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Electrical And Wiring Guide - Keeping The Magic Smoke Inside
You don’t have to be scared of wiring or electrical work with a little knowledge
Electrical DictionaryIf you’re going to walk the walk you need to be able to talk the talk, and that means knowing the difference between a diode and a resistor, and where and when you need to use them. So bone up on these electrical terms and be ready for that pop quiz!
AWG (American Wire Gauge): An industry standard specification for wire size, the larger the number the smaller the diameter of the wire.
Battery: A multi-cell electrical storage device used as a source of power.
Circuit Breaker: A resettable switch that disengages in the event of excessive electrical amperage (they can be manually or automatically reset).
Current: The flow of electricity through a conductor (circuit, wire, and so on).
Diode: A semiconductor that allows current flow only in one direction.
DMM/DVOM (Digital Multimeter/Digital Volt/Ohm Meter): An electronic tool that measures several electrical ranges in one tool, including AC and DC voltage, current, and resistance.
Fuse: A device that interrupts the flow of current through a circuit if the amperage exceeds the rating of the fuse.
Fusible Link: Similar to a fuse, the fusible link is a section of wire four AWG sizes smaller than the wire circuit it protects, melting “open” in the case of excessive current.
Open Circuit: A wiring circuit that is incomplete, usually a broken or disconnected wire.
Parallel Circuit: A circuit where all connections are parallel to each other. Dash illumination is an example of a parallel circuit.
Relay: A device that uses one circuit to turn off or on another circuit, usually of a higher amperage.
Resistance: The opposition of electrical current flow through a circuit or wire, measured in ohms.
Resistor: An electrical component that limits/regulates the current flow through a circuit.
Series Circuit: A circuit where the electrical connections are wired end-to-end. Early Christmas tree lights are an example of series wiring.
Short Circuit: A condition where a wiring circuit has no resistance, typically a short is a wire carrying voltage touching ground, causing an alternative voltage path.
SPDT (Single Pole/Double Throw): A type of switch that connects a common pole to either of two contacts.
SPST (Single Pole/Single Throw): A type of switch that connects a common pole to one contact that can be turned off or on.
Voltage: The measurement of potential electrical energy to move electrons from one point to another.