Introduction: DIY Emergency Resistor - an Electronic Circuit Component

Your in a cabin in the woods, your circuit is due tomorrow and the parts store is closed. You need is a few resistors now!

Step 1: Gather the Materials

To make resistors you need a volt-ohm meter, some paper clips, slips of paper and a graphite pencil. I prefer a No. 2 pencil as a No. 1 is harder to find in an emergency.

Step 2: Scribble Resistance

Applying steady pressure scribble a smudge with no line breaks on a piece of paper. The graphite in a No. 2 pencil has electrical properties. More familiar circuit resistors are made from carefully calibrated graphite wrapped in non conductive shell with connecting  leads protruding. Read

Step 3: Add the Paper Clips

Push two paper clips onto the paper so the metal of each clip is touching the graphite smudge.

Step 4: Measure the Resistor

Attach the leads of the volt-ohm meter to the paper clips and measure the resistor value. Move the paper clips closer together to decrease the resistor value.

Beware (mild): Don't let your fingers touch the leads when you are measuring the resistance.  Your human contact to the leads with body resistance will distort the meter reading.

Beware (medium): Don't let the paper clips touch. If the paper clips touch there is an electrical 'short' as there is no resistance and your circuit might get damaged.

BEWARE (HIGH): This is LOW VOLTAGE SOLUTION - - do NOT use this in high voltage circuits.

The results of this DIY resistor vary enormously - - you did it yourself!


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