2818: Circuit Symbols
Title text: A circle with an A in it means that the circuit has committed a sin and has been marked as punishment.
| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a LOT of trolley problems in between overpasses built on top of pogo sticks, experiencing a couple of earthquakes. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
This comic contains several symbols used in circuit diagrams. Each is labeled with a larger object that the symbol looks like a drawing of, rather than the electrical component it actually represents. Randall has previously depicted distorted uses, depictions, and labelling of the standard US-form electronic symbols in comics such as 730: Circuit Diagram.
|Switch||Drawbridge||The symbol represents a physical on/off switch in a circuit, but also resembles a drawbridge. A switch functions the exact same as a drawbridge, impeding electrons' flow when it is open. The purpose of a drawbridge is to allow people to cross who are impeded when the bridge is raised.|
|Capacitor||Overpass||A capacitor is a component that can be used to hold electric charge, but the symbol for it looks a bit like a depiction of a highway overpass, where one road or track passes over another, allowing the paths to cross without intersecting. The distinction between an overpass and underpass is largely one of perspective, as when one road (or footpath, or animal migration route) goes over, the other is going under. Because a capacitor does not indicate a place of intersection of separate electrical circuits, any interpretation of a meaningful connection between an overpass and a capacitor is is tenuous at best. A capacitor is an electrical component that alternating current can get across, but direct current can't. This could be like how heavy trucks are not allowed on overpasses. However, this still only involves one electrical pathway.|
|Ground||Pogo Stick||This symbol represents a connection to "ground" or "earth", the common baseline voltage or safe current sink for various circuits (e.g., against which an aerial signal can be compared). If the horizontal lines are taken as motion lines or a spring, it might look like a stylised pogo stick.|
|Resistor (ANSI)||Earthquake||A resistor is a component that reduces current flow in a circuit. There are two main symbols used: an IEC-style 'box' or, like here, the ANSI zig-zagged line. In this case, it also looks somewhat like the marks an earthquake makes on a seismograph and/or the 'rucks' of the ground (especially asphalt roads) that might result from underlying tectonic movements.|
|Inductor||Sheep||Inductors create a magnetic field when current passes through them, and generally consist of a coil of wire, which the symbol reflects. The symbol seems in this case to be interpreted like the fluffy wool of a sheep.|
|Transformer||Two sheep in love, trapped on opposite side of a fence.||A transformer consists of two (or more) induction coils, for input and output(s), and a common core to mediate the transfer of power across the gap. The curly loop symbols of the symbol have already been claimed to resemble sheep, and the straight line (which is the core) now represents a fence separating two sheep who nonetheless wish to be together.|
|Battery||Battery||Not a joke, this is a typical symbol for a battery (which provides voltage to a circuit), or other form of voltaic pile. Its inclusion here is simply as the set-up for the following joke symbols.|
|Battery (sorted)||Baertty||Randall may have mapped the characters "tt" to the first short line and "er" to the following long line in the original symbol, having had "ba" and "y" assigned to the long and short "T" shapes that form the connections to the rest of the circuit. Rearranging the symbolic verticals as long-long-short-short, as he has done in this (fictional) symbol, thus puts "er" in front of "tt". Another sorting paradigm is that, after the initial 'B', the remaining letters are arranged in alphabetical order, left to right. Similarly, after the first horizontal line in the symbol, the other line segments are arranged by decreasing vertical height (left to right).|
|Battery, with far too many short lines||Battttttttttttery||The only other fictional symbol. Which, by the same established naming rules, means that the name is spelled with six "tt"s instead of just the single pair.|
|Photodiode||Check out this really cool diode||A photodiode generates, or allows to pass, a current in response to light. The symbol is related to the standard diode with the arrows pointing at it representing the light which activates its behaviour. In this case, Randall instead pretends that the arrows are pointing at it to draw attention to it because it's "really cool".|
|Oscillator||Wave Pool||An oscillator generates signals that oscillate at a given frequencies, for use in other circuitry, and one symbol used for one (in reality, built from a number of components in their own right) is this symbol. Waves in water are a type of oscillation that may be more familiar to most people than waves of electricity. A wave pool is in fact the result of a type of (mechanical) oscillator, and rarely has electricity running through it.|
|Transistor||Trolley Problem||A transistor will switch on current flow across one of a pair of connections, depending upon the input from an input one. Randall likens this to the ability to use points to switch the destination of a trolley from one track to another, as protagonists are invited to do in the various versions of the trolley problem. The symbol also somewhat resembles the usual pictorial depiction of the problem. However, single transistors are not generally used to resolve ethical dilemmas.|
|A circle with an A [In the title text]||The circuit has committed a sin and has been marked as punishment||Circles with letters are usually some special components, as also with the oscillator's glyph. In this case the "A" stands for ammeter, a device used to measure electric current (an "ampere meter"). This is conflated with the practice of branding the 'guilty', or requiring them to display their crime for a period of penance. For example, in The Scarlet Letter, a historical novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the protagonist must wear an A to mark her as an adulteress.|
|This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.|
- [A chart of various circuit symbols and their (mostly) fictitious meanings based off of their drawings, captioned:] Circuit Symbols
- [Symbol for a switch, labelled:] Drawbridge
- [Symbol for a capacitor, labelled:] Overpass
- [Symbol for a connection to ground, labelled:] Pogo Stick
- [Symbol for a resistor, labelled:] Earthquake
- [Symbol for an inductor, labelled:] Sheep
- [Symbol for a transformer, labelled:] Two Sheep in Love, Trapped on Opposite Sides of a Fence
- [Symbol for a battery, labelled:] Battery
- [Symbol for a battery, sorted, labelled:] Baertty
- [Symbol for a battery, with far too many short lines, labelled:] Battttttttttttery
- [Symbol for a photodiode, labelled:] Check Out This Really Cool Diode
- [Symbol for an oscillator, labelled:] Wave Pool
- [Symbol for a transistor, labelled:] Trolley Problem
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