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Diodes

Diodes are a common component in electronics and lasers and serve many uses. Initially used for demodulation of AM radio broadcasts, diodes are now used for power conversion, for protection from over-voltage, as logic gates, to steer electrical currents and to measure temperature. Diodes, along with bridge rectifiers, capacitors and transistors, are commonly used in electrical circuitry for devices such as TVs, radios and amplifiers to control electrical current. Specifically, diodes tend to allow current in one direction while blocking it from going in another direction, such as converting AC to DC. Turn to Sears for a large selection of diodes you can use in your electronics projects.

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Find diodes and other components for your electronics projects and repairs at Sears

Whether you're repairing a TV or you have an idea for an electronic invention and want to find a way to protect your device from power surges, you'll probably need to purchase a diode at some point. Diodes can be found as a component in most electronics, lasers and electrical circuits. There are dozens of types of diodes, and they are used in everything from airplanes to televisions to lamps. Diodes often act in a similar fashion to a valve and can be simple or quite complex, where they only function when a certain voltage threshold has been reached. They are used to electronically tune radio and TV receivers, produce light, and protect components from power surges, among other things. Diodes often play an important role in circuitry.

Along with capacitors, diodes have a role in the regulation of electrical currents in electronic devices, and can help to protect against over-voltage. While capacitors are often used to store current, such as with a camera's flash, one function of a diode is to generate direct current (DC) electricity from alternating current (AC) electricity, such as in automotive alternators. Diodes can often help protect capacitors and other components from over-voltage, so they play an important role in the overall design of an electronic device.

Diodes are also used to steer damaging high voltages away from sensitive devices in a circuitry. The most common type of diode today is a semiconductor diode, and most contemporary diodes are made of silicon, but they can be made of other elements. Diodes are often quite small, just like TV fuses, and they are widely used in household electronics. Diodes make sure electrical current travels in the intended direction without power traveling backward within a device, which would wreak havoc on how the device performs and what the user experiences.

Diodes act as a resistor, just like potentiometers, commonly known as "pots." Unlike diodes, though, pots are typically used to regulate levels through the resistor, such as a volume control on a stereo or a light dimmer. A potentiometer usually controls a very low voltage of electrical current, much lower than a diode typically handles.

The importance of diodes in electronics, lasers and thermal devices can't be overstated. In repairs and when designing electronics, it's important to consider which type of diode is best. There are numerous forms of diodes, from cat's whisker diodes to light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and thermal diodes that are used in heating and cooling. Diodes are an important consideration in electronics, laser and optical communication design in general. Whatever electronics project you are tackling, turn to Sears for the best diodes, capacitors, transistors and pots from the most trusted brands.

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