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ok i know about npn pnp transistors but i want to salvage used ones from electronics to save a few bucks but they all seem to have different model numbers on them do they all still function the same?
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Look up the numbers and see what they tell you.
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Well all npn work the same in the sense that active they can switch a collector-side load on, and pnp's active can switch an emitter-side load off. (I think I got that the right way round  smiley-cool )

But they all differ in terms of gain and the voltage and current they can handle. A site like this is useful to get sight of the various datasheets.

This site might help, as might this.
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Also they vary in their high-frequency performance and noise performance.   However for simple uses you really just
need to check the voltage, current, power and gain ratings are adequate.  Also for use as a switch the Vce(sat) rating
tells you how much voltage and power will be lost in it when switched on and carrying a certain current.
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They all work the same but just vary in quality and current handling.
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Be warned that what looks like a transistor may not be a transistor.  Besides NPN and PNP Bipolar Junction Transistors you also have FETs of various kinds, diodes, sensors, etc all in the same or similar housings.
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A lot of multimeters have a transistor testing socket on them. That will tell you what you have.
This project will tell you what you have and what pin out it is:-

http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Hardware/Transistor_Tester.html
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