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12.2 Checking other components


Many other components may be tested using this instrument. Base rule is: if component is intended to conduct electricity, sound will be heard. This is the case with resistors, coils, transformers, fuses, closed switches. If component doesn’t conduct electricity, like capacitors, or open switches, or two copper wires on the circuit board which shouldn’t be connected, then music would have not been heard.

When testing different resistors, it is apparent that different resistance values give different output sound. So with some experience using this instrument on various resistors it will be possible to tell the resistance of the resistor in question from only the generated sound. This may be easier and more accurately done using regular ohmmeter on your multimeter, but your nerd level will certainly rise sky high if you are able to tell resistor’s value from bare sound.
Components which have coils in them, like different electro motors, headphones, speakers, transformers and such conduct electricity, so absence of sound while testing tells of some coil connection failure. With transformers with several secondary coils there is a possibility to find beginning and the end of each of them. And from the sound frequency one is possible to tell which coil is primary and which is secondary.
Functional capacitor will generate no music. An exception are electrolithic and block capacitors, especially the larger ones. Tone generated by connecting these capacitors to the instrument will change in level and frequency and fade until completely off when capacitor is discharged. Length of playing depends on the capacitance of the component, where higher values give longer sound time, which allows for a crude approximation of the component’s capacitance.