Fig. 1 - Various capacitors - how to read correctly |

**μF**), nanofarards (

**nF**), picofarads (

**pF**), tolerance, voltage, and so on.

**1000nF**(

*eg*with aluminum or tantalum electrolytics), they mostly write the value on the body followed by the abbreviation for microfarad (

**μF**).

**1μF**(

*1 microfarad*), the issue is not so clear.

**μ**). Which is a prefix of the International System of Units denoting a factor of

**10**−6 (one millionth).

*, the prefix comes from the Greek;*

**1960***(transliterated:*

**μικρός***mikros*), meaning small. Followed by the capital letter

**F**.

**Greek symbols**available on our keyboard, so to prevent this symbol from being wrongly transcribed, we substitute it for the lowercase letter "

**u**", although we mustn't forget that we're always talking about the letter. "

**μ**" (

*micro*).

**Ω**(

*ohm*) that is sometimes replaced by the letter "

**R**" or, in some other cases nothing is written.

**1 microfarad**, the universe of capacitors used in electronics consists of capacitors with values ranging from a few

**pF**or picofarad (

*ceramic or disk capacitors look like lentils*) to those close to 1 microfarad or

**1μF**(

*multi-layer polyester*).

*for whoever forgot*" the subject of submultiples.

## Submultiples

A **pF** (*picofarad*) is the smallest submultiple that exists to "*practically*" indicate capacity. I say practical because there are still smaller submultiples, **SI Prefixes** (*International System of Units*)

(*deci, centi, milli, micro, nano, pico, femto, atto, zepto and yocto*), but they are not used in electronics. **1** picofarad is** 1,000,000** (*1 million*) times less than **1 microfarad** (*μF*).

Halfway between * picofarad* and

*there is another sub-multiple called*

**microfarad***widely used and it is*

**nanofarad****1000 times**larger than

**and**

*1 picofarad***1000 times**smaller than

**.**

*1 microfarad*## Typical Capacitor Values

For capacitors facing between** 1pF** to** 1μF **(almost all capacitors except for electrolytic), reference values are indicated with a three-digit number followed by a letter.

The first two digits indicate the starting number, while the third digit represents the number of zeros that must be added to the starting number to get the ending value.

The result obtained is necessary to consider it in picofarad.

## Examples of encodings

Let's use it as an example; * 4 types of captions written on the capacitors*, as shown in

*below.*

**Figure 3***, we can see in the description only a set of three numbers "*

**Figure 2****104**", which representing the capacitance in

**Picofarad reading**.

Figure 2 - Capacitor with only capacitance captions |

**104** - Which is its capacitance in pF, and without any further information.

**, we can see in the description the set of 3 numbers "**

*Figure 3***400**" which representing the

**working voltage**, followed by the letter "

**V**", which is the

**working voltage indication**, and the set of three numbers below "

**104**", which represents the reading in Picofarad.

Figure 3 - Capacitor with voltage and capacitance value captions |

**400V**- Which is the working voltage.

**104** - What is its value in pF

The capacitor in** Figure 4**, we can see in the description the set of 3 numbers "

**104**", which represents the

**reading in Picofarad**, followed by the letter "

**J**",

**representing Tolerance**, and the set of three numbers "

**250**" represent the

**working voltage**followed by the letter "

**V**", which is the working voltage indication.

Figure 4 - Capacitor with capacitance, tolerance, voltage captions |

**104**- What is your capacitance in pF

**J** - It's the tolerance

**250V** - Is the working voltage.

**, we can see that in the description it starts with a number and a letter "**

*Figure 5***2A**" which represents the value of the

**maximum working voltage,**then the set of 3 numbers "

**104**", which represents the reading in Picofarad, followed by the letter "

**J**" representing Tolerance.

Figure 5 - Capacitor with maximum voltage, capacitance, tolerance |

**2A**- Which is the value of your maximum voltage

**104** - What is your capacitance in pF

**J** - It's your tolerance

## Let's Practice:

*", just as we take resistor readings, the third capacitor digit is also the multiplier, which means it would be:*

**472****47 + 2 zeros**, which means

**4700 pF**(

*picofarad*).

**1000 picofarad**, we can use

**Sub-multiples**, "

*like we do with meters/kilometers*". As already clarified above that:

**1μF**= 1000

**nF**

**1nF**= 1000

**pF**

**4700pF**capacitor is

**4.7nF**.

**0.0047μF**).

**104**, that is,

**10 + 4 = 100,000 pF**or also

**100nF**, it is common for manufacturers to use the nomenclatures written on the capacitor body

**0.1μF**or

**.1μf**(

*point one μF*) .

## Practical reading of the Polyester Capacitor

**100nF**Capacitor, tolerance of

**± 5%**and maximum working voltage of

**100V**,

**above.**

*Figure 5***6**alphanumeric digits,

**2A104J**.

- The first two initial
**2A**digits refer to**Maximum Voltage**, we can use the complete**EIA**table codes that indicate the maximum capacitors work voltages in direct voltage (**DC**).

**EIA Table of Code Indicators of Working Voltages of a Capacitor**

0G = 4VDC | 0L = 5.5VDC | 0J = 6.3VDC |

1A = 10VDC | 1C = 16VDC | 1E = 25VDC |

1H = 50VDC | 1J = 63VDC | 1K = 80VDC |

2A = 100VDC | 2Q = 110VDC | 2B = 125VDC |

2C = 160VDC | 2Z = 180VDC | 2D = 200VDC |

2P = 220VDC | 2E = 250VDC | 2F = 315VDC |

2V = 350VDC | 2G = 400VDC | 2W = 450VDC |

2H = 500VDC | 2J = 630VDC | 3A = 1000VDC |

- The next three digits refer to its capacitance, in the case as already exemplified
**104 = 10 + 4**zeros, which is equal to**100,000pF = 100nF**. - The last digit is the Letter "
**J**", right after the three digits, determines the tolerance of the component.

It is interesting to note the fact that some letters correspond to "", such as "**asymmetric tolerances****P**", that is, the component may have a capacity greater than indicated, but not less.

This type of tolerance is used with "" capacitors, where a value possibly higher than indicated does not minimize circuit operation, as we can see in the**filter****EIA**table below.

## EIA Table of Code Working Tolerance Indicators of a Capacitor

- B =
**±**0.10pF - C =
**±**0.25pF - D =
**±**0.5pF - E =
**±**0.5% - F =
**±**1% - G =
**±**2% - H =
**±**3% - J =
**±**5% - K =
**±**10% - M =
**±**20% - N =
**±**30% - P =
**±**+100%, - 0% - Z =
**±**+80%, - 20%

**too high**, there is a risk that an electrical arc will pass through the electrical insulation between the plates, breaking it and shorting the capacitor.

**maximum voltage level**, so let's look at these capacitor voltages.

## Dimensions of a Voltage-Based Capacitor

**50V**and

**100V**, well above the typical working voltages of

**5V**,

**12V**,

**18V**,

**24V**,

**48V**.

*size is important*", as we cannot work with the structure of a capacitor.

**tantalum capacitors**are altogether quite small compared to their capacitance, but as I said, "

*compared to their capacitance, not their voltage*".

If you have any questions, suggestions or corrections, please leave them in the comments and we will answer them soon.

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