A+ Essentials Lesson 25 10/29/08 Learn about electronic components and how they work Learn how to protect your computer system against damaging changes in electrical power Mini Lesson Basic electronic components in a PC include transistors, capacitors, diodes, ground, and resistors. Materials used to make these and other electronic components can be: Conductors – materials that easily conducts (allows to pass through) electricity such as gold or copper. Insulators – materials that resist the flow of electricity, such as glass or ceramic Semiconductors – materials such as silicon whose ability to conduct electricity when a charge is applied falls between that of a conductor and an insulator. A Transistor is an electronic device that can serve as a gate or switch for an electrical signal and can amplify the flow of electricity. Invented in 1947, the transistor is made of 3 layers of semiconductor materials. A Capacitor is an electronic device that can hold an electrical charge for a period of time and can smooth the uneven flow of electricity through a circuit. Capacitors maintain their charge long after current is no longer present, which is why the inside of a power supply can be dangerous even when it is unplugged. A Diode is a semiconductor device that allows electricity flow in only one direction. A transistor contains two diodes. One to four diodes used in various configurations can be used to convert AC to DC. Singularly or collectively, these diodes are called a Rectifier. A Resistor is an electronic device that limits the amount of current that can flow through it. Protecting your computer system Make notes so you can backtrack Remove packing materials from work area Keep components away from hair and clothing Keep screws and spacers in an orderly place Don’t stack boards on top of each other Don’t touch chips on motherboard or expansion cards Don’t touch chip with magnetized screwdriver Don’t change DIP switch settings with a graphite pencil Have classroom instructor check your work before putting cover on and powering up Turn off a computer before moving it Keep disks away from magnetic fields, heat, and extreme cold Turn off power and unplug computer Always use a ground bracelet Never touch inside of a computer while it is turned on Never remove cover or put your hands inside monitor or power supply Review What are Conductors, Insulators and Semiconductors? What is a Transistor? Capacitor? Diode? Rectifier? Resistor? List 5 things that will help to protect your computer system.