Incredible stupid question...

I just know this is a stupid question. So stupid that i do not find any answer or know what to look for out there...

But here we go:

For some reason, I imagine that things have to happen in order when it comes to soldering wires on, for example, circuit boards.

Let's say I mount a capacitor after the power input. What I'm wondering is whether this capacitor has any effect on the things you connect before the capacitor?

Between the power inlet and the capacitor?

My neck is now on the stump ...

Only stupid question is the one that’s not asked, could you please draw a quick circuit diagram, I’m not certain if I understand how this cap is connected.. Is it in series, parallel or bypass?

Yes it can. If you connect a capacitor in parallel with the power supply output (as usual) current flows from the power supply into the capacitor while the capacitor is charging-up.

And, everything with a direct-connection to the supply output has the same voltage and benefits from the same capacitor-filtering.

In general all parallel components can be physically located anywhere, except that "bypass" capacitors have to mounted close to the active components because there is a small amount of resistance & inductance in the copper traces (which gets larger with longer connections) and that can interfere with the capacitor doing it's job.

By and large this is true: it doesn't matter where they're located when in parallel.

Do remember that wires have also some resistance, inductance and capacitance. Not much, but this stray resistance and capacitance become important for long wires, and the stray inductance is a major factor at the high switching speeds of digital electronics. That's why bypass/decoupling capacitors must be placed close to the part they serve.

Sometimes in schematics you see a whole lot of capacitors drawn in parallel between Vcc and GND. That's typically a bunch of 100 nf caps, that are supposed to be placed right at the power pins of the individual ICs, and maybe some bulk capacitance that is commonly placed near where the power connects to the board. Linear regulators also require their capacitors physically close by for them to be effective.

For some reason, I imagine that things have to happen in order when it comes to soldering wires on, for example, circuit board

  1. never solder up a circuit when it is powered up.
  2. a capacitor that has been left for some time out of a circuit will have no charge on it.
  3. it doesn't matter what order you add and solder components into a circuit board, the power is off after all.
  4. The normal way to make a board is to solder the lowest components first and then build up with the next highest group and so on. This makes construction easier because the big parts are not in the way, you get good access to the parts you are working on. The most low profile components normally are in this order, wire links, resistors, IC sockets, transistors, capacitors. So you would normally add them last. But remember the board is not powered up so it doesn't matter.

If you do wire up any circuit with the power on, or even change a component out then you run a big risk of damaging something.