Read Your Caps

Listen while you read: Nada Surf - See These Bones

Here's the follow up post in the series of decoding component values. Ceramic caps are to easier to recognize then resistors, there is no silly saying to remember, which actually might be disappointing to some of you.

The labeling for ceramic capacitors is quite easy to remember, there are only 3 digits and a letter printed on the face of the cap. The first 2 digits stand for the value of the capacitor and the 3rd is the multiplier just like resistor coding. The only trick about the multiplier is you need to remember the base starts in pico farads. Pico, that's e-12. 102K on a capacitor would be equal to 1nF. Remember your units? Milli, micro, nano, pico.

The letter on ceramic caps stands for the tolerance. They are as follows:

C = ±0.25pF

J = ±5%

K = ±10%

M = ±20%

D = ±0.5pF

Z = +80% / -20%

Here's a more clear guide on interpreting ceramic caps.

That's it for ceramic caps. If you have any questions comment below or send me an email. Next post we'll take a look at the PSoC micro-controller which is actually used in the Apple Ipod.

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