lag the supply voltage.

Figure 49 Phasor Diagram

The phasor diagram shows the current lagging the supply voltage by phase angle Ø. From our
previous theory, power is only produced in a AC circuit when current and voltage are in phase.
So we need to split the current I into its two components as shown

The component ‘in phase’ with the voltage is known as the ACTIVE OR REAL component and
the component at 90˚ to the voltage is known as the QUADRATURE or REACTIVE component.

It is important to realize that only one current (I) flows in the circuit and this is the current that is
measured by an ammeter in the circuit.

The power in a purely resistive AC circuit is found by multiplying together the rms voltage and
current. It follows then that in a resistive reactive circuit, power dissipated can be found by
multiplying together the voltage and the component of current in phase with it.

As cos Ø =
IREAL = I cos Ø

TRUE or REAL POWER = V x I x Cos Ø watts (W) or kilowatt (kW)

This then gives us the actual power being used by the system.

The component of the current that does not work in the system still flows through the system
cables and produces power which as we know cancels over one cycle so not net power is

PREACTIVE = V x component of current at 90°

As sin Ø =


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The unit of reactive power is VOLT AMPS REACTIVE (VAR).

If the supply voltage is multiplied by the current (I) this will give us the APPARENT POWER
being dissipated, we know that this is apparently available but because current and voltage are
not in phase then that is not the true power available from the system.


4.1 Power Factor

As we have seen we can work out the apparent power of a system in KVA. What we need
to know is how much of this available power is producing actual work done in a circuit,
i.e. producing True Power. So the ratio of


is called the power factor (pf).


If a 40kVA generator produces a power output of 30kW then the power factor is

Pf = = 0.75

So in this case the factor of power being used is 0.75, the generator is producing 0.75 of
its output as True Power i.e. producing power in the system. So obviously the higher the
power factor the better. Aircraft generation systems are typically 0.75 to 0.9 power factor.
A power factor of 1 (unity) would mean that all of the power produced is being used as
true power and the circuit must be purely resistive.

as T P = V x I x cos Ø
and A P = VxI
V x I x cos 
then pf = V xI
pf = cos Ø

So another formula for power factor is that it equals the cosine of the phase not angle.

If we look back at the triangle related to impedance

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Then the cosine Ø =
So another formula for power factor is pf =

4.2.1 Summary

a) True power is produced when current and voltage are in phase.

b) T P = V x I x cos Ø kW
c) R P = V x I x sin Ø KVAR
d) A P = V x I KVA
e) pf = AP
pf = cos Ø
pf =

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