104pf/0.1uf/100nf 50V Ceramic Disc Capacitors

### Lesson Plan: Understanding and Utilizing 104pf/0.1uf/100nf 50V Ceramic Disc Capacitors in Electronic Circuits


In this lesson, we will delve into the operational principles and practical applications of ceramic disc capacitors, specifically the 104pf (0.1µF or 100nF) 50V variety. Capacitors are fundamental components in electronics, used for a variety of functions including filtering, coupling, and decoupling. By the end of this lesson, you will have a comprehensive understanding of their characteristics and how to incorporate them into your electronic projects.

**Learning Objectives**

Upon completing this lesson, you will be able to:
1. Identify the physical characteristics of the 104pf/0.1µF/100nF 50V ceramic disc capacitor.
2. Explain the function of capacitors and their role in electronic circuits.
3. Implement these capacitors in various circuit configurations to achieve filtering, coupling, and decoupling.

**Materials Needed**

– 104pf/0.1µF/100nF 50V ceramic disc capacitors
– Breadboard
– Jumper wires
– Raspberry Pi Pico WH
– 330-ohm resistor
– Multimeter (optional)
– Function generator (optional)
– Oscilloscope (optional)

**Background Information**

Ceramic disc capacitors are non-polarized capacitors that use a ceramic dielectric. They are known for their stability, reliability, and low cost. The 104 marking on the capacitor denotes its capacitance value: 10 followed by 4 zeros in picofarads, which equals 100,000 pF or 0.1 µF or 100 nF. These capacitors can handle voltages up to 50V.

**Capacitor Characteristics**

The 104pf/0.1µF/100nF 50V ceramic disc capacitor has two terminals:
– **Positive (Anode)**: Typically not marked, as ceramic capacitors are non-polarized and can be connected in either direction.
– **Negative (Cathode)**: Typically not marked, as ceramic capacitors are non-polarized and can be connected in either direction.

**Principles of Operation**

Capacitors store and release electrical energy by accumulating charge on their plates:
– **Energy Storage**: When a voltage is applied across the capacitor, it stores energy in the form of an electric field between the plates.
– **Charge and Discharge**: The capacitor charges when connected to a voltage source and discharges when the circuit is closed, allowing current to flow through it temporarily.
– **Filtering**: Capacitors can filter out AC signals while allowing DC signals to pass through, making them essential in power supply circuits for smoothing voltage.

**Circuit Diagram and Setup**

**Step-by-Step Instructions**

1. **Identify the Capacitor Terminals**:
– Note that ceramic disc capacitors are non-polarized, so they can be connected in any direction.

2. **Set Up the Breadboard Circuit**:
– Place the 104pf/0.1µF/100nF capacitor on the breadboard.
– Connect the capacitor in parallel with the power supply rails to act as a decoupling capacitor.
– Connect one leg of the capacitor to the 3.3V pin on the Raspberry Pi Pico WH.
– Connect the other leg of the capacitor to the ground (GND) pin on the Raspberry Pi Pico WH.
– Place an LED and a 330-ohm resistor in series on the breadboard to observe the effect of decoupling.
– Connect the anode of the LED to a GPIO pin (e.g., GP15) on the Raspberry Pi Pico WH.
– Connect the cathode of the LED to the ground through the 330-ohm resistor.

3. **Write the Control Code**:
– Open your MicroPython IDE and write the following code to control the LED:

from machine import Pin
from time import sleep

led = Pin(15, Pin.OUT)

while True:
led.on() # Turn on the LED
led.off() # Turn off the LED

4. **Upload and Test the Code**:
– Connect your Raspberry Pi Pico WH to your computer using a Micro USB cable.
– Upload the code to the Raspberry Pi Pico WH.
– Observe the LED blinking on and off. The capacitor should smooth out any voltage fluctuations caused by the switching LED.

5. **Optional: Measure Capacitance and Voltage**:
– Use a multimeter to measure the capacitance value of the capacitor. Ensure it is around 0.1µF or 100nF.
– Use an oscilloscope to observe the voltage across the capacitor during the LED switching. Notice how the capacitor helps to stabilize the voltage.

**Applications and Extensions**

1. **Decoupling and Bypassing**:
– Use the 104pf/0.1µF/100nF capacitor to decouple power supply rails in microcontroller circuits, reducing noise and ensuring stable operation.
– Place capacitors near the power pins of integrated circuits to filter out high-frequency noise.

2. **Coupling and Signal Filtering**:
– Implement the capacitor in audio circuits to couple different stages while blocking DC components.
– Create simple RC (resistor-capacitor) low-pass and high-pass filters to understand the frequency response and filtering capabilities.

**Summary and Review**

This lesson has provided a detailed exploration of the 104pf/0.1µF/100nF 50V ceramic disc capacitor, covering its identification, operational principles, and practical applications in electronic circuits. By understanding and utilizing capacitors, you can effectively filter, couple, and decouple signals, enhancing the performance and stability of your electronic projects.

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