Instructor: William Fenton, Science Department, The Hotchkiss School

Instructions for using the NPN Power Transistor

The NPN power transistors work as switches so that you can control a large amount of current with a small amount of current. This allows you to use the microcontroller (smart, but not very strong) to controller dumb, strong things that require a large amount of current like motors, solenoids and relays (think Master Blaster from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome). You will use this technique to tell an electric fan to turn on and off or a solenoid to spray some CO2 or helium.