Appendix A. Circuitbuilding Resources

Like any hobby or craft, circuitbuilding involves a wealth of parts. This appendix provides information on electronic and mechanical components, and where to buy them. In addition, a list of online and print resources is provided so that you can find out more about electronics as you become a more skilled circuit-builder.

Parts and Pieces: Electronic Components

As a beginning circuitbuilder or electronic-er, you may not be familiar with all the different types of electronic components. You might want to start by reviewing a reference text for electronics such as the ones in the "References" section later in this appendix. The Wikipedia also provides an introduction to electronic components at

If you look at a catalog from one of the parts vendors in the Vendors section of this Web page, you may be quite surprised at the number of variations of components, particularly for resistors and capacitors. Why so many types? Which ones are the right choices for a project? To help explain some of the differences, I've provided two more bonus chapters on this book's Web site ( discuss the Ps and Qs of Rs and Cs (that is, resistors and capacitors, respectively). Here are some additional Web resources to help you learn about some other types of passive (meaning unpowered) components:

  • Inductors: Try the application notes and other Web pages available on Coilcraft's ...

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