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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 and standardized.

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Resistors' Color Code -

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Resistors' Color Code

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

Answers to Questions

How to calculate the value of a resistor?

To know the value of a resistance, if you do not have an ohm-meter, you 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 :

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

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)

Consider a resistor Yellow,Orange,Red, digits are: 4,3,2. The first 2 digits make the number 43. The 3rd digit 2 is the power of 10href factor. The calculation is \( 43 \times 10^2 = 4300 \Omega \)

Consider a resitor Blue,Yellow,Red,Brown,Brown, so the digits are 6,4,2,1,1. The value is given by \( 642 \times 10^1 \pm 1 \% = 6420 \Omega ± 1 \% \)

How to read the value of the multiplicator band?

A multiplier ring of value \( n \) corresponds to a multiplicationhref by \( 10^n \) (the corresponding power of 10href). This is equivalent to multiply \( n \) times by 10, or to add \( n \) zeros.

If the multiplier ring gives the number 3, then multiply the value given by the first rings by \( 10 ^ 3 = 1000 \).

If this ring is of gold color, the value is divided by 10, and for the color silver, divide 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 compute the tolerance interval?

The tolerance interval of a resistor is calculated by a percentagehref of the theoretical value. The percentagehref applies in plus or minus of the value.

Consider a resistor of 250 Ω with a tolerance of 10%. The value of the tolerance is therefore \( 250 \times 10\% = 25 \). The tolerance interval is therefore \( 250 \pm 25 \), the value is between 225 and 275, sometimes noted \( [225, 275] \).

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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