Capacitor Circuit Symbols

Circuit symbols for the various forms of capacitor: polarised or polar; non-polarised or non polar; variable, etc.

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Like resistors, capacitors are also widely used. Not only do capacitors serve as coupling elements within circuits, or form the resonant element on an oscillator or filter, etc, but possibly capacitors are most widely used for decoupling.

Capacitors are normally placed at regular intervals on the power lines on printed circuits boards, PCBs to ensure that the power rails remain clean and free from spikes and other unwanted signals.When designing printed circuit board, PCB it is normally good practice to include decoupling capacitors are regular intervals on the PCB.

In view of all these uses, capacitors of all types are used within circuit diagrams or schematics and capacitor circuit symbols are seen on virtually all circuit diagrams.

There are several different types of capacitor circuit symbols that are seen and can be used.

Capacitor circuit symbols
Capacitor Type Circuit Symbol
Fixed capacitor (non polarised) Fixed non-polarised capacitor circuit symbol
Variable capacitor (operator adjustable) Variable operator adjustable capacitor circuit symbol
Variable capacitor (preset) Preset variable capacitor circuit symbol
Capacitor polarised
tyically electrolytic or tantalum
(+ sign often omitted)
Polarised capacitor circuit symbol, e.g. electrolytic or tantalum
Capacitor polarised
(USA version)
USA version of polarised capacitor circuit symbol, e.g. electrolytic or tantalum

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