Last Updated on April 10, 2022 by Kevin Chen
Electronic devices and appliances comprise different components. Some components are classified as active while others are passive.
In this guide, our focus will be on the active electronic components. We will give you all the information that you should know about active components.
What are active electronic components?
Active electronic components are essential components of any electronic device. They can amplify, convert or control energy. Most active components enable the information with which the devices communicate by converting it into an electrical signal.
However, other types of active components give out light through LEDs or send messages using speakers. Active electronics are used in different electronics such as power supplies, amplifiers, integrated circuits, and more.
Types of active electronic components
There are different types of active electronic components that you should know. If you understand these, it will be easier for you to identify the parts of an electronics device and purchase them correctly. The first type is transistors.
They are essential in amplifying or switching electronic signals. They are made of silicon and usually have three leads called base terminal, collector terminal, and emitter terminals.
Active devices are also classified as diodes. Diodes can be used to divide current flow in an electric circuit.
Another type is the Light-Emitting Diode (LED) which is an electronic component that emits light. The resistor is another type of active electronic.
It limits the flow of electric current by producing heat which lowers the signal or voltage level passing through it.
What are passive electronic components?
Passive electronic components are the ones that cannot amplify, convert or control energy. They can only just pass through electric currents without affecting them at all. Examples of passive components are resistors, capacitors, and inductors.
What are analog active components?
There are also different types of active electronics components. Analog components can be used to amplify, control or convert analog signals.
They are designed to work with DC voltage which is in the range of a few millivolts in a semiconductor material. There are different types of analog components such as operational amplifiers, comparators, and transistors used for amplification.
What are digital active components?
They are components that can be used to amplify, control or convert digital signals. They are specifically designed for modern electronics such as computers and devices that operate digitally.
The most common type of active electronic component in this category is the Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) which converts digital signals into analog form.
List of active electronic components and their functions
Now let’s take a look at some of the active electronic components and the role that they play.
There are different types of diodes. The Zener Diode, for example, can be used to limit voltage. The Schottky diode is another type of diode that has a low forward voltage drop, unlike the Zener diode which has a higher level of forwarding voltage drop. The primary function of the diodes is to conduct electric current in one direction only.
The most common transistor is the NPN transistor which can amplify electronic signals or convert DC voltage into AC electricity. In comparison, the PNP transistors are less popular as they cannot be used as amplifiers since they can only work as a switch.
Variable resistors: They are also known as rheostats, potentiometers, and trimmers. The resistor’s resistance can be varied by turning a knob or sliding a plate.
They are semiconductor devices that emit light in the form of a luminous diode. The color of the emitted light depends on the material used to construct it.
There are different types of resistors. The fixed resistor does not have any adjustable components that can change its value while the variable resistor or potentiometer can be adjusted to change its value. A rheostat is a type of variable resistor that uses a sliding contact or wiper to control the voltage passing through it while the photo-resistor is a light-sensitive resistor that changes its resistance depending on the intensity of light passing through it.
They are semiconductor devices that act like variable capacitors. The main advantage of using them is that they can be used at high frequencies.
These work by converting DC voltages into AC voltage. They produce two types of output signals with varying frequencies in quadrature.
This component can be used to switch off or on high voltages. The thyristor device has four layers of semiconductor material, each with different electrical properties.
They are two types of diodes connected in opposition to one another which are known as the Diac. One component is the anode while the other is referred to as the cathode. This device is commonly used to detect fast voltage changes.
These are nonlinear electronic devices that can be used to protect circuits from overvoltage or electrical surges. They are often fitted in series with other components to form transient voltage suppressor circuits.
Transient Voltage Suppressor Diodes (TVS)
They are diodes that can be used to protect circuits against high voltage surges. They are fitted in series with other components of the circuit like decoupling capacitors and inductors.
These sensors are used to measure the current flowing through a circuit. They often consist of resistors, diodes, and transistors.
A DC voltage that is applied to one side of them causes light waveforms to be generated on the other side. This makes optical isolators useful for preventing interference or crosstalk between digital circuits.
They are light-sensitive optoelectronic components that are used to provide electrical isolation between the input and output circuit of an integrated circuit. The most common type of optoisolator is the LED/LDR type which consists of an LED coupled with a photodiode or photosensor.
Factors to consider when buying active electronic components
Now let’s look at the key factors that you should look at when buying active electronic components.
Active electronic component price
The price of the component will always be a key factor that will require your attention. You don’t want components that will cost you a fortune and at the same time, you don’t want the cheapest component that will not give you good quality or may break down very fast. You have to strike a balance between quality and price.
Always go for active electronic components that can handle your current load without letting them overheat. You don’t want to fry the components because they will not last very long and at the end of the day you will have to spend a lot of money on buying new ones.
The isolation voltage between input and output is another key feature that you need to look at when getting active electronic components for your project. It will make your components last longer if they have high isolation voltage.
Make sure that the speed of the active electronic component you are buying is at par with whatever project you are embarking on. You don’t want to go for slow components that will not be able to work with other components in your circuit.
The components should be linear. If you are not getting the desired response from the active electronic circuit, then it is most likely that there is some non-linearity with one or more of the components.
#Stable Operating point
You need to look out for components that have a stable operating temperature range. The temperature range within which they will perform optimally is referred to as their operating temperature range. Components with this kind of feature will last longer.
Always go for replaceable parts since they can easily be replaced if damaged or faulty at a later date without having to buy new ones. This means that your expenses on active electronic components will be kept down. At the same time, you won’t be inconvenienced if one of your components breaks down.
You also need to consider the warranty period of your active electronic components before buying them. The longer the warranty period, the better since you will be assured that they are not going to break down anytime soon. This is definitely a good deal for any buyer since you won’t have to spend on these components very often.
Structure and design
You also need to look at the structure and design of your active electronic components. The more complex a circuit is, the better since it means that they have been designed in a way to accommodate very advanced technological developments.
The output characteristic will determine how much power an active electronic component can deliver. They may be referred to as high-power components when they have a relatively high current capacity with low voltage ratings. Other examples include transistors which are said to be high-current devices while diodes are low-current components that have low voltage ratings.
Active electronic Components shopping checklist to use
Here’s what you should have in your active electronic components shopping checklist.
#1. Always buy components that are of good quality with a warranty period to match.
#2. Look for components that can handle the maximum load you are likely to give them without overheating or breaking down. You don’t want to deal with damaged or faulty devices which will not be covered by the warranty, right?
#3. Make sure that the active electronic components you are buying have sufficient voltage at their output terminals to allow other parts in your circuit to work appropriately.
You may use some form of measurement instrument like an ammeter to carry out this test on the component before buying it. It will also make sense for you to check if there is any interference in the form of harmonic distortion with these components.
#4. Insufficient power is another common problem that results from the poor active electronic component design so you need to be aware of this issue. The solution is to buy components that can deliver maximum voltage at their output even under higher current loads which means they can deliver more power than other already existing ones. Again, your ammeter will come in handy here for testing purposes.
#5. Be careful when handling active electronic components since they tend to accumulate large amounts of charge very fast and without warning. You don’t want any part of your body on the same electrical potential as them if they are not designed safely enough! They should also be kept away from metal objects since they are good conductors of electricity. This means that you should be careful with articles made of metal when handling these components.
#6. Pay attention to the packaging of your active electronic components before buying them. Is the manufacturer keen on safety or is he just cutting corners? Look for manufacturers who put their products in safety bags that can easily be opened and resealed if necessary after inspection, since the safety factor always comes first no matter what! These bags will help protect your active electronic components from dust, light, moisture, etc . during storage or transportation.
Understanding what an active component is and what it does will help you in making decisions when purchasing electronic devices. If you are not familiar with them, simply read the things that we have highlighted in this article so you can learn something new about them.
ICRFQ: Reliable active electronic components supplier in China
Over the years, ICRFQ has proven to be a reliable supplier and sourcing agent for active electronic components in China. We have nearly 20 years of experience working with factories in China to ensure the best quality parts for our customers.
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