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'Radio Shack, electrolytic caps, polarity, poor lab'
1999\07\07@170537 by eplus1

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I know... I'm dumb. But I gotta know...

I just bought a big old 1mF electrolytic cap at Radio Shack to clean up any
possible power supply fluctuations in my Scenix SX52 test circuits (since
the SX52 is a-ffrrreakeeennn) and opened it to find that the only indication
of the polarity is a white band down one side (by the shorter of the two
leads) which is broken into arrow like sections by a ">" with a box like
shape (trying to be a minus?) in the center of each section. There is no +
sign, no - sign (unless the box means minus) and I am tired. This must be
another one of the many electronics engineers insider only things. Us
software/digital logic guys are just S.O.L.

The guy at Radio Shack smiled condescendingly and said "the shorter lead is
always positive." If he is right I'm going to feel really stupid.

So... which lead goes to Vcc and which goes to GND?

I ask this question just to show that I can be more annoying than Andy and
his Internet Clean-Up. ;)

James Newton, webmaster http://get.to/techref
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspamgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593 phone

1999\07\07@172014 by Roland Andrag

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The short lead is the NEGATIVE. And that box like arrow shape thing is
trying to be a minus.  This goes for LED's as well - short lead negative.

Cheers
Roland
{Original Message removed}

1999\07\07@172217 by Matt Bonner

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James Newton wrote:
>
> I just bought a big old 1mF electrolytic cap ... and opened
> it to find that the only indication
> of the polarity is a white band down one side (by the shorter of the two
> leads)

> So... which lead goes to Vcc and which goes to GND?
>
The white band indicates the positive side, ergo: short lead to Vcc and
longer lead to Gnd.

--Matt

1999\07\07@172221 by tim

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THE LONGER LEAD IS POSITIVE ON ELECTROLYTICS..........<G>..............RADIO
SLACK.......
----- Original Message -----
From: James Newton <.....eplus1KILLspamspam@spam@san.rr.com>
To: <PICLISTspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 1:25 PM
Subject: Radio Shack, electrolytic caps, polarity, poor label, dumb tech


> I know... I'm dumb. But I gotta know...
>
> I just bought a big old 1mF electrolytic cap at Radio Shack to clean up
any
> possible power supply fluctuations in my Scenix SX52 test circuits (since
> the SX52 is a-ffrrreakeeennn) and opened it to find that the only
indication
> of the polarity is a white band down one side (by the shorter of the two
> leads) which is broken into arrow like sections by a ">" with a box like
> shape (trying to be a minus?) in the center of each section. There is no +
> sign, no - sign (unless the box means minus) and I am tired. This must be
> another one of the many electronics engineers insider only things. Us
> software/digital logic guys are just S.O.L.
>
> The guy at Radio Shack smiled condescendingly and said "the shorter lead
is
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\07@173640 by Matt Bonner

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I wrote:
>
> The white band indicates the positive side, ergo: short lead to Vcc and
> longer lead to Gnd.
>
I see that I'm in the minority here.  The tantalums that we use have a
stripe indicating the positive electrode - I guess that I shouldn't
extrapolate that to aluminum electrolytics that we *don't* use.

--Matt

1999\07\07@180156 by paulb

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I'm voting for the arrows and the outline "minus" sign being negative.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\07\07@184316 by Pedro Barrios

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face
I'm voting for not buying at Radio Shack :)

Regards,

PB

At 08:00 AM 7/8/99 +1000, Paul B. Webster VK2BZC wrote:
>I'm voting for the arrows and the outline "minus" sign being negative.
>--
>  Cheers,
>        Paul B.
>

1999\07\07@233933 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Wed, Jul 07, 1999 at 01:25:22PM -0700, James Newton wrote:
> leads) which is broken into arrow like sections by a ">" with a box like
> shape (trying to be a minus?) in the center of each section. There is no +

this is indeed a minus sign. The short lead is negative. Just like LEDs. The
anode is the long lead. Valves (vacuum toobs for the Yanks) were easy,
the anode was the cap on top.

In days of yore, electros always had a plus sign on the positive lead. Some
many years ago I noticed that they now had the negative lead indicated by minus
signs, and nothing on the positive lead. I have no idea why the convention
changed, but it did.

Axial lead electros also used to have (still do AFAIK) an indented ring
at the positive end, but that doesn't help much with single ended ones :-)

> The guy at Radio Shack smiled condescendingly and said "the shorter lead is
> always positive." If he is right I'm going to feel really stupid.

Ask him if they'll replace it if they're wrong :-)

Cheers, Clyde

--
Clyde Smith-Stubbs               |            HI-TECH Software
Email: EraseMEclydespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuThtsoft.com          |          Phone            Fax
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1999\07\08@003350 by Dennis Plunkett

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At 13:31 8/07/99 +1000, you wrote:
>On Wed, Jul 07, 1999 at 01:25:22PM -0700, James Newton wrote:
>> leads) which is broken into arrow like sections by a ">" with a box like
>> shape (trying to be a minus?) in the center of each section. There is no +
>
>this is indeed a minus sign. The short lead is negative. Just like LEDs. The
>anode is the long lead. Valves (vacuum toobs for the Yanks) were easy,
>the anode was the cap on top.
>
>In days of yore, electros always had a plus sign on the positive lead. Some
>many years ago I noticed that they now had the negative lead indicated by
minus
>signs, and nothing on the positive lead. I have no idea why the convention
>changed, but it did.

Labling reasons, just like why active becomes brown and neutral blue, no
printing error or slight rubbing off can make a -ve look like a +ve where a
+ve can look like a -ve. Hard to come to grips with, but seems reasonable.

By the  the way what is a toob? I know what a chewb, a tube and a chube is :)

Dennis

1999\07\08@052758 by Paul Fletcher

picon face
<snip>
> By the  the way what is a toob? I know what a chewb, a tube and a chube is :)
<snip>

A tube with a head cold ??

PaulF.

1999\07\08@073616 by Clyde Smith-Stubbs

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On Thu, Jul 08, 1999 at 02:38:45PM +1000, Dennis Plunkett wrote:

> By the  the way what is a toob? I know what a chewb, a tube and a chube is :)

American for tube. Americans (especially Californians) make do with only
about 3 vowel sounds.


--
Clyde Smith-Stubbs               |            HI-TECH Software
Email: @spam@clydeKILLspamspamhtsoft.com          |          Phone            Fax
WWW:   http://www.htsoft.com/    | USA: (408) 490 2885  (408) 490 2885
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---------------------------------------------------------------------------
HI-TECH C: compiling the real world.

1999\07\08@104545 by Andy Kunz

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At 09:28 PM 7/8/99 +1000, you wrote:
>On Thu, Jul 08, 1999 at 02:38:45PM +1000, Dennis Plunkett wrote:
>
>> By the  the way what is a toob? I know what a chewb, a tube and a chube
is :)
>
>American for tube. Americans (especially Californians) make do with only
>about 3 vowel sounds.

In New York City and Boston they discard various consonants, or they
replace them with new vowel sounds.  In the South they discard certain
harder consonants.  Like sentence becomes "senence," Saturday becomes
"Saurdee" (still three syllables).

At least we don't have weird accents like those aussies and sheep-chasing
new zealanders. <G>

Andy
==================================================================
Andy Kunz               Life is what we do to prepare for Eternity
------------------------------------------------------------------
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1999\07\08@114126 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
... by the rule of the thumb (rule of stripe here), white band is
positive side and long lead is to ground... for sure... except if it is
reversed...  :)... confused?... me too.

Wagner.




Matt Bonner wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\08@152610 by Jeff Barlow

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Yeah, that's why we can't tell "pen" from "pin".

-----Original Message-----


On Thu, Jul 08, 1999 at 02:38:45PM +1000, Dennis Plunkett wrote:

> By the  the way what is a toob? I know what a chewb, a tube and a chube is
:)

American for tube. Americans (especially Californians) make do with only
about 3 vowel sounds.

1999\07\08@160946 by Lynx {Glenn Jones}

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for LED's I always check which lead is connected to the metal cup, cause
thats always the cathode.

On Wed, 7 Jul 1999, Roland Andrag wrote:

> The short lead is the NEGATIVE. And that box like arrow shape thing is
> trying to be a minus.  This goes for LED's as well - short lead negative.
>
> Cheers
>  Roland
> {Original Message removed}

1999\07\08@163455 by Reginald Neale

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 Clyde said:

>signs, and nothing on the positive lead. I have no idea why the convention
>changed, but it did.

 I noticed that, too. Seems like it wasn't that long ago;
 a decade or so. Somebody, somewhere must know the reason for the
 change. Any capacitor industry insiders on this list?

>
>Axial lead electros also used to have (still do AFAIK) an indented ring
>at the positive end, but that doesn't help much with single ended ones :-)

 On aluminum electrolytics, the crimp holds the seal in place.
 It's not explicitly for indicating polarity, but the can is the
 negative terminal so for axial caps the open end where the
 positive lead emerges is always the crimped end. For radial caps
 the can may not be part of the circuit at all; I don't know why
 this is.

 Reg Neale

1999\07\08@164706 by Gabriel Gonzalez

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This is not always true.

Gabriel


-----Original Message-----
From: Lynx {Glenn Jones} <TakeThisOuTjones_glEraseMEspamspam_OUTEFN.ORG>
To: RemoveMEPICLISTspamTakeThisOuTMITVMA.MIT.EDU <PICLISTEraseMEspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Date: Thursday, July 08, 1999 3:10 PM
Subject: Re: Radio Shack, electrolytic caps, polarity, poor label, dumb tech


{Quote hidden}

any
>> >possible power supply fluctuations in my Scenix SX52 test circuits
(since
>> >the SX52 is a-ffrrreakeeennn) and opened it to find that the only
>> indication
>> >of the polarity is a white band down one side (by the shorter of the two
>> >leads) which is broken into arrow like sections by a ">" with a box like
>> >shape (trying to be a minus?) in the center of each section. There is no
+
>> >sign, no - sign (unless the box means minus) and I am tired. This must
be
>> >another one of the many electronics engineers insider only things. Us
>> >software/digital logic guys are just S.O.L.
>> >
>> >The guy at Radio Shack smiled condescendingly and said "the shorter lead
is
>> >always positive." If he is right I'm going to feel really stupid.
>> >
>> >So... which lead goes to Vcc and which goes to GND?
>> >
>> >I ask this question just to show that I can be more annoying than Andy
and
>> >his Internet Clean-Up. ;)
>> >
>> >James Newton, webmaster http://get.to/techref
>> >RemoveMEjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspamspamgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593 phone
>> >
>>

1999\07\08@170510 by Andy Kunz

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>>> >I ask this question just to show that I can be more annoying than Andy and
>>> >his Internet Clean-Up. ;)

I would just like to get more bandwidth.

The SYSOPS on this and other lists have enjoyed the posting.  Not the
zillions of replies, but the concept.

Andy

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1999\07\08@191100 by paulb

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Lynx {Glenn Jones} wrote:

> for LED's I always check which lead is connected to the metal cup,
> cause thats always the cathode.

 *BONG!!*  Missed out on that one!  Next contestant please.

 That used to be true of the "super-dim" LED technology 20 years ago.
Whilst not universally true, the current "efficient" LED technology
uses a process whereby the light emanates from the other side of the die
(I'm no expert by any means) and the "header" is the positive lead.

Reginald Neale wrote:

> the can is the negative terminal so for axial caps the open end where
> the positive lead emerges is always the crimped end. For radial caps
> the can may not be part of the circuit at all; I don't know why this
> is.

 I can give a clue here.  The process of oxide formation on the foil is
called "anodizing", i.e., it occurs on the positive electrode.  This
process is applied to the foil but of course cannot be performed on the
casing, so the casing must either be isolated, or the cathode.
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\07\08@195831 by Tony Nixon

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picon face
Lynx {Glenn Jones} wrote:

> for LED's I always check which lead is connected to the metal cup,
> cause thats always the cathode.

"Paul B. Webster VK2BZC" wrote:

>   *BONG!!*  Missed out on that one!  Next contestant please.

Some LED's don't even have a flat surface on the cathode side of the
plastic moulding either.
Testing the thing is probably the safest way to go, if you are a low end
user like me.

It can be frustrating when that little LED does not light when it's
supposed to, especially when you expect the worst from your new design
:-)

--
Best regards

Tony

'The Engine' - Design your own programmer.

http://www.picnpoke.com
Email picnpokeSTOPspamspamspam_OUTcdi.com.au

1999\07\08@200703 by tim

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if you really look at the led in question...........a small tab inside of
the led is to goto positive of supply................the larger side is to
goto ground.....i think..almost always.....tim
{Original Message removed}

1999\07\08@211351 by Mike Keitz

picon face
On Thu, 8 Jul 1999 13:08:29 -0700 Lynx {Glenn Jones} <spamBeGonejones_glSTOPspamspamEraseMEEFN.ORG>
writes:
>for LED's I always check which lead is connected to the metal cup,
>cause
>thats always the cathode.

Most infrared and superbright LEDs are exactly the opposite.  Looking at
the internal parts is not a good way to tell.  The standard marking
method is based on making the lower flange of the LED's plastic shell not
quite round.  There is a flat spot next to the cathode lead.  Also the
cathode lead is shorter than the anode lead, of course that works only
for new LEDs.


___________________________________________________________________
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1999\07\09@040642 by Russell McMahon

picon face
>At least we don't have weird accents like those aussies and
sheep-chasing
>new zealanders. <G>
>
>Andy

That should be "New Zealanders", please.

Note that we are good at what we are good at -

1.     All English is migrating towards being spoken as she is spoken
here (even genuine Brit version, to their horror).

2.    The mighty US of A is so scared of our free market unsubsidised
sheep farming efficiencies that they have slapped a 9% import tax
(called something else) on our lamb imports to protect the poor
inefficient uncompetitive  US sheep farming industry - sounds like
sheep-belly politics to me :-).

3.    TO KEEP THIS ON TOPIC :-)

A nice trick for checking electro cap (metal can version only)
polarity in circuit that I have not seen mentioned elsewhere (I
should post this separately perhaps?)

- Ground negative meter probe
- Operate circuit
- Measure voltage on can of working electrolytics.

Properly polarised caps will typically show a voltage of from about
0.1 to 0.5 volts. Reverse biased caps will have a can potential much
closer to supply. ie the can is not at but is NEAR the potential of
the true negative terminal. For a reversed cap in the 10uF - 1000uF
range on a 5 volt supply the can is typically at 2 or 3 volts but
anything over about 0.5 is suspect.


regards

           Russell McMahon






>==================================================================
>Andy Kunz               Life is what we do to prepare for Eternity
>------------------------------------------------------------------
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>==================================================================
>

1999\07\09@043637 by robertog

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Well my experience with identifying Electrolytic capacitors be they
conventional or
Tantalum is that if you see two negative looking bars on both sides start
worrying!

Sure, Manufacturers seems to take pride in doing their own thing, but if I
found a cap with nothing on one side, and a stipe on the other, given that
the East decided to change the
standard colour code of mains wiring from RED/BLACK/GREEN to
BLUE/BROWN/GREEN, I would assume
the stripe meant POSITIVE. Can you see the logic in that?

As Russell said, use a meter and measure the cap. Its easy to tell the
polarity this way.

And to wander off topic, this sheep import tax scenario sounds like a
payback for
Aussie giving the US of A a hard time over the Olympics and Marching Bands
to me?
Could this be so?

Cheers .. Bob


> {Original Message removed}

1999\07\09@083744 by Reginald Neale

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Mike said:

>Most infrared and superbright LEDs are exactly the opposite.  Looking at
>the internal parts is not a good way to tell.  The standard marking
>method is based on making the lower flange of the LED's plastic shell not
>quite round.  There is a flat spot next to the cathode lead.  Also the
>cathode lead is shorter than the anode lead, of course that works only
>for new LEDs.
>

 The convention of identifying T1 and T1 3/4 LED cathodes with a
 flat is the closest thing to universal that I've ever seen. Has
 anyone ever seen an exception?

 Reg Neale

1999\07\09@091752 by Andy Kunz

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>1.     All English is migrating towards being spoken as she is spoken
>here (even genuine Brit version, to their horror).

And as soon as I can figure out how to get Adobe to make a font with :-)
and all the others as single characters, I'll be set!

>sheep farming efficiencies that they have slapped a 9% import tax

The farm coalition in the US is one of the most powerful lobbying segments.
Other powerful ones are NRA (National Rifle Association, to protect our
Constitutional rights) and the NEA (National Education Association, to
protect their jobs).  The NEA is so powerful that it is the only union
which has an official government department, and it was very openly created
as paybacks to the NEA for support of a particular candidate for President.

>3.    TO KEEP THIS ON TOPIC :-)
>A nice trick for checking electro cap (metal can version only)

I was looking for a trick, like "charge cap, hand to newbie tech to see
reaction as he closed the leads" or such.

Andy

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1999\07\09@132817 by Dwayne Reid

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<big snip>
>>
>The white band indicates the positive side, ergo: short lead to Vcc and
>longer lead to Gnd.

Sorry, but I must disagree here.  The identified lead on all aluminum
electrolytic caps *I* have seen in the past 25 years or so is NEGATIVE.  Do
NOT use lead length as your polarity marking.

Tantalum capacitors, OTOH, usually mark the POSITIVE lead.  Don't ask me why.

dwayne


Dwayne Reid   <.....dwaynerspam_OUTspamplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax

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1999\07\09@134235 by Wagner Lipnharski

picon face
easy:

Tantalum use longer lead as positive because:
from Sumitswu language, talked on Aural Islands at Muriatic Ocean:

Tan   = Positive Action, Right Thing, Goood Polarity,
        Right Side, Stay at the Correct group, etc...
Talum = Long, Tall, High, Strong, Durable, etc.

So, Tan+Talum, means Longer Lead is the Positive one.

Easy hum?

:)
Wagner.

Dwayne Reid wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\09@165708 by Dave VanHorn

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Tants are easy. Buy two, put the first one in, if it dosen't explode, then
you have a spare.
:)

1999\07\16@093100 by Nigel Orr

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At 13:31 08/07/99 +1000, you wrote:
>this is indeed a minus sign. The short lead is negative. Just like LEDs. The

If only- make that "just like some/most LEDs" (some have a long cathode
lead, some have a short one)

Nigel

1999\07\23@113455 by Terry

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>From all the caps i've seen so far (bout 15 yrs) the white line is always
negative, i dun bother with the length of their leads tho...

Terry



At 11:40 AM 7/8/99 -0400, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

1999\07\24@053813 by Tjaart van der Walt

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Terry wrote:
>
> >From all the caps i've seen so far (bout 15 yrs) the white line is always
> negative, i dun bother with the length of their leads tho...

SMD tantalums have the line on the positive side.

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