TYPES OF INDUCTORS
Coils, inductors, and chokes are the names used to indicate a coil of wire. “Inductor” is preferred because inductors have inductance, a property that is utilized in many electrical circuits.
The simplest coil or inductor has an air core and is made by winding a wire in a series of loops, which may or may not have a form to hold them in place. Coils are seldom color coded for value, so we look at the schematic or a parts list for the inductance value of a coil. Inductance is the electrical property of a coil, just as resistance is the electrical property of a resistor. Many coils are wound on plastic forms that support the loops of wire. The form has no effect on the operation of the coil. The symbols for air-core coils are shown in Figure 1.
Other types are powdered iron core and iron core. Symbols for these types are shown in Figure 2.
Some circuits need inductors that can have their values changed, some by screwdriver adjustment, and others by changing the core material. Figure 3 shows the symbols for variable inductors. Note the differences for iron-core variable inductors. Iron-core (made of iron or steel) chokes are indicated by two straight lines over the loops. Dashed lines indicate powdered iron cores.
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