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Valve Radio and Audio Repair Handbook by CHAS MILLER

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Chapter 4

What you need to know about condensers

Condensers of various types are the other main components to be found in vintage radio sets. In essence a condenser consists of two metal plates in close proximity but separated by an insulator (usually called the dielectric) which might be air, paper, mica or some other material. If a battery is connected across the plates of a condenser the EMF of the former tries its best to move electrons around but is frustrated by the insulation between the plates. After a small initial movement lasting only a fraction of a second the electrons build up on the plates; at one time this was thought to emulate the action of water vapour condensing on a cool surface, hence the name condenser. According to the capacity ...

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