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Resistor Colour Codes

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Richard Harris, Jan 20, 2005.

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  1. Hi,
    I have a resistor that is showing up as 56.0 Ohms on a multimeter but the
    colour code seems to say 560 Ohms.

    Green Blue Black Gold Brown
    5 6 0 ?? 1% Tolerance

    What does the gold mean?

    Thanks for ya time guys.
  2. Maybe it's really Brown and not Black for the third band?
  3. Sorry Please Ingore.
  4. Multiply 56 by 10 raised to the Zero power , wich is 1 not 10.

  5. I know, but I think of it like the third digit is just the number of
    zeros. Six to one, half dozen.....
  6. Fred Abse

    Fred Abse Guest

    Green - 5
    Blue - 6
    Black - 0
    Gold - multiplied by 10^-1 ie. 0.1
    Brown - 1%

    Hence 56 ohms.

    That's the way it's done with five band resistors for values below 100
    Divide by 10 (multiply by 0.1)
  7. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    codes are correct.
    third band is your multiplier., this would make the
    R 56 Ohms. 0 meaning no zero's after 56. 1 meaning 1 zero
    which would be a brown ring how ever,
    the gold band is your +/- 5% accuracy of the marked
    the brown band, because it comes after the tolerance
    reading normally used for quality and other markings.
    you make see at times were you only have 2 color bands
    and then a gold or Silver band, this is a fraction multiplier.
    gold being X 0.1 of the first 2 digits, and silver being
    x 0.01 etc./
    you make also see another gold/silver band following it that
    would then indicate the tolerance.
    there are in some cases for more precise values 4 bands for
    R value and then the Multiplier. you will know when you have one
    of these due to the fact that gold/silver band will not appear until
    after 4 color bands. R,R,R,M,T instead of the R,R,M,T
    hope that helped some.
  8. Jim Douglas

    Jim Douglas Guest

    I always put em on the meter cause I can't see very good anymore, even with
    lighted magnifying glass!
  9. Capacitors are also numbered with this annoying scheme. A cap numbered
    xyz is xy*10^z pF. A 100 cap is a 10pF cap. I would have prefered strict
    scientific notation (which would have allowed 10ths of pF), but it was
    probably invented before the widespread adoption of that notation.

    Inductors also have the same numbering scheme, but their numbering is in
    uH, not pF. Ugh. Inductors sometimes have the color bands to indicate
    their values.

    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  10. I also do that on occasion. I'm partially color blind, so greens and
    reds are 'weak' for me. Thus, I have issues with browns and reds looking
    suspiciously similar. Unfortunately, the size of the colored area seems
    to be a factor in whether I can recognize it, so while I can tell
    stoplights with ease, I can't tell red from brown on resistors. I use
    one of those big magnifying glasses too, and that helps, but keeping the
    parts in separate labeled bins helps more.

    Unfortunately, if I happen to drop a resistor into the wrong bin, I
    often can't tell until something either doesn't work as expected, or
    gets hot.

    Such is life.

    Robert Monsen

    "Your Highness, I have no need of this hypothesis."
    - Pierre Laplace (1749-1827), to Napoleon,
    on why his works on celestial mechanics make no mention of God.
  11. me

    me Guest


    5 6 0 1/10 1% Tolerance

    for 560/10=56.0 +/- .56 ohms. A "precision" resitor.
  12. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    One of the guys where I used to work found that
    replacing the cool-white fluorescents with daylight
    balanced versions made a *huge* difference in
    being able to tell red from brown on those 1%
    resistors with blue bodies. Worked great, and
    made it seem like perpetual sunrise in the lab
    (which had no windows).

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
  13. Kitchen Man

    Kitchen Man Guest

    I think of the third color as "number of zeroes." For instance,
    Yellow-Violet-Red is 4-7 plus two zeroes, or 4.7K. Other posters are
    correct that the third band is a power of 10 multiplier, but for ease of
    remembering and calculation, "number of zeroes to add" works for me.
    The tolerance. I think gold is 1%. There are other color bands that
    can creep in in different situations. For instance, a gold third band
    means multiply by 10^-1, or one-tenth, which would make your resistor
    5.6 Ohms if the third band were gold, not black.
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