Resistor Colour Codes

The purpose of this applet is to demonstrate resistor colour codes. The colour coding system applies to both carbon composition (cylindrical) and carbon film resistors (cylindrical with enlarged ends) of the axial lead type. This system is employed for resistors when the surface area is not sufficient to print the resistance value. The first three bands closest to one end of the resistor are used to determine the resistance. The fourth band (which may not be present) represents the tolerance of the resistor. Additional information can be obtained from the first band. If only this band is wide, the resistor is wire wound. If this band is wide and there is an additional fifth blue band, the resistor is wire wound and flame proof. The colours of the first two bands represent the numerical value of the resistor. The third band represents the power-of-10 multiplier. Press the example button to demonstrate this explanation. Using the choice boxes below, select the numerical values, power-of-10 multiplier and tolerance to determine the resistor's band colours. Alternatively, choose the colours of a resistor you have to determine it's values.

This document was created in the fall of 1998 by William S. Brinson as part of his senior thesis titled Develop Java Applets to Assist in Education. The java programs belong to William S. Brinson and were not modified.
The HTML document was modified on September 18, 2001 by Brent Petersen.

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