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Electronic Components Sourcing Tips

May 24, 2008
Sourcing obsolete electronic components can be difficult because of the huge range of products available as technology advances so does the type of circuitry. In this article we aim to provide the key points to aid you in tracking down hard to find components.

The most important consideration in deciding upon a supplier is to know there is thousands of fake or copied components this is particularly relevant when looking at computer components. These components may cost a lot less than the originals but can cause serious malfunctions and damage to the entire system they are used in.

An electronic component basically is an electronic element composing of a circuit board with two or more connecting leads or metallic pads. Components are designed so they can be connected together; this is usually achieved by soldering to a printed circuit board, to create an electronic circuit with a particular function (for example an amplifier, radio receiver, or oscillator).

Materials used in the manufacturing of electronic components range from aluminum-based alloys (integrated circuits conductors) to copper contacts electroplated with nickel or gold for improved resistance. Switches and relays are types of devices that work by opening and closing electronic and electrical circuits. The most common type of switches are manually operated, these include the push-button variety, slide, and toggle mechanisms as well as rotary.

There are many types of relays, some of which are triggered electronically, are timing, electromechanical, and reed. Relays often are activated by a solenoid, which is a uniformly wound coil of wire in the form of a cylinder. Solenoids are subject to wear and tear and long periods of use can lead to replacements being needed.

Optical communications devices include relays and switches these support the construction of highly reliable and efficient networks which help to downsize LAN devices with large-scale capacity in the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH)commonly used presently. Advanced sensors built into machines such as in those found in game arcades greatly improve the entertainment value of the machines. As technology develops and evolves the circuitry used in these systems often ceases to be a stock product and replacements become hard to source.

A standard electronic apparatus has a real time clock installed in the circuit board for recording system time. A number of data processing circuits utilize real-time clocks to provide a real-time clock value indicating the current day, date and time. The real time clock provides a precise representation of time that can be compared to stored values in registers to provide automated functions.

Clock circuits are an essential component of modern computer systems. Computer systems commonly have a real time clock coupled to a CPU of the system via a peripheral bus. The RTC is used to update the current time and date within the computer system without any intervention from the system processor. The real time clock usually includes a battery backup incase of failed supply of electrical power.

The importance of replacing damaged or worn circuitry with standards compliant recognized is paramount to the integrity of the system taking shortcuts or buying low grade or copied components can lead to serious system failures.
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