Transistor Amplifiers Explained

So the modern computing age that we all know and enjoy is pretty much all thanks to the development of the transistor by Bell Labs. The semiconductor enabled this technology to take off and it’s only been on the up and up ever since. Transistors are the backbone of electronics and are found inside every electronic device, from discrete components to the billions that are crammed into your computer. But for a lot of makers, transistors can be quite tricky, and using them in projects and circuits often seems daunting. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Essentially, a transistor is an electronic switch where you can use an electronic signal to control another. This allows them to be used to create audio amplifiers among many other uses, however getting an understanding on exactly how these devices can be used to amplify signals often eludes makers and DIY enthusiasts. Many of you might have heard of, or seen audio amplifiers labeled as Class A, Class B, Class C, Class AB etc. and wondered what it actually means. Well, fortunately, the wonderful YouTuber Allan (known as W2AEW) has created a great video on how transistors work and how the different operating modes in amplifiers affects the ‘class’ of the amplifier.

I’m the first to admit that you have to be a certain type of person to find these type of videos engaging, but it’s an incredibly valuable lesson on understanding more about the components that make our world tick.

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