Resistor color code

 
Resistor color code

How does the resistor color code work? Resistor values are often indicated with color codes. Practically all leaded resistors with a power rating up to one watt are marked with color bands. The coding is defined in the international standard IEC 60062. This standard describes the marking codes for resistors and capacitors. It includes also numerical codes, as for example often used for SMD resistors. The color code is given by several bands. Together they specify the resistance value, the tolerance and sometimes the reliability or failure rate. The number of bands varies from three till six. As a minimum, two bands indicate the resistance value and one band serves as multiplier. The resistance values are standardized, these values are called preferred value. Resistor color code chart The chart below shows how to determine the resistance and tolerance for resistors. The table can also be used to specify the color of the bands when the values are known. An automatic resistor calculator can be used to quickly find the resistor values. Tips for reading resistor codes In the sections below examples are given for different numbers of bands, but first some tips are given to read the color code: The reading direction might not always be clear. Sometimes the increased space between band 3 and 4 give away the reading direction. Also, the first band is usually the closest to a lead. A gold or silver band (the tolerance) is always the last band. It is a good practice to check the manufacturer’s documentation to be sure about the used coding system. Even better is to measure the resistance with a multi-meter. In some cases this might even be the only way to figure out the resistance; for example when the color bands are burnt off. 4 band resistor The [... read more]