Resistor Color Codes

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The resistance value for a resistor is generally indicated through the use of a 4 (or 3, or 5) band color code. For a typical four-band code, the first two bands tell you the first two digits of the resistance, the third band tells you how many zeros to add, and the fourth band tells you the tolerance. For a five-band color code, the first three bands tell you the first three digits of the resistance, the fourth band tells you how many zeros to add, and the fifth band tells you the tolerance.

Digit, Multiplier, and Tolerance Band Chart

Color Color Name Digit band Multiplier band Tolerance band
Black 0 1
Brown 1 10 ± 1%
Red 2 100 ± 2 %
Orange 3 1000
Yellow 4 10,000
Green 5 100,000 ± 0.5 %
Blue 6 1,000,000 ± 0.25 %
Violet 7 10,000,000 ± 0.10 %
Gray 8 100,000,000 ± 0.05 %
White 9 1,000,000,000
Gold 0.1 ± 5 %
Silver 0.01 ± 10 %
None ± 20 %


Four-band Resistor

A resistor that has bands (starting from the band on the part of the resistor with the largest radius) of blue-gray-brown-gold will be:

\mbox{blue }\mbox{ gray }*\mbox{ brown }\pm\mbox{ gold}

resistor, or 68 * 10 = 680±5% Ω.

Five-band resistor

A yellow-violet-red-white-silver resistor would be:

\mbox{yellow }\mbox{ violet }\mbox{ red }*\mbox{ white } \pm \mbox{ silver }

or 472 * 1000000000 = 472±10\% GΩ.

Note that the same value resistor will have a different multiplier band color in the four-band scheme than in the five-band scheme. A 1 kΩ resistor will be brown-black-red-TOL in the first case and brown-black-black-brown-TOL in the second.


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