How to Identify Circuit Board Parts Easily

How to Identify Circuit Board Parts Easily


Circuit board parts aren’t always easy to get. Especially if you have to keep going to market for smaller components, it becomes a painful trip with time. What if you had information about identification of components? This would allow you to get tons of use circuit board parts from already used or discarded electronic circuits. This list is by no means complete. It only describes some basic components of circuit board to be identified and used for your circuit designing.




Given below are very basic components to be identified on circuit board.


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Being one of most common items in circuit board parts, the resistors are often color coded, while some have their tolerance and ohm value printed on them. You can use a multi-meter to check for resistance when they are still soldered to circuit board. This often gives accurate value. Commonly they are marked with R on circuit board.




These components are variable resistors. Having their value marked on them, the value is often marked in ohms. The value is often of 3 digits, where 1st two digits are significant figures while third is multiplier, for example, having 123 as value means 12 with three zeros ahead. This implies a resistance of 12k ohms. They also have a letter code in them which indicates the resistance changes. They often have VR marked on them to identify them as variable resistors.


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Besides resistors, capacitors are another type of most common circuit board parts. Typically marked with C on circuit board, many are color coded and have their values marked on them.


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The inductors are tricky ones compared to other board parts. They are often marked with an L on a circuit board. However, it is best if one has a multi-meter in case if value is to be measured. Inductors are of two types. One is color coded type. The other one is wired coil types. In both cases, it is best to measure inductance by self to ensure correct choice of components.




Crystals are often marked with X or Y on circuit board. Due to their unique appearance, they are easy to be identified and distinguished from other components. They often have values written on them in terms of frequency e.g. 32 Hz, 16 Hz. Etc.





Enclosed in plastic cases often, relays have K marked on circuit board. They also come with many specs written on them.


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Having coin like structures as well as standard cell like structures, batteries are pretty easy to be identified.

Flickr photos from the group WELLPCB Project