Electronic Diodes

Written by Michael O'Brien
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Diodes are solid state devices. That is, they are made of only one switch and have no moving parts. Electronic diodes are like one-way street signs. They allow electrical current to flow in one direction and not back the other way.

Simple Electronic Diodes

Diodes, like capacitors, are passive electronic devices as opposed to active ones. You have to be careful when hooking up electronic diodes. They are rather fragile. They can be damaged if electricity does not flow through them properly or if they are forced to handle too much voltage.

Electrical Flow

Electronic Diodes usually need more than point six volts to operate. Current flows from the positive side to the negative side. That is, electricity flows from the anode to the cathode. These devices can be damaged if current flows from negative to positive.

LED's are light emitting diodes. These simply let light through when electricity flows from the anode to the cathode, or positive to negative. Normally, the light is red, but you can also find LED's in yellow, green or even infra red. You've seen this little light when you've changed the channel or raised the volume using your remote control. Those little lights on your computer that tell you when its thinking, loading something, or receiving am Internet signal also use LED's. The light lets you know electricity is flowing and that a device is working the way it should.


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