Resistor Color Code Guide

About: Electrical Engineer, control systems, automation, small electronics, home automation, microcontrollers etc.

This guide shows an easy illustration on using resistor color codes.  The image is fairly easy to understand up front, but I will provide some explanation.

There are typically between 4 bans and 6 bands on a resistor.  You must be very careful when reading them because after a long day working some colors can start to blend.

The first 2-3 bands represent single digits, there will then be a band representing the multiplier, a space, and then a tolerance band.  On some occasions there will be a temperature coefficient band at the end.

The easiest way to learn to read it is to imagine writing the numbers down on paper

for example, say we have a resistor with the following colored bands : BROWN, GREEN, RED, GOLD

This would represent the following:

BROWN   -   GREEN   -   RED   -   GOLD
       1                    5            X100        +/-5%

so it is simply 15 x 100 +/- 5%

so you would be holding a 1500 ohm resistor with a 5% tolerance (meaning the resistor value can actually be anywhere between 1425 and 1575)

And thats it, pretty simply to pick up, i wouldnt worry about memorizing the colors, You get used to them after a while but i always have a card nearby with the color codes on them too.

Photo credit : michaels-electronics-lessons.com/

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3 Discussions

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Kent JudeB

2 years ago

Thanks for this :D It helps me a lot ...

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Mase13

3 years ago

thank you for explaining that it helped a lot