Introduction: How to Read Color Codes From Resistors.

The value of the resistor is marked on the body using colors. Every color is different number and you can remember these numbers or you can just use the table on next step. OR there are much resistor calculators that you can use. It's for the laziest people :D .  However it's your decision ,and I will show you all ways to calculate resistor value.

Colors

Here is the table with the colors and numbers. As you can see they are:
  • BLACK:     0
  • BROWN:   1
  • RED:           2
  • ORANGE:   3
  • YELLOW:   4
  • GREEN:       5
  • BLUE:          6
  • VIOLET:      7
  • GREY:          8
  • WHITE:        9
But this is not for all colors. From right to left the second color is multiplier. Digits from the first colors must be multiplied with the number of this color.
  • BLACK:     1
  • BROWN:   10
  • RED:           100
  • ORANGE:   1000
  • YELLOW:   10000
  • GREEN:       100000
  • BLUE:          1000000
  • GOLD:          0.1
  • SILVER:       0.01
And the last color: This is tolerance. Tolerance is the precision of the resistor and it is given as a percentage. For example a 390 resistor with a tolerance of ±10% will have a value within 10% of 390, between 390 - 39 = 351 and 390 + 39 = 429 (39 is 10% of 390).
  • BROWN:   1%
  • RED:           2%
  • GOLD:        5%
  • SILVER:     10%
  • NOTHING:  20%

Calculator

Resistor color code calculator
If you are too lazy to think about colors and digits and mat ... this is for you :) :D

Examples

Exemple: If first color is RED ,second is RED ,third is BLACK and the last is SILVER it means:
RED - 2  --  RED - 2  --  YELLOW - x10000  --  SILVER - 10%          so...
2   2   0000 +/- 10% * 2 2 0000   so... :D
220000 +/- 22000
This is 220 000 Ohm or 220 kOhm
or 220 000 - 22 000 Ohm or 220 - 22 kOhm
or 220 000 + 22 000 Ohm or 220 + 22 kOhm

Hope you got it :)

Exercises

Now some exercises :)
Try to calculate resistors' values from third and forth picture.
Answers are below.




Answers






The first one is        :  11000  =   11k ohms
The second one is :  1000    =    1k ohms
The both are with gold color for the tolerance ,it means 5%.

It's your answer? I hope so :)

Comments

author
michael.swinney (author)2014-09-27

In your example you give the color code -(red, red, black, silver)-

"it means: RED = 2, RED = 2, YELLOW=(x10000), SILVER = 10%"

Shouldn’t it be: red = 2, red = 2, BLACK = (x1), silver = +/-10%

22*1 = 22+/-10%

author
Wanka7a (author)michael.swinney2014-11-10

Ops .. :dd My fault .. ;d

author
mirlatif (author)Wanka7a2017-01-18

ha ha ha

author
plesperance (author)2016-09-24

Anyone know a reverse resistor calculator?

author
cjjam (author)2016-06-22

im just already highschool but i dont understand!

author
cjjam (author)2016-06-22

difficult!

author
JLoPhysics (author)2016-01-20

You mention that you read from left to right - but if you flip the resistor over, these directions are reveresed. How do I know which side is 'left' on a resistor?

author
ivan.toopi (author)JLoPhysics2016-06-08

The band with the metallic paint (Gold Silver etc.etc), is the 'right side' All other banding generally is done in block colour (Standardized colours used in electronics)

author
J-Five (author)JLoPhysics2016-01-31

It's the closest band to end of the resistor.

author
TanjotP (author)JLoPhysics2016-01-20

Hey, I can answer that question for you, if you haven't found your answer quite yet. The tolerance band should be on the far right when you are looking at it. It could be Gold(5%) or Silver(10%). This means it should be xcolour, ycolour, zcolour and then your gold or silver tolerance band when you look at it. This way it is consistent and is facing the right way in order to measure the resistance when going to calculate it. As for putting your resistor in a circuit, well resistors are not polarized , therefore you can put them in any way. Good luck!

author
plesperance (author)2016-04-27

How do you know which end to decipher the color code.

author
HiemN made it! (author)2016-04-18

Exemple: If first color is RED ,second is RED ,third is BLACK and the last is SILVER it means:
RED - 2 -- RED - 2 -- YELLOW - x10000 -- SILVER - 10% so...
2 2 0000 +/- 10% * 2 2 0000 so... :D
220000 +/- 22000
This is 220 000 Ohm or 220 kOhm
or 220 000 - 22 000 Ohm or 220 - 22 kOhm
or 220 000 + 22 000 Ohm or 220 + 22 kOhm

# English spelling was uncorrected,

# the answer is: Red=2, Red=2, BLACK=0 silver 10% +/- 22.

TTNgodinh Diem.jpg
author
MohammedW6 (author)2016-03-08

thanks a lot

author
KevinJ96 (author)2016-02-09

This was so helpful. I had a booklet that tried to explain it, but chose the most difficult way to explain something that it turns out is really easy! Although, as pointed out already, your answers are switched. Made me double-check my answers though, so maybe not a bad thing!

author
KayodeO1 (author)2016-01-16

Hi, I think the answers are switched

author
MikeH130 (author)2015-12-17

The answers are switched. Using the tool provided, the first resistor is actually the second answer.

author
SaryaT (author)2015-11-12

how will be if you have given colour code indigo, red, red and gold

author
SaryaT (author)2015-11-12

how will be if you have given colour code indigo, red, red and gold

author
alit3 (author)2015-02-19

Thank you for information . you help me :-)

author
liama1 (author)2014-11-24

soooooooo

imagesTN4674VR.jpg
author
liama1 (author)2014-11-24

Are you scared

images.jpg
author
pfred2 (author)2012-07-12

You could always connect a resistor up to your multimeter set on the ohms scale too.

author
daveda (author)pfred22012-07-13

Unless it is soldered into a circuit. Then you would have to unsolder one end to isolate it from the rest of the circuit.

About This Instructable

302,213views

47favorites

License:

More by Wanka7a:How to read color codes from resistors.How to read color codes from resistors.Plastic Cutter
Add instructable to: