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Resistors' color code

Tool to compute resistor color code. Electronic components, such as resistors, have their values designated by a color code

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Resistors' color code -

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Resistors' color code

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3 band resistor calculator

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Tool to compute resistor color code. Electronic components, such as resistors, have their values designated by a color code

Answers to Questions

How to calculate the value of a resistor?

The easiest way is to use a Ohm-meter. Else on can read the color code on the resistor:

The International Norm CEI 60757 (1983) define a color code to write the value of a resistor (but also condenser, and some other electronic component).

Colors are associated to digits :

0 = Black, 1 = Brown, 2 = Red, 3 = Orange, 4 = Yellow, 5 = Green, 6 = Blue, 7 = Violet, 8 = Grey, 9 = White

The more often, a resistor has 4 bands :

The two first band (or the three first) indicate a digit each (a digit correspond to a color)

The next band (third or fourth) indicates a multiplicationhref factor (more exactly a power of 10href) to the number formed by the two first digits.

The last one (fourth, sometimes fifth) indicates the tolerance or precision of the calculated value. When this band is absent, it means the largest tolerance : 20%.

Sometimes an additional band is coded for precise resistor, it indicates a coefficient of temperature (in ppm/Kelvin or ppm/°C)

How to read the value of the multiplicator band?

The multiplicationhref band correspond to a multiplicationhref by a power of 10href, if one simplifies, it is the number of zeros to concatenate (if the band is gold, one has to divide by 10, silver, by 100.

Why is there a difference between theoretical and measured value?

The measured value is never exact but must be in the tolerance interval of the resistor.

A resistor of 100 Ω with a tolerance of 5% could be measured between 95 Ω and 105 Ω.

How to know the reading direction for colors of a resistor?

The more often, the first band is the closest to the edge. The tolerance band is sometime more spaced than the previous ones.

How to write the value of a resistor?

Generally, one uses prefixes for values in Ohm, k for kilo (10^3) and M for mega (10^6).

12000 Ω = 12 kΩ

3400000 Ω = 3.4 MΩ

Does a 3 band resistor exists?

A resistor has a minimum of 4 bands, but sometimes, the last band is absent. As it is only about tolerance of the value found with the first 3 bands, one considers the highest tolerance value: 20%

What are mnemonics tricks to remember colors?

Some sentences can help to remember the colors and their values.

B B ROY Goes Bombay Via Gateway With Genelia and Susanne.

Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well – Get Some Now.

Big Boys Race Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins.

Better Be Right Or Your Great Big Venture Goes West.

Better Be Right Or Your Great Big Vacation Goes Wrong.

Big Brown Rabbits Often Yield Great Big Vocal Groans When Gingerly Slapped Needlessly (tolerance bands (G) Gold, (S) Silver or (N) None)

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