This question just came up. It asks for a recommendation of a resistor – a component found on a circuit board. This topic has been very briefly mentioned in an answer in an earlier thread, but I figured a question focusing on it would do some good.

My initial thoughts are that this is far too specific and involves a tiny computer component normally within the electrical engineering field. Apparently Electronics.SE doesn't allow component recommendation questions though, so this type of question would have no home on SE as far as I know.

Should the current scope allow questions about circuit components found in computers (assuming the component will be used specifically for computing) or should the scope restrict circuit components and other items that make up bigger pieces of hardware?

2 Answers 2


As a counterpoint to Undo's answer, I do not think these should be on topic here.

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power. - Wikipedia

A transistor is among the most basic of electric components. It is much more basic than a shredder. It is a building block to hardware. A transistor, alone, can't do anything.

The difference between a transistor and the LED question asked last month, is that the LED being requested needed to be accessible via a programming interface. If it had been a more simple: "Do you recommend a blue LED or a green one, for my list of requirements?" then it'd have been off topic for the same reason I think a simple transistor is off topic - it's a basic electronic component. There is nothing unique about it.

The transistor is the same way.

These very low level components of hardware, alone, are not hardware themselves. It is only when they are combined, that a piece of "hardware" becomes more than a set of components.

  • You've convinced me - I'll leave my answer for people to vote on, but this makes sense.
    – user1
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 2:09
  • What about BT, GPS, GSM, RF and other modules which are quite highly integrated but all the same you need to design a circuit around it to be able to use them for something? I mean bare modules here like a SIM908 GSM or a CC3200 WiFi module. Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 17:00

I believe these should be on topic here. We're likely to be able to answer them, and quality rules could be the same. I'd say that if it otherwise contains enough information, we should let it stay.

I don't see a reason to restrict ourselves to 'consumery' requests only - we can do these, and we can do them well. Let's take them.

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