Look at this big capacitor. Just look at it!

Look at this beast! It’s a dual run capacitor for a central air conditioning condenser unit…this starts the compressor motor and keeps it turning. “Dual run” means it’s really two capacitors in a single package, with three terminals. The size of a soda can, this one’s rated 40 and 5 microfarads at 440 volts. Let’s call it the Widowmaker.

Widowmaker replaces this old cap that was shot and puffy. It’s a $15 part, versus the A/C repair guy who wants to upsell everything. The how-to instructions were free on YouTube, where there’s no shortage of well-meaning but not-always-safe advice. For example: most were discharging these caps with a screwdriver, when you really should use a large power resistor! This is in addition to all the other safety precautions one should take when dealing with house wiring, like the One Hand Rule and Assume Everything Wants to Kill You.

When going the D.I.Y. route, always go a bit further and find safe and trusted sources, take the extra steps. Especially with something like Widowmaker here.

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 32,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org

Maker Business — Foxconn executive discusses the dramatically scaled back project in Wisconsin

Wearables — Flex your mind, flex your circuit board

Electronics — Damp Sponge vs Drenched Sponge

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: New CircuitPython and MicroPython Minor Updates and More! #Python #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — eInk Postcard, VR Spectrum Instrumentation, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week 6/28/22 USB/DC/Solar LiPo Charger bq24074 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

1 Comment

  1. I remember at TMRC (Tech Model Railroad Club at MIT) we had some 160,000 uf capacitors. In fact we had six, mounted in a wooden box and wired in parallel. We referred to the box as our One Farad capacitor (not exact, but within 5% tolerance). I think it was rated for a lower voltage, but still quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. The One Farad capacitor was used for several minor hacks while I was there.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.