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Orange Drop Capacitors

History

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).

Specifcation

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 pressed (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%.

Orange drop capacitors are available in four different dielectrics polypropylene, polyester, polystyrene, and a polyester/polypropylene blend.

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

DIELECTRICS
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 polypropylene/polyester blend dielectric.

POLYPROPYLENE DIELECTRIC

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

POLYESTER DIELECTRIC

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

POLYSTYRENE DIELECTRIC

  • high capacitance stability
  • low dissipation and leakage
Example of round style of orange drop capacitor.round style
Example of pressed style of orange drop capacitor.pressed style
Series Status Profile Dielectirc 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

Ordering information for 715P, 716P, and 418P series orange drop capacitors.

An example: 715P 104 9 2 J D 3

715P 104 9 2 J D 3
| | | | | | |
Type Capacitance Tolerance DC Voltage Rating Case Code Terminal Lead Length
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1. Type

  • 715P
  • 716P
  • 418P

2. Capacitance
Capacitance is expressed in picofarads. The first two digits are significant. The third is the number of zeros to follow. Values must conform to Decade Rating for the tolerance specified.

3. Tolerance

  • 9 = ± 10%
  • 5 = ± 5%
  • 2 = ± 2%

4. DC Voltage Rating
This is expressed in hundreds of volts.(Example: 715P R5 =50 volts.)

5. Case Code

CASE CODE Length (Max.) Terminal A ± 0.060 [1.524] Terminal B ± 0.030 [0.762] Terminal D ± 0.030 [0.762]
J 0.75 [19.050] 0.500 [12.700] 0.500 [12.700] 0.375 [9.525]
K 0.95 [24.130] 0.688 [17.475] 0.688 [17.475] 0.375 [9.525]
L 1.30 [33.020] 1.031 [26.187] 0.969 [24.613] 0.719 [18.263]
M 1.70 [43.180] 1.406 [35.712] 1.344 [34.138] 1.094 [27.788]

6. Terminal

  • A = Stright Lead
  • B = Hair Pin Crimped
  • D = Hockey Crimped

7. Lead Length

  • 1 = 0.187" ± 0.030" [4.750 ± 0.762]
  • 2 = 0.250" ± 0.030" [6.350 ± 0.762]
  • 3 = 1.250" [31.750]

Ordering information for 225P series orange drop capacitors.

An example: 225P 104 9 1 W D 3

225P 104 9 1 W D 3
| | | | | | |
Type Capacitance Tolerance DC Voltage Rating Case Code Terminal Lead Length
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1. Type

  • 225P

2. Capacitance
Capacitance is expressed in picofarads. The first two digits are significant. The third is the number of zeros to follow. Values must conform to Decade Rating for the tolerance specified.

3. Tolerance

  • 0 = ± 00%
  • 9 = ± 10%
  • 5 = ± 50%

4. DC Voltage Rating
This is expressed in hundreds of volts.

5. Case Code

CASE CODE Length (Max.) Terminal A & B Terminal D
W 0.70 [17.78] 0.562 [14.275] 0.375 [9.525]
X 0.80 [20.32] 0.613 [15.570] 0.375 [9.525]
Y 1.25 [31.75] 1.25 [31.75] 0.719 [18.263]

6. Terminal

  • A = Stright Lead
  • B = Hair Pin Crimped
  • D = Hockey Crimped

7. Lead Length

  • 1 = 0.187" ± 0.030" [4.750 ± 0.762]
  • 2 = 0.250" ± 0.030" [6.350 ± 0.762]
  • 3 = 1.250" [31.750]

Why Buy Orange Drop Capacitors?

Orange drop capacitors manufactured in the USA, offer a superior quality compared to the capacitors manufactured in the Far East. If quality and performance in your capacitors is important, we defiantly suggest the long standing and reliable orange drop capacitor (recognized by its bright orange color). Tedss.com is one of the largest sources for orange drop capacitors with inventory available for off the shelf delivery.

Resources

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