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Orange Drop Capacitors


The orange drop capacitor was invented in the 1960’s by a company named Sprague Electric. The founder of the company was Robert C. Sprague a 19th century engineer and businessman. Coincidently he was responsible for the invention of the tone circuit that is used in radios and amplifiers, which happens to be one of the main uses for orange drop capacitors. Orange drop capacitors manufactured by Sprague Electric have been around for over fifty years and the audio community continues to use them because of their reliability. (Sprague Electric was bought out by Vishay and now they operate as a subsidiary of Vishay).

Robert Sprague


Orange drop capacitors are made from aluminum foil and a polypropylene, polyester, polystyrene, and a polypropylene/polyester blend dielectric coated in a bright orange epoxy. Orange drop capacitors come in two different shapes a rounded shape and a flatted shape (as shown in the pictures) with radial leads only. They have a voltage range from 50VDC to as high as 2000VDC. The operating temperature range varies from -55° Celsius to +125° Celsius to -40° Celsius to +85° Celsius (For more specific temperature ranges please check the datasheet). Capacitance ranges from 0.001MFD to over 1.0MFD. Orange drop capacitors come in various tolerances from 20%, 10%, 5%, but the tolerance can be as tight as 1%.

Picture of Round Orange Drop Capacitor.


Picture of Flat Orange Drop Capacitor.


Polyester Dielectric


Polypropylene Dielectric

Polystyrene Dielectric

Orange drop capacitors are non-inductive, meaning that they’re excellent for use in coupling, decoupling, arc suppression, high frequency, and lighting. These capacitors have superior heat dissipation, which makes perfect for use in Pro-Audio equipment because it can get really hot.

Series Status Profile Dielectric Capacitance Range (uF) Voltage Range (Vdc) Features / Applications
225P current pressed polyester .001 to 1 100 to 600 coupling-decoupling / bypass applications
287P discontinued round polystyrene .0001 to .1 50 to 100 linear TCC / tight capacity tolerance
418P current round polyester .001 to 1 100 to 1000 energy storage and discharge
715P current round polypropylene .001 to 1 100 to 2000 high current capability / excellent stability virtually linear temperature coefficient
716P current pressed polypropylene .0022 to 1 100 to 2000 superb high frequency response / ideal for high pulse currents
PS discontinued round polyester / polypropylene .001 to .47 200 to 2000 moisture resistant / used in communication equipment


Capacitors with film dielectrics tend to have a long shelf life, high stability, low self-inductance, and the ability to absorb power surges. The type of dielectric used in a capacitor also greatly affects the properties that the capacitor will possess, for example theses properties greatly affect the performance of the capacitor, which include volume resistivity, maximum application temperature, dissipation factor, dielectric constant, dielectric absorption, and dielectric strength. Each of these factors differs in different dielectrics, making the capacitors suitable for different applications. The two most generally used dielectrics in orange drop capacitors are polyester and polypropylene, but they are also available in a polyester dielectric and a polypropylene/polyester blend dielectric.

Dielectric K
Dielectric Constants
Polystyrene 2.56
Polypropylene 2.2
Polyester 3.3

Polystyrene Dielectric

  • high capacitance stability
  • low dissipation and leakage

Polyester Dielectric

  • high dielectric constant
  • high dissipation factor
  • self-healing properties

Polypropylene Dielectric

  • high insulation resistance
  • low dielectric absorption
  • high breakdown strength
  • low dissipation factor

Part Number Breakdown for Orange Drop Capacitors

715P - 182 - 9 - 16 - L - D - 3
Type Capacitance Tolerance Voltage Case Code Terminal Lead Length


Orange Drop Capacitors can be found in Electric Guitars, Guitar Amplifiers, Ham Radios, Vintage Radios, and Communication Equipment.

Dielectric Series