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Electronic workshorse - commpn components

Electronic Workhorses – Electronic Components

Electronic Components –  Real Workhorses and Gems

Through the years there have been a number of electronic devices that have been used and abused in circuit making – hopefully some of the ones mentioned in our article will bring back fond memories. In the likelihood of some frustrated reader wanting to add in his or her own tirade under the comments section this list is by no means exhaustive – it’s from my own experiences working on consumer products through the years with one exception, the 555 timer chip which I have added because of the manufactured quantity each year. I did not find them that common in repair work but certainly if there is anyone out there whom hasn’t heard of this chip I’d love to hear about it. We exclude micro-controllers in this article as I felt they deserved a niche chapter in Parts-Ring.

Electronic Components - Replica of First Transistor
Replica of First Transistor – Bell Labs – Source:

The EL84/6BQ5 – wiki

Electronic Components - pentode EL84
EL84 – Mullard original, Made in Russia

If you had the fortunate experience of being around in the 60’s what amplifier did not feature one of these great old pentode tubes. In class A 6W or push pull 15W these rugged devices would have been found in radio grams, your first project and even some high end audio. Valves had and still do have a place in modern electronic design. The original came from Philips.



There wasn’t a push pull amplifier around that did not use the ECC83 – this was a dual pentode (Ed – wrong, this was a dual triode)  which was used to drive the in-phase and out-of-phase signals to the two EL84s. Or used as a straightforward voltage amplifier. Also commonly sold as the 12AX7.

EL34  – wiki

I always looked at the EL34 as being the big brother to the EL84, delivering 20W in class A and 35W in push pull. Again one would use the ECC83 as a phase splitter. Simple, minimum components and robust. The EL34 was mainly used in the higher powered equipment for band use. A 35W amplifier would be classified as mediocre in modern times but who cares.

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