Everything you need to know about 104 Capacitor

Everything you need to know about 104 Capacitor


Unlock the mysteries of the 104 capacitor with our comprehensive guide. Learn the essentials of capacitor codes and master the art of decoding the 104 capacitor. Dive into its key specifications and discover a myriad of applications where 104 capacitors shine. Equip yourself with the knowledge to choose the right capacitor for your needs. Whether you're an electronics enthusiast or a seasoned professional, our blog provides the insights you need to make informed decisions. Click to explore everything you need to know about 104 capacitors and elevate your electronic projects!

Introduction to Capacitors

Capacitors are like the unsung heroes of electronics; you might not notice them at first glance but they are everywhere, doing their jobs quietly and unnoticeably.

Think of them like little batteries storing and discharging energy as needed - an indispensable feature that is found in almost every electronic circuit from simple LED projects to complex computer systems requiring power management, filtering signals or filtering signals - capacitors play an essential role!

Let's dive into their world and uncover their fascinating tidbits.

Understanding Capacitor Codes

Imagine this: you're looking at a circuit board, and there's an obscure component with some obscure numbers and letters printed on it, leaving you wondering what they signify.

Welcome to capacitor codes! These cryptic numerical and alphabetic combinations serve as an effective way of condensing lots of data onto a very small space, providing information such as capacitance value, voltage rating tolerance levels and manufacturer. Once mastered it will become second nature.

Three Digit System

Most ceramic capacitors use a three-digit system to denote their capacitance, with significant figures and multiplier as significant digits and multiplier as multiplier respectively.

It acts like a secret formula, showing their value; for instance, "104" stands for 0.1 microfarad capacitor. While it might appear straightforward enough at first glance, let us break this down further to help shed more light.

Decoding the 104 Capacitor

Let's focus in on the 104 capacitor. This ubiquitous component is an essential part of electronics. But why exactly is it unique?

Well, its code "104" belongs to a standard three-digit system for ceramic capacitors; thus the formula for its success. - The first two digits ("10") represent significant figures.

The third digit ("4") serves as multiplier; you multiply this figure by 10,000 to produce your final answer. At first glance, a 104 capacitor may seem simple enough: its capacitance of 100,000 picofarads (pF), or 0.1 microfarads (uF) makes it incredibly versatile in its use within electronic circuitry.

This value makes the 104 capacitor one of the more popular choices available today.

104 Capacitor Specifications

Let's delve deep into what "104" represents when it comes to capacitor coding.

Understanding these specifications is critical if you want to find the ideal capacitor for your project, here is a breakdown:

Capacitance Value

As previously discussed, the 104 code corresponds to a capacitance value of 100,000 pF or 0.1 uF - ideal for applications requiring moderate energy storage capacity and to help smooth out voltage fluctuations.

Voltage Rating

Every capacitor has an upper limit voltage limit before it risks damage, known as its voltage rating. A 104 capacitor's voltage rating can vary between 50V, 100V or even higher - make sure it fits into your circuit requirements to avoid damage!


Tolerance refers to how much actual capacitance can differ from its stated value. A typical 104 capacitor might exhibit tolerances of +-10% or even tighter; lower tolerance values indicate more precise capacitors, making them an essential choice for sensitive applications.

Temperature Coefficient

Capacitors may differ based on temperature. Their temperature coefficient reveals how their capacitance changes with temperature; for instance, some 104 capacitors feature an excellent temperature coefficient X7R rating to indicate they maintain their capacitance throughout a wide temperature range.

Applications of 104 Capacitors

Are You Wondering: Where Could I Use a 104 Capacitor?"

Excellent question! These capacitors can be likened to Swiss Army knives in electronics - with an abundance of uses making them truly multifaceted and reliable.

Filtering and Decoupling

One of the primary uses for 104 capacitors is filtering and decoupling. They help power supplies eliminate noise and smooth out voltage fluctuations to ensure that devices run efficiently; like an amplifier without interference. They act like noise-canceling headphones for your circuit - blocking out unwanted interference that might otherwise hinder its proper function.

Timing Circuits

Timing circuits use capacitors and resistors in concert to produce precise time delays for blinking LEDs or microcontroller circuits. Accurate timing requires accurate capacitors.

Signal Coupling

When it comes to coupling AC signals to DC components while still passing them on in your circuit, capacitors play an essential role. They act like gatekeepers allowing AC signals through but limiting DC contributions from passing.

Resonant Circuits

Resonant circuits use capacitors to tune the circuit to an exact frequency. This feature is especially beneficial in radio frequency (RF) applications where precise frequency control is key.

Choosing the Right Capacitor

Selecting a capacitor for your project may seem like an intimidating challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few tips that will help you select your ideal capacitor:

  • Match the Capacitance Value: Make sure the capacitance value matches your circuit requirements; too high or too low could create an ineffective circuit that does not function as expected.
  • Verify Voltage Rating: Always double-check the voltage rating of capacitors before purchasing them; using one with lower voltage rating than required can lead to its failure and possibly damage your circuit.
  • Keep Tolerance in Mind: For applications requiring precision, capacitors with tight tolerances offer optimal performance. This guarantees that their actual capacitance matches closely the stated value for reliable results.
  • Consider Size: Size matters in compact circuits. Make sure the capacitor fits within its designated space on the board.
  • Determine Temperature Coefficient: To ensure consistent performance at different temperatures, when selecting capacitors for applications that involve variable temperature requirements, ensure they feature temperature coefficients with adequate temperatures. Doing this will guarantee continuous performance regardless of temperature changes.


The humble 104 capacitor is an indispensable part of electronics. From filtering and decoupling, to timing and signal coupling, its versatility and reliability have made it a favorite among engineers and hobbyists alike.

By understanding how to select these capacitors effectively for use in electronic projects efficiently and reliably - so next time you work on one yourself remember the importance of remembering this humble component as part of making electronic designs come alive!

capacitors might seem small, but their role in electronics cannot be understated. From their ability to store and release energy to filter signals and maintaining voltage stability - capacitors truly have it all!

As you explore more electronics, keep an eye out for these tiny components to appreciate their big roles - whether you are an experienced engineer or beginner enthusiast; mastering capacitor use will increase both your knowledge and skill in crafting complex electronic circuits.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the number 104 on a ceramic capacitor?

The number 104 on a ceramic capacitor is like a secret code that reveals its capacitance. In this case, 104 means 10 followed by 4 zeros, which equals 100,000 picofarads or 0.1 microfarads. So, when you spot 104 on a ceramic capacitor, it's a quick way of saying it has a capacitance of 0.1 microfarads.

2. What is the tolerance of a 104 capacitor?

The tolerance of a 104 capacitor is typically ±10%

3. What is the difference between 103 and 104 capacitor?

A 103 capacitor and a 104 capacitor are both ceramic capacitors. However, they have different capacitance values. A 103 capacitor has a capacitance of 10 nanofarads (nF). This means it can store a small amount of electrical charge. In contrast, a 104 capacitor has a capacitance of 100 nanofarads (nF). This is 10 times larger than the 103 capacitor. The main difference is the capacitance value. 

A 103 capacitor has a capacitance of 10 nF, while a 104 capacitor has a capacitance of 100 nF. The 104 capacitor can store 10 times more electrical charge than a 103 capacitor. Another difference is the physical size. The 104 is physically larger than a 103 to accommodate the higher capacitance. The specific application will determine which capacitor is more suitable to use in an electronic circuit.

4. Can I replace the 104 capacitor with a 101?

When it comes to capacitors, the numbers on them indicate their capacitance value. For example, a 104 capacitor has a value of 0.1 microfarads (μF), while a 101 capacitor is 100 picofarads (pF). The difference is significant: 104 = 0.1 μF 101 = 100 pF So, a 104 capacitor is much larger in value compared to a 101. It's like comparing 1000 to 1. Swapping a 0.1 μF capacitor (104) with a 100 pF one (101) can mess up how the circuit works. The circuit was designed for the 0.1 μF capacitor, so using a 100 pF one can cause issues. To replace a 104 capacitor correctly, you should pick one with a similar value, like a 103 (0.01 μF) or 105 (1 μF). The 220 capacitor you mentioned is too big for this purpose. 

While you can physically switch a 104 for a 101, it's not recommended because the values are quite different. Stick to a capacitor with a close value to keep your circuit running smoothly!

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