Various components
Various components

An electronic component is a basic electronic element usually packaged in a discrete form with two or more connecting leads or metallic pads. Components are intended to be connected together, usually by soldering to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit with a particular function (for example an amplifier, radio receiver, or oscillator). Components may be packaged singly (resistor, capacitor, transistor, diode etc) or in more
or less complex groups as integrated circuits (operational amplifier, resistor array, logic gate etc).

List of electronic components
There are many electronic components on the market today. Here is a list of some of them.

Interconnecting electronic components

  • electrical connectors, plugs and sockets etc.
  • printed circuit boards
  • point-to-point construction
  • wire-wrap
  • breadboard

Passive components

  • fuse
  • capacitor
  • inductor
  • magnetic amplifier (toroid)
  • piezoelectric crystal
  • polyswitch
  • resistor
  • varistor
  • transformer
  • switch

Active components (solid-state)

  • diode
    • light-emitting diode
    • photodiode
    • laser diode
    • Zener diode
    • Schottky diode
    • transient voltage suppression diode
    • variable capacitance diode
  • transistor
    • field effect transistor
    • bipolar transistor
    • IGBT transistor
    • SIT/SITh (Static Induction Transistor/Thyristor)
    • Darlington transistor
    • Compound transistor
    • photo transistor
  • integrated circuit
    • digital
    • analog
  • other active components
    • triac
    • thyristor
    • unijunction transistor
    • Silicon Controlled Rectifier (SCR)
    • MOS composite static induction thyristor/CSMT
    • Field-emitter microtube

Active components (thermionic)

  • thermionic valve
  • cathode ray tube
  • klystron
  • magnetron

Display devices

  • cathode ray tube
  • liquid crystal display
  • light-emitting diode
  • nixie tube

Electromechanical sensors and actuators

  • microphone
  • loudspeaker
  • strain gauge
  • switch

Thermoelectric devices

  • thermistor
  • thermocouple
  • thermopile
  • Peltier cooler

Photoelectric devices

  • photomultiplier tube
  • light-dependent resistor
  • photodiode
  • photovoltaic cell (solar cell)


  • radio antenna
  • elemental dipole
  • biconical
  • Yagi
  • phased array
  • magnetic dipole (loop)
  • parabolic dish
  • feedhorn, waveguide

Electronic test equipment

A Tektronix model 475A portable analogue oscilloscope
A Tektronix model 475A portable analogue oscilloscope

Electronic test equipment (sometimes called ‘testgear’) is used to create stimulus signals and capture responses from electronic Devices Under Test (DUTs). In this way, the proper operation of the DUT can be proven or faults in the device can be traced and repaired. Use of electronic test equipment is essential to any serious work on electronics

Practical electronics engineering and assembly requires the use of many different kinds of electronic test equipment ranging from the very simple and inexpensive (such as a test light consisting of just a light bulb and a test lead) to extremely complex and sophisticated such as Automatic Test Equipment.

Generally, more advanced test gear is necessary when developing circuits and systems than is needed when doing production testing or when troubleshooting existing production units in the field.

Types of test equipment
Basic equipment

Commercial digital voltmeter checking a prototype
Commercial digital voltmeter checking a prototype

The following items are used for basic measurement of voltages, currents, and components in the circuit under test.

  • Voltmeter (Measures voltage)
  • Ohmmeter (Measures resistance)
  • Ammeter, e.g. Galvanometer or Milliameter (Measures current)
  • Multimeter e.g., VOM (Volt-Ohm-Milliameter) or DVM (Digital “Volt” Meter) (Measures all of the above)

The following are used for stimulus of the circuit under test:

  • Power supplies
  • Signal generator
  • Pulse generator
Howard piA digital multimeter
Howard piA digital multimeter

The following are used to analyze the response of the circuit under test:

  • Oscilloscope (Measures all of the above as they change over time)
  • Frequency counter (Measures frequency)  And connecting it all together:
  • Test probes

Advanced or less commonly used equipment

  • Solenoid voltmeter (Wiggy)
  • Clamp meter (current transducer)
  • Wheatstone bridge (Precisely measures resistance)
  • Capacitance meter (Measures capacitance)
  • EMF Meter (Measures Electric and Magnetic Fields)
  • Electrometer (Measures charge)



A multimeter with a built in clampfacility Pushing the large button at the bottom opens the lower jaw of the clamp, allowing the clamp to be placed around a conductor (wire).

  • RF probe
  • Signal tracer


  • Logic analyzer (Tests digital circuits)
  • Spectrum analyzer (SA) (Measures spectral energy of signals)
  • Vector signal analyzer (VSA) (Like the SA but it can also perform many more useful digital demodulation functions)
  • Time-domain reflectometer for testing integrity of long cables
  • Waveform analyzer (An oscilloscope specialized for television waveforms)

Signal-generating devices

Leader Instruments LSG-15 signal generator

  • Signal generator
  • Frequency synthesiser
  • Function generator
  • Pulse generator
  • Signal injector

Miscellaneous devices

  • Continuity tester
  • Cable tester
  • Hipot tester
  • Network analyzer (used to characterize components or complete computer networks)
  • Test light
  • Transistor tester


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