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Solid State University

Understand the following components: Potentiometers Thermistors Capacitors Diodes Zener Diodes Transistors

Potentiometers
Differentiate between
and

potentiometers

rheostats

A rheostat changes current flow in a series circuit


A potentiometer is a voltage sensor in parallel

Less resistance

Rheostat

More resistance

Rheostat

Potentiometer

Very low current

Potentiometer

4 volt

Used as a sensor

Potentiometer

2 volt

poor ground

Potentiometer

2.5 volt (should be 2 volt)

open ground

Potentiometer

5 volt (should be 2 volt)

Rheostats are wired in series with the load their purpose is to change amp flow Potentiometers sense motion check for: reference voltage good ground un-interrupted signal

0.01 5.03 4.51 5.02 4.51 V V

0.52 4.52 V V

0.52 0.0 V V

MIL lamp lit. TPS code


What is wrong?

Thermistors
Thermistors change resistance with temperature
Negative Temperature Coefficient thermistors decrease in resistance when they heat Commonly used to sense changing temperatures

High Resistance when Cold!

Low Resistance when Hot!

Hot or Cold? COLD!

4.52 V

Hot or Cold? HOT!

1.53 V

1.15 1.45 V

Gauge reads colder than actual temperature

0.49 V 0.02

Gauge reads colder than actual temperature

0.47 V

Gauge reads colder than actual temperature

Thermistors
Thermistors are checked with an Ohmmeter or a Voltmeter A temperature probe or thermometer should be used when checking

Capacitors
Capacitors store an electrical charge
Capacitors provide an alternate path for electrons and act as a current shock absorber Capacitors are commonly used to suppress noise alternators coils motors

Capacitors
Capacitors are rated in microfarads Capacitors are connected in parallel with a load

they can be checked with an ohmmeter for short or open circuits

Find the Capacitor

EMI & RFI


When coils turn off they self induce and create a voltage surge
this surge can create electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference capacitors absorb this surge to dampen interference

Semiconductors
Conductors have 3 or fewer electrons in the valence ring of the atom

copper has one aluminum has three


Insulators have 5 or more electrons in the valence ring of the atom

Semiconductors
Elements with four valence electrons are not good as insulators or conductors Silicon, when is a crystal form, shares valence electrons to make a good insulator Silicon can be doped to add electrons to the valence ring or remove electrons from the valence ring

Semiconductors
Silicon doped with phosphorous (which has five electrons in the valence ring) will create an N type semiconductor Silicon doped with boron (which has three electrons in the valence ring) will create a P type semiconductor

Diodes
Placing an N type semiconductor with a P type will create a diode. In a forward biased diode current will flow with a small amount of resistance Too much current will overheat and destroy the diode

Diodes
Reverse biasing a diode will create very high resistance at the center of the diode and current will not flow
Too much voltage will overcome the internal resistance and the diode will short out

0.0 V 12.6

Arrow shows conventional theory (hole flow)


Diodes wired like this will block current

12.0 12.6 0.1 V

Arrow shows conventional theory (hole flow) Diodes wired like this will allow current to flow with a slight voltage drop

Testing Diodes
Diodes require .2 - .6 volts to forward bias Digital ohmmeters may not supply this voltage with ohm check

use diode check feature when using DVOM

Testing Diodes
Shorted diodes on alternators will allow A/C voltage that may confuse a control module
Routine checks with oscilloscope are easy

Anti- Spike Diodes


Clamping or Anti-Spike diodes protect sensitive control modules

Anti- Spike Diodes


Functioning anti spiking diodes will exhibit un-equal resistance when reversing polarity (using an analogue meter)

Failure in Anti- Spike Diodes


An open, or shorted diode will damage computer control modules
Open diodes allow spike voltages to harm electronic components

Shorted diodes (and relay coil windings) will cause too much current to flow and burn out switching transistors in computers

Testing Anti- Spike Diodes


Open diodes will show equal resistance with reversed polarity (using an analogue meter) Shorted diodes will show equal, and low resistance

Open Diode

Shorted Diode

Good Diode

Good Diode

Types of Diodes
Positive diode Negative diode Zener Diode

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

Transistors
Transistors can act as a relay

they use a small signal current to control a larger working current


Transistors can act as a signal amplifier

PNP transistor
Points In Permanently Will conduct current when the base sees a Negative polarity

NPN transistor
Never Points In Base must be Positive to allow transistor to conduct current

Transistors
Transistors are damaged by too much current
Transistors are damaged by high voltage