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I have no clue what a transistor can do and how to use it in a circuit or even what for.  I know that if i look at the flat side emitter is on the left base is in the center and collector is on the right, I think.

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have you tried google?

I always look at transistors as a way to separate voltage flow from the delicate controls.


But yeah, google will explain it much better than I can blabber on about :P 

Always look up the datasheet as the pin layout could possibly be different. just lookup the code, say like 2n3904.

This is a helpful page as well.

I've mainly used mine as switches to increase the current flow vs a uProc pin that is usually rated very low.