carbon film resistors

A carbon film resistor is an evolved form of the carbon composition resistor; it is smaller in size and capable of providing much better performance. It is a type of fixed resistor that uses carbon film to restrict an electric current to a certain level. It is constructed by using a ceramic carrier rod onto which a thin layer of pure carbon is deposited as a film. This thin carbon film acts as the resistive element. The ceramic substrate acts as the insulating material to heat or electricity. 

A helical cut is made into the film to enable the carbon film resistor to have the correct resistance. This helical cut increases the length of the path of the current while reducing the width of the resistive element— the path length, width, and thickness of the carbon film all govern the resistance that is present. The use of pure carbon means that these resistors can operate in higher temperatures and sustain functionality as opposed to their predecessor, the carbon composition resistor. The desired resistance value can be obtained by selecting the proper layer of thickness and cutting an applicable helix. By decreasing the pitch of the helix, the length of the resistive path increases, correlating to an increased resistance value. A fine-tuned cut can have a higher accuracy of resistance value. Their manufacturing process plays a crucial role in its capabilities.

Carbon film resistors are manufactured using a deposition process. The ceramic rod is placed in an environment where temperature and pressure are high. Hydrocarbon gas is passed over the rods at over 1000 degrees Celsius. The gas naturally breaks down and a thin film of carbon is placed into the rods. After the rods have been obtained, end caps are installed onto the rods to connect to the carbon film, and a helical cut is performed. The resistors are then coated in resin to shield them from moisture, contaminants, and handling. Alas, the carbon film resistor is built and ready to use. Typical applications for carbon film resistors include power supplies, radars, x-rays, and lasers.

At ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the resistor parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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dip switch

In electrical engineering, a switch is used to interrupt current or divert it from one conductor to another. When an electrical contact is open, it means that the switch is off and not conducting because the contacts are separated; when an electrical contact is closed, it means that the switch is on and conducting because the contacts are touching.

A dual in-line package (DIP) switch is a manual electric switch; it’s used to select the operating mode of a device. One of the best ways to visualize a DIP switch is to think of a circuit breaker— all of those switches are actually DIP switches. These switches are used to configure computer peripherals such as hard drives, modems, sound cards, and motherboards. As non-volatile memory became less expensive, smaller, and easier to work with, electronic manufacturers started replacing DIP switches in video game consoles and consumer electronics. However, industrial equipment continues to utilize them because they are cheaper and easy to incorporate. Different types of DIP switches include the slide, rocker, piano (side), and rotary. The specifications of the different types of switches are dependent upon the connections they make of the circuit.

Contact pins inside of the switch are made of bronze, coated, and dipped in sulfide. The material that is chosen for the coat is dependent on the rating of the switch. It is coated in sulfide to protect them from chemicals present in the atmosphere, making them more durable and able to work in different environments.

The most common types of DIP switches are slide and rocker actuator DIP switches, and rotary DIP switches. Slide and rocker actuator DIP switches are the typical on and off switches with single-pole, single-throw (SPST) contacts. Rotary DIP switches have several electrical contacts that are rotated and aligned. The least common are SPDT, DPST, DPDT, MPST, and MTSP DIP switches. Regardless, it’s always important to remember to take the time to figure out which pins you need for your applications. You wouldn’t want to use the wrong switch.

At ASAP Semiconductor, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all of the electrical components you need, new or obsolete. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at 1-714-705-4780.

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proximity sensors

Smartphones know to dim the screen and disable touch interaction before it comes into contact with a user’s ear— and they’re only capable thanks to a photoelectric proximity sensor. Proximity devices can to infer the presence of a variety of objects and materials without direct contact. The most common proximity sensors are inductive, capacitive, photoelectric, and ultrasonic.

        1. Inductive sensors

Inductive sensing operates via a solid-state control system. An oscillator circuit emits a magnetic field from a ferrite core and coil array. When the systems emitted frequency encounters a metal object, it shifts and causes the oscillation amplitude to drop. If this occurs, it signals the presence of the target object.


-       Detects ferrous and non-ferrous materials such as: Iron, Steel, and Copper

-       Low detection range of 4 - 40mm  

-       Typically rated by frequency

-       AC: 10 - 20 Hz

-       DC: 500 Hz - 5 kHz

        2.  Capacitive sensors

Relatively similar to inductive sensors, capacitive sensors emit an electrostatic field instead of a magnetic field. Two metal plates serve as a sensing surface, while an oscillating circuit forms an electrostatic field within the sensor. When it encounters a target object, the electrostatic field is disturbed, and changes the capacitance of the proximity detector.


-        Detects conductive and non-conductive materials, unlike inductive detectors.

-        Slower due to metal plates

-        Ideal for detection within powder, liquid, or granulate

-        Detection range of 3 - 60mm

-        AC: 10 - 50Hz

        3. Photoelectric sensors

They’re versatile sensors used in a variety of industries. There are three common photoelectric sensor configurations that operate similarly to one another but are suited to different environments.

Through-beam sensing uses two separately housed light emissions faced at one another. A beam of light is created when the light from the emitter and through-beam combine. Detection is triggered when an object intercepts the beam. Common with garage door operations and conveyor belt monitors.


-   Effective among airborne contaminants

-   Meet long range requirements of 25m and beyond

Costly, difficult to assemble

Retro-reflective sensing is similar to through-beam because it uses two beam sensors, however, it houses both the emitter and receiver in one location. A reflector is placed opposite, and reflects the emitter beam back to the receiver. Any break or disturbance in the beam signals the detector.


-       Cost-effective

-       Meets similar long-range requirements

-       Sensitive to reflective items in their surroundings

Diffuse sensing works similar to retro-reflective, but instead of a reflector, the target object acts as the indicator. The device emits an infrared light or laser, creating a diffusion of light in a detection zone, which is then reflected off of the target object. Reflected light is then sent back to the receiver, where output is determined.


-       Simple to install

-       Can be adjusted to a specific target area

-       Sensitive to reflective, and/or textured surfaces

4. Ultrasonic Sensors

Though these devices employ sound waves as their detector, the configurations are the same as in photoelectric detection. Emission of sound waves follows the process of either through-beam, retro-reflective, or diffuse sensing to identify a target object. However, they utilize a sound transducer to emit sonic pulses, rather than light. A receiver gathers the reflected signal and triggers an output.

At ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the capacitor parts and proximity sensors you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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metal film resistors

Metal film resistors are one of the most common types of axial resistors. They use a thin metal layer as a resistive element on an otherwise non-conducting body. The first metal film resistor was manufactured in the 1930s by Dubilier.

At the base of the resistor, there is a non-conducting ceramic rod. This rod prevents contaminants from deteriorating the metal. A thin piece of metal is placed on the rod using vacuum deposition. Various materials such as nickel chromium, tin, and gold may also be used. The thickness of the material ranges from 50 to 250 nm. Resistance and stability are both based on the thickness of the metal. Thicker metal films result in lower resistance and better stability.

The desired resistance is achieved using lasers. These lasers cut a spiral-shaped slot in the metal. This lengthens the conductor and makes the conduction path narrower. Doing this increases the resistance.

Caps are placed on either end of the of the rod which allows wire connections to be made. The resistor is covered in a protective coating which prevents mechanical damage and any moisture or other contaminants from entering.

Resistors are available in different tolerance percentages of 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1%, and 2%. Metal film resistors have very low noise and high linearity due to their low voltage coefficient.

In order to ensure reliability, these resistors are used at between 20% and 80% of their power rating. It is important to take caution as these resistors are easily damaged by voltage surges and power overloads.

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fpga and microprocessor

Unless you’ve drastically tried to fix water damage on your computer or replaced the cracked screen of your smartphone on your own, you’ve probably never seen what a motherboard looks like or know what all the different parts do. But, if you’ve ever considered going into software engineering or computer science, perhaps you should at least know the difference between some components, for example, the FPGA and the microprocessor.

The FPGA, or Field Programmable Gate Arrays, are simple and user-configurable blocks of gates. Because they are programmable, FPGAs don’t have any hardwired logic blocks. FPGAs are laid out like a net with each junction containing a switch that the user can make or break, determining how the logic of each will work. In order to work with FPGAs, programmers have to learning HDL or Hardware Description Language in order to create and implement their own logic blocks.

Microprocessors are simplified CPUs, or Central Processing Units, that execute specific fixed instructions. And each of these instructions has its own corresponding block already hardwired into the microprocessor, making it the more complex between the two. In order to work with microprocessors and create the appropriate working program, programmers need to learn each of the fixed set of instructions.

However, recent developments in technology and demands for efficiency have led to the combination of FPGAs and microprocessors into a neat little package. This gives users the best of both worlds. While the microprocessor can do most of the actual processing and general tasks, it can pass the specific and unique tasks to the FPGA. However, if you really wanted to, improvements in electronics make it so that you can use a microprocessor and make it do the work of an FPGA and you can make an FPGA do the work of a single logic gate. So, when it really comes down to it, you can make do with either.

ASAP Semiconductor is a premier online distributor of aerospace and aviation parts, board level components, and IT hardware. We can help you find everything need, including FPGAs and microprocessors, new or obsolete and hard-to-find. For more information or a quote, visit us at, or call us at +1-714-705-4780.

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Memory cards are used every day to suffice all our electronic devices such as cameras, cell phones, and so much more. The most common form of memory is Flash memory because it is non-volatile meaning it can be removed from the device without losing data and reused by overwriting and erasing the data. We will be talking about all the different forms of memory cards and the capabilities.

Memory cards vary in price and the price mainly differs on the capacity of the memory and compatibility. There are numerous forms of memory however now it appears memory cards become smaller and smaller as our devices become slimmer. However, due to everything relying on technology the memory capacity continues to grow. 

As mentioned prior memory cards are mainly used to serve small electronic devices so here we will rundown on a variety of memory cards and some of their special features. We will begin with, Compact Flash (CF) this was invented to support 3.3V and 5V operation and is capable to be used intermingled. This form of memory is still the most popular because it supports professional devices as we see social media grow more and more the demand for this continues. Secure Digital Card (SD Card), are in many small portable devices such as cameras and cell phones. Mini SD Card and MicroSD were created mainly for mobile devices, as our phones become slimmer the SD cards need to become smaller as well.

Although memory cards have not been around for too long the evolution of memory cards have progressed quickly. The Smart Media is slightly different from the rest mentioned above because of it obsolete. However, it is often still in demand by consumers who own those devices which require the smart media. It is also interesting to see memory cards which are made exclusively for certain devices which means it limits the market. One that falls under this is the x-D Picture Card is specialized to be used for digital cameras established by Fujifilm and Olympus.

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Cliff Electronics has successfully created a range of XLR panel analogue connectors which are highly functional industry standard connectors. Their new model of mono and stereo jack will create a larger pool of consumers to be able to operate with. The XLR panel connectors are traditionally the three pinned analogue connectors which are mainly used for professional audio use. However, now there are many different pin variations which allow for numerous applications. The different patterned pins are specific to applications such as lighting, intercom, and more.

The variations of usage include audio, broadcast and even in the medical field. The dependability and security it features allow it to become a very sustainably and on demand component to many industries. The industry standard ¼ jack sockets are now available in the mono jack form which is 3.5 mm and the stereo jack which is the 6.35 mm. The mono jack has a a + lead and a shield, and the stereo jack has 2 + leads and a shield. This helps with getting different signals depending on the application.

The TP6 single terminal binding is offered in red and black to being used for a high current operation of up to 30A. It also features incorporated top and cross-connecting holes which are 4 mm in diameter. The Cliff terminal binding and jack sockets are compatible with a 3.5 mm countersunk mounting or 2.5 mm plain hole. The variations in Cliff’s XLR configuration allows for variation in integrating all types of mediums such as video and digital broadcasting into applications.

ASAP Semi, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, should always be your first and only stop for all your analogue connectors and jack socket parts. ASAP Semi is the premier supplier of electronic components, whether new, old or hard to find, they can help you locate it. ASAP Semi has a wide selection of analogue connectors to choose from and is fully equipped with a friendly staff, so you can always find what you’re looking for, at all hours of the day. If you’re interested in obtaining a quote, contact the sales department at or call +1-714-705-4780

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In recent news, TE Connectivity, a global manufacturer that specializes in making products for harsh environment, came out with their newest relay product design. This relay is built to their company standards with an outer-covering that manages harsh lamp and motor loads.

Relays are switches that close and open electronically or electromechanically. Relays are managed when an electrical circuit opens and closes by the contact of another circuit. Relays are used when there is a need to manage a low-powered signal or only one signal. For example, relays were used for early computers and telephones. If you need something that requires higher power like electric motors, you will want to investigate getting a contactor instead of a relay.

These new relays were created for marine, defense, and aerospace applications. As a result, they were built for tough power switching and can handle large loads with a restrictive 35A/28Vdc load rate.

The TE Connectivity’s CII FC-335 series relays were created to meet MIL-PRF-6106 military standards. This means relays with this specification have the environmental and electrical requirements to be mounted on the structure of a missile, ship, aircraft, and other vehicles, directly. These requirements are needed to be able to use guidance and navigation systems, ground support equipment, power distribution, weapons systems, and fuel pumps.

Since relays both have a bundle across two contract pairs, they are made with double built contacts. This allows the relays a stable performance as well as less wear and tear.

Fun Facts:

  • Solder-sealed relays are said to be less stable than all-welded construction.
  • You can get these relays in terminal block configurations, 28Vdc coil configurations, solder hook configurations, and 115Vac coil configurations.
  • Relay Coils need a lot less current than most accessories.
  • A relay can act as multiple switches. That way you can deal with the complications of all the wiring where the relay is at instead of the having to deal with those devices from their specific locations.
  • Certain relays can be used to deal with radio frequencies, which makes the relay a form of an amplifier.

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What are you going to do when it’s the dead of winter, and your power goes out? That electric fireplace is now useless as you try to scramble around the house to find enough blankets to keep everyone warm. What if you’re a principal of a school? The power goes out, so you must send all the kids home. As a result, you are losing a whole day of school and getting everyone behind. Instead of letting the weather or unfortunate events ruin your day try one of these new systems!

Power Supplies:

There are solutions to all these problems. Invest in a continual power system. Continual Power systems are equipment that gives emergency energy to a load when the main power source stops working.

In recent news, power supply interfacing BLOCK specialists came out with two new uninterruptible power supply units. The units, 24V/40A are DC input UPS that are made to provide reliable availability of safety in case of power failure. These power supplies can use capacitive energy storage or battery-power. The battery-powered UPS backs a diverse amount of different battery technologies which allows for total backup in case power failure. If there is a desired back up time, you can add extra battery packs.

Ultracapacitors are used in UPS units for effective and fast-moving coverage with only a minute lead time. Ultracapacitors are designed to operate like a capacitor and a battery. An ultracapacitor has the energy of a battery, but it does not run out or wear down as a battery does. Putting in extra batteries do not require maintenance since the ultracapacitors are built for a higher power density.

Maintenance costs on ultracapacitors are low since they have internal controls that monitor the temperature within the battery management system. They even have features that allow communication between the whole system and the requirements of Industry 4.0

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stepper motor

A stepper motor is an electromechanical device that can convert electrical power into mechanical power. Stepper Motors are brushless and synchronous electrical motors that can split up a full rotation into a multiple number of steps. The position of the motor can be managed accurately without any feedback mechanism if the motor is attentively sized to the application. The theory of operation is used by the stepper motor. This theory makes the shaft of the motor turn an accurate distance when a pulse of electricity is supplied.

There are three main type of stepper motors: permanent magnet stepper, hybrid synchronous stepper, and variable reluctance stepper. Like its name, a permanent magnet stepper uses a permanent magnet in the rotor and operates on either the attraction or repulsion in the middle of the rotor permanent magnet and the stator electromagnets. The variable reluctance stepper involve a plain iron motor and runs on the idea that minimum reluctance takes place with minimum gap, thus the rotor points are captivated toward the stator magnet poles. The hybrid synchronous stepper, like its name, uses a mixture of permanent magnet and variable reluctance techniques to reach maximum power in a compact package size.

There are many advantages of stepper motors. These motors possess full torque even at standstill, are very reliable because no contact bushes are present in the motor (thus the lifespan of the motor is solely dependent on the life of the bearing), and the motor responds to digital input pulses, which provides open loop control which makes the motor easier and cheaper to control. The motor is also able to reach a low speed rotation that is synchronous along with a load that is coupled to the shaft.

Stepper motors also have different applications. They can be used in automotive gauges as well as machine tooling equipment’s. Surveillance equipment use stepper motors and they can also be used in the medical field for medical scanners and samplers and can also be found inside fluid pumps and respirators. Lastly, stepper motors can be used inside cameras for automatic focus and zoom functions.

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