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Capacitor Conversion?

Started by PaxWorks, July 29, 2011, 05:39:53 PM

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Ok so I am still trying to understand the whole conversion concept for capacitors. You know uf to nf etc. I'm lookinng at the conversion chart here I'm trying to find 10uf, I don't see ithere. Is there another conversion I need to do?

Does anybody have a simple method I could use to convert caps?


10uF is fairly large value, so it's not typically written in smaller units. If you wanted to do it, you just need to move the decimal point over 3 times to write it in nF, and another 3 (6 total) to write it in pF.


that's quite a lot of zeros, so you can see why uF are preferred in this case.

very occasionally, you may see it written in mF, which is a larger unit than uF, 0.01mF. Be careful if you're ever browsing smallbear, they incorrectly write uF as mF for some reason.


Thanks! I have a hard time trying to find caps on small bears website.

So would 10uf be listed as 10mf? 


Quote from: PaxWorks on July 29, 2011, 07:26:41 PM
Thanks! I have a hard time trying to find caps on small bears website.

So would 10uf be listed as 10mf? 

At the Smallbear website, yes. The 'm' usually means 'milli' but when it comes to capacitors, it's uncommon to see milliFarads so in our application would mean microFarads (which should be the letter 'mu')

God bless!


Micro = Greek character mu, which looks like this: μ, but is a pain to type.  That's why, by convention, everyone (except Smallbear) uses the lowercase u.


1000pf = 1nf
1000nf = 1uF

That's always helpful as well. I prefer 3nF to 0.003uF personally. The decimals can get all complicated, so I try hard to just use nf designations.

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Ok  so currently trying to get together the parts for a serendipity build. Are these the right Caps from smallbear?

C1                     0.47mf
C2                     100pf
C3                     0.1mf
C4                     3300pf
C5                     0.47mf
C6                     100mf
C7                     47mf

The mf thing is still confusing.


Use a poly film for c4 .0033 mF

Also remember with those electrolytics, they are only rated to 16v.  Just an FYI if you ever wanted to run the pedal at 18v you'd be above their rated spec.


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Thanks! Should I go with polyfilm?


Sorry, I don't really understand the question.  If you're referring to using poly rather than electrolytic caps.  The answer is no.  You can source out higher volt rated caps other places if needed.  I don't usually power drives at 18v but I like knowing I long as everything else is rated accordingly.

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Here's an excellent conversion table for capacitors --- I printed it out and posted it above my workbench for quick reference.
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