When reading schematics, building or repairing amplifiers and also buying capacitors, you often must convert between uF, nF and pF.

Paper, plastic and electrolytic capacitors are usually expressed in terms of uF (microfarads). Short forms for micro farad include uF, mfd, MFD, MF and UF.

Mica capacitors are usually expressed in terms of pF (micromicrofarads) (picofarads).
Short forms for micromicrofarads include pF, mmfd, MMFD, MMF, uuF and PF. A pF is one-millionth of a uF.

In between a pF and a uF is a nF which is one-one thousands of a uF. Converting back and forth between uF, nF  and pF can be confusing with all those darn decimal points to worry about. Below is a uF – nF- pF conversion chart.
Just print a copy and tape it to your workbench….it will come in handy.

Here is a great site with a lot of information about replacing and identifying capacitors. The site is geared toward old radios but it applies directly to tube guitar amps. Phil’s Old  Radios.

Capacitor Reference Chart

PicoFarad (pF) NanoFarad (nF) MicroFarad (mF, uF or mfd) Capacitance Code
1000 1 or 1n 0.001 102
1500 1.5 or 1n5 0.0015 152
2200 2.2 or 2n2 0.0022 222
3300 3.3 or 3n3 0.0033 332
4700 4.7 or 4n7 0.0047 472
6800 6.8 or 6n8 0.0068 682
10000 10 or 10n 0.01 103
15000 15 or 15n 0.015 153
22000 22 or 22n 0.022 223
33000 33 or 33n 0.033 333
47000 47 or 47n 0.047 473
68000 68 or 68n 0.068 683
100000 100 or 100n 0.1 104
150000 150 or 150n 0.15 154
220000 220 or 220n 0.22 224
330000 330 or 330n 0.33 334
470000 470 or 470n 0.47 474
560000 560 or 560n 0.56 564
680000 680 or 680n 0.68 684
1000000 1000 1000n 1.00 105
Microfarads (mF) Nanofarads (nF) Picofarads (pF)
0.000001 0.001 1
0.00001 0.01 10
0.0001 0.1 100
0.001 1 1000
0.01 10 10000
0.1 100 100000
1 1000 1000000
10 10000 10000000
100 100000 100000000

Here is a chart with the old style color codes on capacitors.

recap131.jpg




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