Introduction: Resistor Ring

Picture of Resistor Ring

"I Can't Resist Lovin' You"
Thanks guys!

This is an Instructable on making a ring out of four (4) resistors and three (3) LEDs. This simple project is the perfect thing for your geek girlfriend with Valentine's Day coming up.

Things needed for this project:
~Four (4) resistors (I used 220k-ohm 1/2 watt, 5% ones because of their red and gold stripes.)
~Three (3) LEDs, 1 normal sized one, two smalls. (Dead or working, it doesn't matter.)
~Soldering Iron
~Sandpaper or Dremel with sanding bit

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Step 1: Do the Resis-twist!

Picture of Do the Resis-twist!

Once you have everything, you want to get the general measurement for the ring. Twist the ends together as shown in the picture. Once that's done, measured, fitted, and all that jazz, heat up your soldering iron and get to work. Flux up the corners and move onto step 2....>>>>

Step 2: Soldering

Picture of Soldering

Hold the resistor ring together with some alligator clips when soldering. Make sure to follow soldering guidelines, seen here in the "How to Solder" group. After it is secure, clip off the extra wire, moving onto step 3 -->>

Step 3: Adding the LED Gems & Finish!

Picture of Adding the LED Gems & Finish!

Well, this doesn't look very pretty right now, so, let's add some flair. Add the bigger LED first, twisting the wire around the ring. Flux it up, solder, snip the wires, and repeat for the smaller ones.

After that, whip out your sandpapering device of choice and make everything nice and smooth. Voila! You're very own, DIY, resistor ring!


techxpert (author)2011-09-24

no they not led free my local electronics store still sells leaded solder :)

pingunah (author)2011-09-22

It would be nicer if you could turn it on!

bassclarinet23 (author)2011-05-03

If a guy proposed to me with this, I would say yes...

brooklynlord (author)2011-02-21


Are you using non-lead solder?

Lead can be absorbed by the skin, and it is very poisonious.......

agis68 (author)2010-09-19

Your flux best friend has a bad color! usually its white!

newbeatle (author)2010-05-07

so nice about my version, made 5 or 6 years ago ? mine can be adjusted to any size of finger, and are simple and (i think) elegant. any constructive comment can be sahred here or to sorry for the photo quality, if you want more photos just emailme please

knektek (author)2010-02-24

put a transistor through there so that when base and something else makes contact, the led lights up.

TyMan210 (author)2009-05-22

I'm making this for Geek Pride Day!

Ankush (author)2008-02-06

Add some lithium cells & u have a glowing ring!!!:)

bug 8 (author)2007-12-29

thats cool! it would be even cooler if it lit up.

ghicken (author)2007-12-14

This is so awesome!! Finally something easy and fun to do with all the resistors and LEDs i have lying around.

technick29 (author)ghicken2007-12-15

Haha, exactly! Thanks for the input.

armindilo (author)2007-01-20

Touching lead for a little while won't do much damage to you, even if you stick your fingers in your mouth afterwards. Lead is much more poisonous in gas form (solder fumes) and when dissolved (like in alcohol when medieval people drank wine from lead cups). Simply touching it won't kill you. It's a typical case of people going nuts over something thats not that dangerous, within limits, kinda like the flu virus..... The instructable is kinda cool though, I proposed to a girl in grade 6 with a ring made of copper! ahhhh...the good old days.

lol i proposed to a girl in the 6th grade with a copper ring

trebuchet03 (author)armindilo2007-01-20

I don't see anyone going nuts -- its just a matter of exposure. If you had the choice of exposing yourself to something that is dangerous - would you? I can cite my father as a perfect example -- the chemicals he uses for work are not dangerous if exposed for short periods of time. And he's only exposed for short periods. But over the 35+ years, the neurological damage is evident (short term memory). I'm sure this ring won't cause any immediate effects (unless it was eaten -- sharp points :P) - but really, why add yet another potential straw to the camel's back? All of our efforts let you open the pickle jar ;)

Patrik (author)2007-12-04

Why not add a few tiny watch batteries, and actually have the LEDs light up as well? As for lead or other heavy metal exposure - you could embed the entire thing in plastic, or even just put a few layers of nail polish over it...

zwild1 (author)2007-01-25

I was going to call it ugly, but on second thought, it might be cooler if it used more resistors with less wire in between...

technick29 (author)zwild12007-01-25

Yea, that'd be pretty cool! If you make one, let me know, I'd like to see it or any improvements.

Coolbreaze (author)2007-01-22

Please pardon my english =)

RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive
Does not mean lead free.

It means that a maximum concentration of 0.1% by weight of homogeneous materials for lead, mercucy, hexavalent chromium, Polybrominated byphenyl and polybrominated diphenyl ethers and 0.01% of cadmium shall be tolerated

Also there are RoHS Exemptions which can have lead and others and still pass RoHS because it's exempt.

A part can be RoHS and not Lead Free compliant. It contains lead or it doesn't but cannot be solderer or reflowed (depening if surface mount or thru hole)
at lead-free temperatures.

Quote frome westfw
"The recent "RoHS" European thing means you can now buy components whose leads are tinned with lead-based solder" <-- actualy it's the opposite Lead-Free based solder.

RoHS websites like
BTW European RoHS is not the same as Chinas RoHS
which is due soon
Now lead free doesn't mean non toxic btw

The average solder type used by DIY'ers is SnPb...Tin lead usualy 60/40
(60 % tin and 40% lead) or 63/37 (63% tin and 37% lead.)

Now knowing lead is toxic yes it's not a good idea to touch it and eat or
put your finger in your mouth without washing your hands. Other issues
come to mind, like active rosin flux core (also toxic). Flux is that
magical little acid that permits your solder to stick (It cleans away
oxidation and other craps and lets you solder). Water solubale (VOC free),
No-Clean, alcohol you name em there all bad for you.

Next thing your typical PB-Free (lead free) solder is usualy
Tin-Silver SnAg3.5

Tin-Silver-Copper SnAg3.9Cu0.6 or SnAg3.0Cu0.5 or SnAg4.0Cu0.5 or

Tin-Copper SnCu0.7
Tin-Zinc SnZn9
Tin-Antimony-Zinc SnZn8Bi3
Tin Antimony SnSb5
Tin-Silver-Copper-Antimony SnAg2.5Cu0.8Sb0.5
Tin-Indium-Silver-Bismuth SnIn8.0Ag3.5Bi0.5
Tin-Bismuth-Silver SnBi57Ag1
Tin-Bismuth SnBi58
Tin-Indium SnIn52

Most people don't believe this but Copper is in fact toxic.

"Thirty grams of copper sulfate is potentially lethal in humans. The
suggested safe level of copper in drinking water for humans varies
depending on the source, but tends to be pegged at 1.5 to 2 mg/L."

And organic tin is also toxic...mind you in solder you won't see that =)

"The small amount of tin that is found in canned foods is not harmful to
humans. Certain organic tin compounds, organotin, such as triorganotins
(see tributyltin oxide) are toxic and are used as industrial fungicides
and bactericides."

Bismuth is unusual in that its toxicity is much lower lead, thallium and

Pure indium in metal form is considered non-toxic. In the semiconductor
industries, where indium exposure is relatively high, there have been no
reports of any toxic side-effects.

Zinc is also toxic. Even though zinc is an essential requirement for a
healthy body, too much zinc can be harmful. Excessive absorption of zinc
can also suppress copper and iron absorption.

And the last one is antinomy...this is some bad's toxicity is
similar to ARSENIC!!! hum....yeah.

In any case you would strongly consider not using any solder to give to
kids to play with.

I've been in the industry for a few years and we have rules and certain
guide lines. Kids don't usualy like rules and guide lines =)

mark101 (author)Coolbreaze2007-01-25

I was going to say what about the lead? but you REALLY said it.

technick29 (author)Coolbreaze2007-01-22

Wow, sounds like you know your stuff! Thanks for the input!

fciron (author)2007-01-22

Nice ring! The use of the resistors around the body gives some substance. I use solders regularly for building stuff, not electonics, so I hope I can clarify a few things in this solder debate. Westfw is correct about the smoke you see when soldering. Essentially vaporized acid, keep your face out of it. When I say "silver solder" I am talking about hard solders with melting points above 800 degrees farenheit. These are great for making color matching in sterling silver jewelry and high strength applications, such as attaching carbide bits to cutting tools. Not really appropriate to the discussion and usually only available from specialty suppliers. "Soft solders" that can can be melted with a soldering iron come in Lead and Lead-Free varieties. There are soft solders that claim to be 'silver bearing,' I have not found the silver bearing property to make any difference and wouldn't spend any extra money on it. Lead free solders and their fluxes can be found in the plumbing section of any hardware or building supply store For projects that will be handled I use lead free solders. You never know what will happen once an item leaves your control so why take chances when you can be safer for free. One last note. Rinse your finished product to remove any flux residue. The acid fluxes can cause ugly corrosion.

technick29 (author)fciron2007-01-22

Thank you, and I will do my best to heed this advice in this project and any others I do.

BatGrrl (author)2007-01-21

I would think that covering everything with some clear nail polish or a coat of polyurethane would keep someone safe. As a side note, doing that would help prevent the metals on the ring from causing an icky green stain on the skin. I think a "Throwie" version with matching necklace and earrings would be quite fetching...

technick29 (author)BatGrrl2007-01-21

Good idea, thanks. I'll have to get around to doing that sometime.

carbon (author)2007-01-19

Mmmmmm...lead poisoning. :)

carbon (author)carbon2007-01-20

The above is an example of how a lone comment can quickly spiral out of control. :P

Crash2108 (author)carbon2007-01-19

If you're licking it...

trebuchet03 (author)Crash21082007-01-19

or if you touch your mouth/face/eyes after touching it :P

WesDoesStuff (author)trebuchet032007-01-19

thank god that almost all solders are now lead free.

bigpinecone (author)2007-01-20

i acually have never handled leaded solder, all the stuff i've ever seen for that matter was lead free

edb1960 (author)2007-01-20

I work in an electronics manufacturing plant as a solderer and I can tell you from experience that there IS lead-free solder. It takes a higher heat to make it flow and it may not be as shiny as regular solder. I have worked with leaded solder for many years and have had no health problems related to lead poisoning. Still, I am careful to wash my hands before break and lunch. Better safe than sorry!

randofo (author)2007-01-20

I made something like this once with wire, an LED and a coin battery. Unfortunately the battery started to burn my girlfriend after a while...

technick29 (author)randofo2007-01-20


japala (author)2007-01-20

Don't think that any girl, geek or not, would wear that long enough to get poisoned. This is just one more thing that makes us engineers wonder "why do not they like what I created?!"

westfw (author)2007-01-20

Solder fumes contain essentially zero "lead vapors." Lead has a very low vapor pressure at soldering temperatures. The "soldering fumes" are pretty much all vaporized flux, which causes reactions in some people... Lead has been mostly eliminated from solder used in plumbing/etc, but common electronic solder still contains lead. The recent "RoHS" European thing means you can now buy components whose leads are tinned with lead-based solder, but I've yet to see lead-free electronics solder commonly sold. For a project like this, you can use lead-free "silver solder", but I don't think it's design or particularly suitable for general electronics purposes.

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