Basic circuits question

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In summary, "ground" can refer to two types of nodes in a circuit - "circuit ground" and "earth ground". The concept of signal ground can be confusing as it can be any node in the circuit and it is usually connected to the chassis and then to "earth ground" through the power supply. Ground serves as the 0 volt point and helps define voltages as relative to it. However, different types of grounds can have different constructions, purposes, and effects on the circuit's operation.
  • #1

When connecting a circuit what does it mean when someone refers to the "ground'. Like for example, when someone says, "ok, we are connected to ground". You know? That is the sort of thing I am talking about.
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  • #2
There are two kinds of ground. "Circuit ground" which is just a local reference that is taken to be zero volts, and "Earth ground" which IS zero volts and is literally connected to the Earth.
  • #3
One of the things that drives students crazy is the concept of signal ground. It literally can be any node in the circuit at all because the concept of voltage only makes sense as a measurement BETWEEN two nodes.

In practice, the "ground" node is usually always eventually connected to the chassis of the equipment you're using. Then it is connected finally to "earth ground" as phinds mentioned through the power supply.
  • #4
Ground just means the 0 volt point. For example, in a single positive supply system, the power supply connects between +V and ground. Everything gets current from +V and returns it through ground.
  • #5
Also - voltages are all relative - so the ground helps define "relative to what?" However grounding is its own specialty - and complex systems can have multiple grounds, for each type of circuit - confusing yes, so calling something "ground" without context (chassis, signal, DC supply, AC supply, RF - etc) - is almost meaningless - they each fundamentally mean the same thing - but how they are constructed, best practices as well as their purpose and effect on the operation of the circuit can be quite different.

1. What is a basic electrical circuit?

A basic electrical circuit is a pathway that allows electricity to flow from a power source, such as a battery, to a load, such as a light bulb. It consists of three main components: a power source, a conductive path, and a load.

2. How does a basic circuit work?

A basic circuit works by using the flow of electrons to power a device. When the circuit is closed, the power source provides the necessary energy for the electrons to flow through the conductive path and reach the load, which converts the electrical energy into another form, such as light or heat.

3. What are the types of basic circuits?

The two main types of basic circuits are series circuits and parallel circuits. In a series circuit, all components are connected in a single loop, while in a parallel circuit, the components are connected in multiple branches.

4. How do you calculate the voltage, current, and resistance in a basic circuit?

To calculate the voltage in a basic circuit, you can use Ohm's law, which states that voltage (V) is equal to the product of current (I) and resistance (R). In other words, V = I x R. The current can be calculated by dividing the voltage by the resistance, and the resistance can be calculated by dividing the voltage by the current.

5. What are some common components found in a basic circuit?

Some common components found in a basic circuit include resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, and transistors. These components are used to control the flow of electricity and can change the behavior of a circuit, such as regulating the voltage or amplifying the current.

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