Hi All,

I am preparing for Build a Pico “Uno” – Prototyping with the Pico

I ordered some nice little prototyping boards, have my Picos on order (max 3 per customer), and am gathering the other components.

I've had a beginning electronics kit for several years, and I have just one 47 nF ceramic capacitor. The kit came with a handy cheat sheet that says .047 uF is code 473. This is how I knew which one to choose out of the pile.

So I want to order some more capacitors. My question is: the little "473" printed on the capacitor means 47 nF - is that an industry standard? Or is it just one manufacturer coding them this way? Thanks!

One last question. Like with LEDs and resistors, if I didn't have a 47 nF, could I use a capacitor one value up or one value down?

In theory, theory and practice are the same.

In practice, they're different.

I've had a beginning electronics kit for several years, and I have just one 47 nF ceramic capacitor. The kit came with a handy cheat sheet that says .047 uF is code 473. This is how I knew which one to choose out of the pile.

So I want to order some more capacitors. My question is: the little "473" printed on the capacitor means 47 nF - is that an industry standard? Or is it just one manufacturer coding them this way? Thanks!

The 473 indicates 47 x 1000 (10 to the power 3) and represents the number of picoFarads. This is like the colour bands on resistors where the first two bands represent the digits and the third ban represents the exponent of ten. The last resistor band indicates the tolerance which is not represented on the caps.

You'll find that surface mount values are the same way, so a 105 resistor is 1 meg (1 followed by one zero followed by 5 zeros).

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you want.

@will - Got it, thanks. Number of picoFarads plus some number of zeros. A formula I can remember is much better than an arbitrary lookup. 😎

In theory, theory and practice are the same.

In practice, they're different.