Build a PC - Basic Electronics

  Home > Build A PC > Electricity > Understanding Electricity > Understanding AC/DC > Basic Electronics

Basic Electronics

-Electronics is Electricity but only on a very low scale. It would be a bad thing to apply high amounts of voltage of amperage to a CPU, this would fry it quick. Electronics deals with low voltages and millivolts. This may let you in on why your digital watch runs for so long, low voltage and low power consumption. Of course there are parts of the PC that use a good bit of electricity but when you get into small circuits we are speaking of electronics.

-So what makes up a Electronic Circuit? This is really pretty easy and you will pick it up fast. Check out below.


  • Conductors- a conductor is just a wire, such as gold, tin, copper , all of which are good conductors. Gold is by far the best conductor and you will see this in DIMM RAM modules and even your CPU.
  • Insulators- An insulator would be like the rubber that wraps around a wire. An example would be your power supply cable. You don't want the wire to exposed do you? ZAP!
  • Semiconductor's- this is a mixture of a conductor and a insulator in a strange since. When it is charged it may become a conductor then when zapped again it will become a insulator. The best way to think of it is as a switch. Its either charged on or off. Pretty cool isn't it!?


-Now for the building blocks of a circuit on your PC this is what virtually every electronic circuit is built of.

  • Resistor- this acts as a funnel to slow down the flow of current in a circuit. You don't want a overflow of current in a low voltage circuit and needs to be tapered.
  • Capacitor- these are commonly found in the monitor and power supply. These are storage bins for electricity and simply hold a charge. As noted in the site do not try to repair a Monitor or Power supply. If you get a hold of or touch a capacitor this will kill you! Of course in lower voltage applications this isn't much of a danger but never a good idea.
  • Diode- this is simple a one way valve so that electricity cant flow in another direction.
  • Transistor- this is a semiconductor that holds one binary value in the PC. As a note, if any electronics wizard reads this, tell me where the transistor came from and send me proof of its origins on this earth!? Roswell?? Kind of strange how the transistor seems to seep up after the aliens crashed? Back engineering? Don't laugh, you may be surprised? There isn't much documentation on this little component that revolutionized the electronics industry. It supposedly just appeared by a guy at MIT. That's it?

    -Now with the resistor, capacitor, diode, and transistor we have what's called a logical gate which creates circuits, circuits make up your computer. Cool huh!?

Electrostatic discharge

Back to Build a PC homepage



Popular Articles:

How To Build A PC | Different Types of Keyboards | Help with Hard Drive Installation | Computer Networking Basics | Introduction of Motherboard Functions | Computer CPU Processor Speed | Upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows 98 | Computer Monitor Troubleshoot | Partition Hard Drive | Installing New CPU Processor | Types of Network Cables



Getting Started

Component Shopping
Electrostatic Discharge


Build A PC

1. Preparing the Computer Case and Motherboard
2. Computer Processor and Computer Memory Installation
3. Install Motherboard Into Case
4. Installing Hard Drive, Installing CD-ROM and Floppy Disk
5. Installing Expansion Cards, Installing PCI Cards
6. Installing Computer Peripherals, Installing Monitor and Sound Cards
Double Check
First Boot
Load Windows


Extra Stuff

Installing Device Software



1999-2010 All rights reserved ©