@skelly hey can I ask you a simple electronics/arduino question? (i promise i'm not going to burn my house down!! lol)

@skelly thank you!! i'm looking using sparkfun.com/datasheets/Sensor with an ESP8266

all of the listings for this sensor include both a capacitor and a resistor, and I'm not sure _why_, lol. so my Q is: do you know what their function is likely to be, and if I were to exclude it, would things work at all? (he asked, hoping he wouldn't have to learn how to solder for this project ^_^)

(please do tell me if this is an impossibly broad/vague Q, I'm too dumb about electronics to ask good questions :p)

@Odd_Bloke do you mean how in the application circuit it's showing a resistor and a capacitor? It appears to me that those are there to form a lowpass filter for the power supply to the sensor's LED. This would help prevent noise in the power supply from affecting the output measurements.

(cont'd)

@Odd_Bloke so if you were to remove these components, the sensor would absolutely still work, but your measurements would be bit more noisy and less precise. If that's acceptable for your application then yeah, you can definitely go without them.

@Odd_Bloke basically, nothing's going to explode if you omit those components lol

good luck!!

@skelly that's all I needed to hear lmao. thank you for the detailed answer, that explanation is really helpful!

@Odd_Bloke of course!!! i'm very happy to help, feel free to hmu if you need anything else!

@skelly so this arrived! it turns out that I do need at least the capacitor (and I put the resistor in too) because the LED in the sensor needs to burst for the readings to work. I figured that out by twisting things together, but I think it's time to try soldering for the first time in 17 years lmao

@Odd_Bloke oh hm! okay! sorry it didn't work out like i expected!!

good luck!! biggest biggest thing that'll help when soldering: use flux. and when you think you've used enough flux, use more flux. dead serious

@skelly oh, no worries!! I wouldn't have ordered even the simpler stuff if I wasn't prepared to solder, lol, I just got lucky with them

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