capacitor range for typical project

sorry I feel like i've seen the answer to this but my google foo is failing me this morning.

I was looking to get a capacitor kit and I was surprised that I couldnt find any that seemed like a good range, but then again, im not sure what that range should be.

based on some projects i've played around with it seems like 100uf might be as high as I'd need?

I already got a ceramic kit (only because i didnt know what i was doing) which has a max of around 680.

Im starting to play with MySensor stuff so I know i need a handful of 4.7uf caps for the radios.

for the most part im doing sensor type stuff, but i know if i start to throw motors in the mix i'll likely need a larger range.

I kinda feel like there should be some cheat sheet some place, and maybe there is, but im so new to this searching for stuff has proven tough.

again sorry for a question im sure has been answered a million times. I'd be more than happy with some links


Are you really talking about just Electrolytic caps ?

The range is massive and it all depends on what devices you are working with eg a PSU can easily use 2200uf and 1000uf or down to 1uf for a max232 chip.

Generally local electronics shops may sell mixed bags or buy some kits from ebay, though good enough for general project work / testing , their quality may be doubtful.

For a long term build I would then buy quality ones from a good supplier

Get something like this for a start, then get values that you're using a lot in lots of 5 or 10 from Digi-Key or Mouser or ......


Thanks that amazon links seems like a good range at a good price.

When you say PSU I assume you mean something more serious than a battery pack? Based on the stuff im doing (will be heavily home automation stuff, mostly sensors) I cant imagine myself needing more than a basic battery pack for the Arduino.

Mostly this means (i think) that i'll need capacitors mostly for radios since most of the sensors i've played with so far dont seem to need a capacitor.

thanks guys!

The most important caps to have:

  • 0.1uf/100nf ceramic - I estimate that 20-50% of the capacitors I use are 0.1uf ceramic caps.
  • 18pf, 22pf ceramic - loading caps for common crystals.
  • Something in the 4.7~22 uf range for power filtering, ceramic
  • Some 100uf~1000uf electrolytic caps for power filtering on a longer timescale.

I think over 95% of my capacitor needs are covered by those, unless I'm forgetting something big.

Agree with DrAzzy. Buy 50 or 100 of those .1ufd ceramic guys. They belong almost everywhere in anything you build. You will also typically put one in parallel with the bigger electrolytic caps since the big ones tend to not be good at high frequencies so you use the .1 ceramic to take the highs out and let the electrolytics handle the low frequency filtering.

You don't use batteries for home automation!