Saturday, September 25, 2010

Resistor Color Code

Short post today about resistors and the color codes that go with them.

When looking to size resistors for a project this chart below is great to have around or even memorized.

Here is how to read this chart, starting from left to right. You will know which side is which because the right side either has a gold, silver, or no band.

The first two colors are the first two numbers in the resistor and the third band is the the multiplier that tells you the size of the resistor. The last band on the far right is the tolerance of the resistor.

Example: Say you have a resistor that is Brown, Red, Orange with a silver band at the end. You go to the chart, see the brown is 1, red is 2, and orange is 3, or multiply by 1000. The silver band is a 10% tolerance + or - on the resistor. So the resistor becomes 12, multiplied by 1000, so 12000 or 12K ohms with 10% tolerance + or - so it could read anywhere from 13200 ohms to 10800.

The way I learned to read the third band is thats how many 0's you put at the end after getting the first two. Another example with how I read it. Orange, Orange, Green. So that would be 3,3, with 5 0's or 3300000 ohms.

Learning to read and use this chart is great when you need to see what the size of a resistor is and you don't have an ohmmeter around to check

A great way to help remember the color code order is to memorize this sentence

Bad Black-0
Beer Brown-1
Rots Red-2
Our Orange-3
Young Yellow-4
Guts Green-5
But Blue-6
Vodka Voliet-7
Goes Grey-8
Well White-9

Get Gold-5%
Some Silver-10%
Now None-20%


  1. This seems like it might come in handy one day - saving that image.

  2. I took a class and I learned this. Sadly I've forgotten it.. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Makes me wish I was more into electronics, seems like you've got some really great posts.

  4. What a handy chart. Such a major improvement over the one my electricity and magnetism textbook had.

  5. This looks way too complicated, but I think I'll remember Vodka violet 7.

  6. It seems I can add this to my informative images collection, thank you sir.

  7. I knew an electrician once, he was pretty badass

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. So useful. Now following.

  10. Sweet, I'll be using this handy reference for my next robot.

  11. I was thinking of going into this field this helps me a bunch.

  12. Interesting. Where did you get this graph?

  13. That chart is definitely handy to have around; thanks for the post!

    The limerick is also easy to remember and pretty well done. I shouldn't have a problem with resistors anymore!

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    I have a blog as well, which you can follow if you're interested. It's the life story of a badass, modern Pecos-Bill-type character told in daily vignettes. I'm looking for actual readers, rather than just clickers/supporters, so if anyone's interested, feel free to take a look. =)

  15. I'm loving your blog. Keep the info coming.

  16. Oooo I like this, this is handy!