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Resistors: What's the Watt information for?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Rex, Nov 6, 2003.

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  1. Rex

    Rex Guest

    Does the Watt listed (for the particular resistor in question) mean how
    many Watt's it can handle before it breaks down and stops functioning
    correctly? Or is it How much power it burns off in some unknown amount
    of time? What does the Watt listed for a Resistor of some given value

    Irrelevant side complaint (no need to read this part, I'm just venting):
    I've looked in several beginning electronics books, the Library, online
    resources & search engines, and haven't found the answer to the above
    question. When doing a search online for a question like this its
    difficult to filter out the bazillions of people who are trying to sell
    Resistors. Good for the people who sell stuff, but whatever happened to
    being able to get useful content out of a search? ...and why isn't a
    Resistors Watt 'rating' (or whatever it is) explained in basic
    electronics books? Do you have one that does? Know of a good free
    content website that has the Resistor Watt explanation?
  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    It is the maximum rating the part can dissipate. You need a safety margin
    stay at least 10% BELOW the power rating.
  3. On Thu, 6 Nov 2003, Rex wrote in
    It's the maximum power the resistor can _continuously_ dissipate for a
    given set of ambient conditions to achieve a possibly unspecified
    reliability rating. A resistor doesn't just stop functioning if you
    exceed the rated wattage but the killer is temperature and the higher
    the resistors internal temperature the shorter its life - too high a
    temperature and catastrophic failure occurs.

    Take a look a the data sheets on a manufactures site e.g.
  4. Probably learn about Watt's would be a good move too !!
  5. grahamk

    grahamk Guest

    Hve a look at
    Beginners and Intermediate Electronics
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