What are trimmer capacitors? Trimmer capacitors are variable capacitors which serve the purpose of initial calibration of equipment during manufacturing or servicing. They are not intended for end-user interaction. Trimmer capacitors are almost always mounted directly on the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), so the user does not have access to them, and set during manufacturing using a small screwdriver. Due to their nature, trimmer capacitors are cheaper than full sized variable capacitors and rated for many fewer adjustments. Trimmer capacitors are used to initially set oscillator frequency values, latencies, rise and fall times and other variables in a circuit. Should the values drift over time, these trimmer capacitors allow repairmen to re-calibrate equipment when needed. There are two types of trimmer capacitors: air trimmer capacitor and ceramic trimmer capacitor. Trimmer capacitor definition A trimmer capacitor is a variable capacitor used for initial calibration and recalibration of equipment. It is commonly mounted directly on a PCB and accessed only by professional repairmen, not the end-user. Characteristics Voltage rating, capacitance range, polarity Trimmer capacitors can be rated for voltages up to 300 volts, although voltage ratings of up to 100 volts are much more common. Since trim caps are variable capacitors, they come in a capacitance range rather than a single capacitance value. The minimum capacitance is usually between 0.5 pF and 10 pF, while the maximum capacitance is usually between 1 pF and 120 pF. The actual capacitance value can be varied between the minimum and maximum capacitance values for a given trimmer capacitor, but it can never be set to zero. It is worth noting that trimmer capacitors are not polarized. Tolerances and accuracy Trimmer capacitors do not boast a good capacitance value tolerance. Sometimes, the tolerances can be as high as -0 to +100%. This means that a trimmer...
What are mica capacitors? Mica is a group of natural minerals. Silver mica capacitors are capacitors which use mica as the dielectric. There are two types of mica capacitors: clamped mica capacitors and silver mica capacitors. Clamped mica capacitors are now considered obsolete due to their inferior characteristics. Silver mica capacitors are used instead. They are made by sandwiching mica sheets coated with metal on both sides. This assembly is then encased in epoxy in order to protect it from the environment. Mica capacitors are generally used when the design calls for stable, reliable capacitors of relatively small values. They are low-loss capacitors, which allow them to be used at high frequencies, and their value does not change much over time. Mica minerals are very stable electrically, chemically and mechanically. Because of its specific crystalline structure binding, it has a typical layered structure. This makes it possible to manufacture thin sheets in the order of 0.025-0.125 mm. The most commonly used are muscovite and phlogopite mica. The first has better electrical properties, while the second has a higher temperature resistance. Mica is delved in India, Central Africa and South America. The high variation in raw material composition leads to high cost needed for inspection and sorting. Mica doesn’t react with most acids, water, oil and solvents. Mica capacitor definition Silver mica capacitors use mica as the dielectric. They have great high-frequency properties due to low resistive and inductive losses, and are very stable over time. Characteristics Precision and tolerances The minimum tolerance for silver mica capacitor values can be as low as ±1%. This is much better than practically all other types of capacitors. In comparison, certain ceramic capacitors can have tolerances of up to ±20%. Stability Mica capacitors are very stable and very accurate. Their capacitance changes little over...