Introduction: About OHM and His LAW

About: Retired teacher and High School Principal. Teacher of math, science, digital electronics, computer leteracy, computer programing

OHM's LAW - What it is. How it works.
A personal LEARNING AID for the interested and patient learner. Just read the following pages with care or call them up using the HELP function under program execution.
A) Learn the color code for resistors through practice.
B) Learn to calculate rsistance for SERIES, PARALLEL, SERIES-PARALLEL circuits. Circuits are auto-generated and displayed. Answers are verified and a score card is kept. Chose a level of difficulty: (E)asy, (D)ifficult, (E)xpert. A calculator and notepad is needed for the more advanced levels. Just a notepad will do for the (E)asy level.

IMPORTANT: Answering questions on impulse will lead to failure and frustration. READ the instructions that preceed the cursor with care and respond in kind before going on (pressing ENTER).

REMEMBER: GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out

Step 1: A Summary of What Is Available

HELP : Start by reading ALL the pages (5) in the (H)elp section. The pages are presented below along with some expanatory note.

Step 2: Color Code

This page explains the color code for resistors.
SELECT THIS EXERCISE FIRST and get comfortable with the code.
Because of variations in color on different displays, an abbreviation (e.g. 'Viol' for violet) of the intended color is dispalyed just ahead of the cursor whenever a color interpretation is called for. A ribbon of colors is diaplayed on the upper right part of tha screen at all times.

This is a fun exercise !

Step 3: General Rules - Resistance Network

These are the general rules for finding the total resistans (Rt) of resistance network. Note: Rt=Total resistance, Rs=Series resistance (really the Rt for a SERIES network), Rp=Parallel resistance (really the Rt of a parallel network), Req=equivalent resistance.
Read this page several time if necessary or until you are comfortable with the terminology.

Step 4: General Rules

These are the general rules for series and for parallel circuits.
Instead of WIRES carying ELECRICITY, imagine that you have PIPES carrying WATER. Water PRESSURE is analogus to VOLTAGE, RESISTANCE to the flow of water (rough surface for exmaple) is analogous to RESISTANCE to the flow of electricity, The AMOUNT of water flowing in/out the PIPE is analogous to the CURRENT (AMPERES) that is available in an electical circuit. See the drawing below.

IN SERIES::: For a series of pipes connected in a closed loop::: Select a point in the loop as the beginning. That point is also the end point::: There is only one path through the loop::: The loop is like the figure z-e-r-o.

SERIES pipes are linked end-to-end. If a constant PRESSURE is maintained on the water in the pipe, you can draw the same AMOUNT of water in a given time no mater where you tape (or punch) the pipe. AMOUNT=CURRENT=AMPERES: ***IN A SERIES CIRCUIT THE CURRENT IS THE SAME IN ALL PARTS ***.

It makes sence that the total resistance in the series of pipes is equal to the SUM of the resistance in the individual sections of pipe. Where else could the resistance come from? ***IN A SERIES CIRCUIT Rt=R1+R2+....Rx*** Total resistance equals the sum of all the individual resistances.

Starting from a point in the SERIES loop, the PRESSURE will drop in successive sections of pipe because of resistance to flow. The sum of all the drops in pressure across all the sections of pipe in the SERIES loop is the same as the drop in pressure at the starting piont: ***IN A SERIES CIRCUIT, THE VOLTAGE DROP IS EQUAL TO THE SUM OF THE VOLTAGE DROPES ACROSS EACH COMPONENT***

IN PARALLEL::: Using the water pipe analogy, think of pipes connected together in the form of the figure e-i-g-h-t::: From any given starting point there is more than one path or branch in which water can flow. The secret for dealing with parallel circuits is to isolate each BRANCH and use the SERIES rules described above to find an EQUIVALENT RESISTANCE for each BRANCH(Req1 and Req2 in this case). This in effect reduces the circuit to TWO RESISTANCES (Req1 and Req2) in SERIES. As with SERIES circuits, TOTAL RESISTANCE is the sum of the individual resistances - Rpt=Req1+Req2 in this case.

Study the example in Photo 5 with care. Once you understand this example you will be confident when solving similar problems.

Step 5: Parallel Resistance - How To

Study the example in this photo until you understand it thoroughly. Remember what was said about BRANCHES in step 4.

TIP: A quick way to find the sum of two parallel resistances is to divide their product by their sum:
If R1=20 and R2=30, then Rt=20x30/20+30=600/50=12
It follows that if R1=R2, then Rt= half of one of them.
If R1=20 and R2=20, then Rt=20x20/20+20=400/40=10

::: In the example below, think of 't' as TOP, 'v' as VERTICAL, and 'b' as BOTTOM.
::: BRANCH 3 consists of Rt3, Rv3, and Rb3 in SERIES. Therefore Rs3=Rt3+Rv3+Rb3=30+40+50=120 by our SERIES Rule. Rs3 is now in PARALLEL with Rv2 and the EQUIVALENT resistance, Req1, is calculated as described under TIP, above:
Req1=(Rs3xRv2)/(Rs3+Rv2)= (120x30)/(120+30)=3600/150=24
Now BRANCH 3 has an equivalent resistance of 24

::: BRANCH 2 consists of Rt2, Req1 and Rb2 in SERIES. Therefore Rs2=Req1+Rt2+Rb2=24+40+20=84 by our SERIES Rule. Rs2 is now in PARALLEL with Rv1 and the EQUIVALENT resistance, Req2, is calculated as described in TIP, above:
Now BRANCH 2 has an EQUIVALENT resistance of 27

::: BRANCH 1 consists of Rt1, Req2 and Rb1 in SERIES. Therefore Req3, now Rt= Req2+Rt1+Rb1=27+10+50=87, the TOTAL RESISTANCE of the circuit. VOILA !

Step 6: A Summary of the Rules

Below is a summary of the rules of OHM's LAW and more.
Think in terms of pipes and water instead of wires and electrons if you need to.

Step 7: A Summary of What You Can Do

You can select from 3 different kinds of exercises:
A - Color coding
B - Measurements : select a TYPE and a DIFFICULTY LEVEL
C - Design a resistance circuit and perform the calculations.
Your work will be verified.

ADVICE: Entering random responses will yield
GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)
Practice with the easier problems first. You will gain confidence and expertise, than go on to the harder problems.

RUN R.EXE and wait for the program to load and auto execute.

Ignore the address, etc., on the title page.