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Components are the basic building blocks of circuits. An individual component can be thought of as a single physical device in a circuit. We used to think of them as the resistors, capacitors, diodes, and other discrete components that make up our electronics, but as technology has advanced more and more devices have been added to this category. Components can be categorized in a variety of ways. Sometimes this might be by their electrical characteristics, like resistors and capacitors, while other devices, like sensors, are categorized by their use. In some cases this can result in a component that is listed twice. For example, a temperature sensing resistor is both a resistor and a sensor.

Compound components known as modules have steadily increased in popularity, making it easier than ever to add specific functionality to a circuit, whether it be in the form of a power supply, wireless radio, or one of the many other types of modules. Microcontroller Boards are but one example. Integrated circuits are another form of compound components, and there are hundreds of kinds available for a wide range of applications.

In this listing Integrated Circuits, Modules, Microcontroller Boards are listed as one item, but note that they come in a huge number of flavors with a huge number of purposes.

People often need PCB Footprints in order to use a specific component on the PCB they are designing.

Active Components[edit]

These are components capable of producing or amplifying energy in a circuit.


Power Up.


These devices conduct very differently in one direction versus the other.

demo board[edit]

Lots of people put a microprocessor and most of the other essential stuff on a tiny little demo board, easy to plug into your solderless breadboard (or your custom PCB) that has just a few more things that make your project special.

Integrated Circuits[edit]

Op Amps, Voltage Regulators, Drivers, Digitally Programmable Potentiometers, 555 Timers ... For motor drivers see Motors below. Lots of parts in a package to do something useful.


LEDs, photodiodes, optoisolators, LCDs, IR proximity detectors,...

Microcontrollers and Microcontroller Boards or Modules[edit]

Little Computers for your entertainment.


Devices used to switch and amplify electricity.


Capable of conducting in either direction when triggered.


Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Temperature Sensors, Pressure Sensors, ... Find out what is going on.

Passive Components[edit]

These components can use and manipulate energy in a circuit, however they cannot add or amplify.


and Potentiometers Resistance is not futile. In there simplest form passive components, but now some are IC using forming variable resistors and potentiometers.


Store charge and energy, block dc, filter. In their simplest form passive components, but now some are IC using switched capacitors to synthesize other and variable values.


Stores energy in a magnetic field.


Two coils where one coil induces a current in the other via a magnetic field.

Electromechanical Components[edit]

These can carry out electrical processes by using mechanical processes or electrical connections, or have mechanical processes that are driven by electricity.


Join parts.


Crystals, Ceramic Resonators, oscillators, ... Vibrate with excitement.


Make thing move. We include some circuits/chips for driving motors. Servos, steppers, and others.

Switches and Relays[edit]

Turn things on and off.

Other Components[edit]


GPS, Mobile Phone, RF Transceiver, Bluetooth Modules, ...


Cover up.

Popular Parts[edit]

So many parts to pick, but which ones? Why not pick a popular part, or a group of parts for areas of interest?

Obtaining Components[edit]

Component Manufacturers[edit]

Links to homepages, phone numbers, contact info, ... There is often info under each component as well in the components sections above.

Free From Salvage[edit]

Dig in, to the free stuff, a list of links and a bunch of ideas on how to use your loot.

Free Samples[edit]

Free is nice.

PCB Manufacturers[edit]

Contact info, PCB trace width/spacing capability, ...

Salvage Ideas[edit]

Unusual ideas for the fruits of your labor.


Good places to buy, numbers to call, people to talk to, ... Get your low cost motor controller boards & motor driver ICs



Component and Parts Storage[edit]

Proper storage is the key to minimizing damage to parts and ensuring that they will work properly when you need to use them.

Data Sheets[edit]

You will want data sheets for you parts. Do not leave home, or start a project without them.