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Abbriviation used in electronics A (amp) Ampere AC Alternating current AC/DC Alternating current or direct current A/D Analog to digital

ADC Analog-to-digital converter AF Audio frequency AFT Automatic fine tuning AFC Automatic frequency control

AFC Automatic flow controller, used in controlling the flow of gasses under pressure into a vacuum system

AGC Automatic gain control

Ah Ampere hour

Ai Current gain

AM Amplitude modulation

AM/FM Amplitude modulation or Frequency modulation

AMM Analog multimeter

antilog Antilogarithm

Ap Power gain

apc Automatic phase control

Av Voltage gain

AVC Automatic volume control

AWG American wire gauge Glosarry: A Abbreviation for "ampere" a unit of electrical current. absorption Loss or dissipation of energy as it travels through a medium, Example: radio waves lose some of their energy as they travel through the atmosphere. AC

Abbreviation for "Alternating Current" acceptor atoms Trivalent atoms that accept free electrons from pentavalent atoms. AC coupling Circuit that passes an AC signal while blocking a DC voltage. AC/DC Equipment that will operate on either an AC or DC power source. AC generator Device used to transform mechanical energy into AC electrical power. AC load line A graph representing all possible combinations of AC output voltage and current for an amplifier. AC power supply Power supply that delivers an AC voltage. active component A component that changes the amplitude of a signal between input and output. active filter A filter that uses an amplifier in addition to reactive components to pass or reject selected frequencies. active region The region of BJT operation between saturation and cutoff used for linear amplification. AC voltage A voltage in which the polarity alternates. ADC Abbreviation for "analog to digital converter" Admittance (symbol "Y") Measure of how easily AC will flow through a circuit. Admittance is the reciprocal of impedance and is measured in siemens. AF Abbreviation for "audio frequency". AFC Abbreviation for "automatic frequency control". AGC Abbreviation for "automatic gain control" alkaline cell A primary cell that delivers more current than a carbon-zinc cell. Also known as an "alkaline manganese cell". alligator clip Spring clip on the end of a test lead used to make a temporary connection. alpha Ratio of collector current to emitter current in a bipolar junction transistor (BJT). Greek letter alpha "" is the symbol used. alternating current An electric current that rises to a maximum in one direction, falls back to zero and then rises to a maximum in the opposite direction and then repeats.

alternator Name for an AC generator. AM Abbreviation for "amplitude modulation" ammeter A meter used to measure current. ampere Unit of electrical current. amplifier A circuit that increases the voltage, current, or power of a signal. amplitude: Magnitude or size of a signal voltage or current. analog Information represented as continously varying voltage or current rather than in discrete levels as opposed to digital data varying between two discrete levels. anode The positive electrode or terminal of a device. The "P" material of a diode. antenna, transmitting A device that converts an electrical wave into an electromagnetic wave that radiates away from the antenna. antenna, receiving A device that converts a radiated electromagnetic wave into an electrical wave. apparent power Power attained in an AC circuit as a product of effective voltage and current which reach their peak at different times. arc Discharge of electricity through a gas such as lightning discharging through the atmosphere. armature: The rotating or moving component of a magnetic circuit. armstrong oscillator An oscillator that uses an isolation transformer to achieve positive feedback from output to input. astable multivibrator An oscillator that produces a square wave output from a DC voltage. atom The smallest particle that an element can be broken down into and still maintain its unique identity. atomic number The number of positive charges or protons in the nucleus of an atom. attenuate To reduce the amplitude of an action or signal. The opposite of amplification. audio Relating to frequencies that can be heard by the human ear. Approximately 20 Hz. to 20 kHz. autotransformer

A single winding transformer where the output is taken from taps on the winding. average value A value of voltage or current where the area of the wave above the value equals the area of the wave below the value. AVC Abbreviation for "automatic volume control" avionics Aviation electronics. AWG Abbreviation for "american wire gauge". A gauge that assigns a number value to the diameter of a wire.

balanced bridge Condition that occurs when a bridge circuit is adjusted to produce a zero output. band-pass filter A tuned circuit designed to pass a band of frequencies between a lower cut-off frequency (f1) and a higher cut-off frequency (f2). Frequencies above and below the pass band are heavily attenuated. band-stop filter A tuned circuit designed to stop frequencies between a lower cut-off frequency (f1) and a higher cut-off frequency (f2) of the amplifier while passing all other frequencies. bandwidth Width of the band of frequencies between the half power points. barrier potential The natural difference of potential that exists across a forward biased pn junction. base The region that lies betwen the emitter and collector of a bipolar junction transistor (BJT). base biasing A method of biasing a BJT in which the bias voltage is supplied to the base by means of a resistor. battery A DC voltage source containing two or more cells that convert chemical energy to electrical energy. baud A unit of signaling speed equal to the number of signal events per second. Not necessarily the same as bits per second. beta (b) The ratio of collector current to base current in a bipolar junction transistor (BJT). bias A DC voltage applied to a device to control its operation. binary

A number system having only two symbols, 0 and 1. A base 2 number system. bipolar junction transistor (BJT), A three terminal device in which emitter to collector current is controlled by base current. bistable multivibrator A multivibrator with two stable states. An external signal is required to change the output from one state to the other. Also called a latch. bleeder current A current drawn continously from a souce. Bleeder current is used to stabilize the output voltage of a source. bode plot A graph of gain versus frequency. branch current The portion of total current flowing in one path of a parallel circuit. breakdown voltage Voltage at which the breakdown of a dialectric or insulator occurs. breakover voltage Minimum voltage required to cause a diac to break down and conduct. bridge rectifier A circuit using four diodes to provide full wave rectification. Converts an AC voltage to a pulsating DC voltage. buffer An amplifier used to isolate a load from a source. bulk resistance The natural resistance of a "P" type or "N" type semiconductor material. butterworth filter A type of active filter characterized by a constant gain (flat response) across the midband of the circuit and a 20 dB per decade roll-off rate for each pole contained in the circuit. BW Abbreviation for bandwidth. bypass capacitor A capacitor used to provide an AC ground at some point in a circuit. byte Group of eight binary digits or bits.

Amplifires
AUDIO VOLTAGE amplifiers boost the amplitude of signals between the frequency range 20 Hz to 20 KHz. This is the range of human hearing. They are often used as PRE-AMPLIFIERS before the main amplifier. AUDIO POWER amplifiers provide the power necessary to drive loudspeakers. They also amplify a frequency range from 20Hz to 20 KHz.

INTERMEDIATE FREQUENCY (i.f.) amplifiers are used in radio receivers. High frequency radio signals are changed to the lower intermediate frequency by a FREQUENCY CHANGER circuit. The i.f in A.M. radios is about 455 KHz. In F.M. radios it is 10.7 MHz. RADIO FREQUENCY amplifiers amplify a selected band of frequencies. Radio frequencies extend from about 30 KHz up to several thousand MHz. The band of frequencies is selected by a BAND PASS FILTER or a TUNING circuit. WIDE BAND amplifiers are designed to amplify a very wide band of frequencies, say from a few Hertz up to several hundred MHz. VIDEO amplifiers are used in television cameras, receivers, vcr's etc. The bandwidth extends from DC up to about 6MHz. DIRECTLY COUPLED amplifiers have no coupling capacitors between stages so that they are able to amplify DC signals. DIFFERENTIAL amplifiers have two inputs and amplify the DIFFERENCE between the two input voltages. If both inputs are the same then there is no output from the amplifier. If there is an interfering signal then it will be picked up by both inputs and will not be amplified. OPAMPS are commonly used as differential amplifiers.

AM:
A radio wave can be transmitted long distances. To get our audio signal to travel long distances we piggyback it onto a radio wave. This process is called MODULATION. The radio wave is called the CARRIER. The audio signal is called the MODULATION. At the receiving end the audio is recovered by a process called DEMODULATION. From the diagram below, it can be seen that when the carrier is modulated, its amplitude goes above and below its unmodulated amplitude. It is about 50% modulated in the diagram. The maximum percentage modulation possible is 100%. Going above this causes distortion.

Most broadcasters limit modulation to 80%. Modulating the carrier frequency with an audio frequency produces two new frequencies. At this point it would be a good idea to read the page on MIXERS. These new frequencies are called the upper and lower SIDEBANDS. The upper sideband is the carrier frequency plus the audio frequency. The lower side band is the carrier frequency minus the audio frequency.

Since the audio signal is not a single frequency but a range of signals (usually 20 Hz to 20 KHz) the sidebands are each 20Hz to 20 KHz wide. If you tune across a station in the Medium Wave Band you will find that it takes up space in the band. This is called the signal BANDWIDTH. This is the space taken by the upper and lower sidebands. In the the example given above it would be 40 KHz. Since the Medium Wave is only 500 KHZ wide there would only be space for about 12 stations. Therefore the bandwidth of stations is limited to 9 KHz, which limits the audio quality. If there are two stations too close together, their sidebands mix and produce HETERODYNE whistles. Since both sidebands carry the same information, one side can be removed to save bandwidth. This is SSB, single sideband transmission.

CONDUCTORS
These are materials in which it is easy to get electrons to move and provide a flow of electric current. Conductors are mostly metals such as gold, silver, copper, iron and lead. Carbon is a conductor as well as some gases (as in fluorescent tubes) and water containing some chemicals. These are not perfect conductors and offer some resistance to the flow of current.

The resistance of a conductor (such as a metal rod) is determined by three things. (1) its length. The longer its length the higher its resistance. (2) its cross-sectional area. The bigger this is the lower is its resistance. (3) the material of which it is made. All materials have RESISTIVITY. The higher the value of resistivity the higher the resistance. It is measured in OHM METERS. length x resistivity ------------------------------cross-sectional area

Resistance =

INSULATORS
These are materials in which it is difficult to get current to flow. Examples are rubber, pvc, paper, polystyrene and oil.Even with these it is possible to get some current flowing if the applied voltage is high enough. There is another class of materials called semi-conductors. These have a resistance between insulators and conductors. Examples are silicon and germanium and are used in diodes and transistors.