Resistor color code

Small resistors with wires on their ends (through hole) typically use colored stripes/bands to indicate both their rated value in ohms and their tolerance (expected possible percentage difference of actual value from the rated value).

1K and 2K resistors with color code labeled diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom
1K and 2K resistors with color code labeled diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom

Reading the value (for most values)

The resistors pictured/drawn on this page are all covered in the video below. I posted that diagram at https://www.youtube.com/post/Ugw9WJyddWyNLJHEv5p4AaABCQ?app=desktop

Examples in the first diagram  below are a lot lower than common value resistors.

Resistor-color-code-including-single-and-double-digit by electronzapdotcom on YouTube and Electronzap
Resistor-color-code-including-single-and-double-digit by electronzapdotcom on YouTube and Electronzap

Color stripes used to indicate blue and beige 220 and 470 ohm resistors diagram by electronzap electronzapdotcom

  • Tolerance band: Placed to the right. This band is usually gold (5%) for the beige resistors, which is nice. Unfortunately the more commonly available blue resistors usually have a brown band for 1% tolerance. This can be an annoyance because brown is also used to indicate 1, which is a common first digit.
  • First band on the left is the first digit.
  • Second band from the left is the second digit.
  • Third band is the multiplier for beige resistors with 4 bands, and is the third digit for blue resistors with 5 bands.
  • Forth band: Is the multiplier for 5 band resistors. It is most simply the number of zeroes added to the 3 digits looked at earlier unless it is gold (0.1x) or silver (0.01x). It’s the tolerance band for a 4 band resistor, covered above.

How to read electronics resistor color code updated video by electronzap

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Other basic electronics topics that you should know before moving on to more advanced topics.

555 timer is an integrated circuit (IC). Being an IC, it has complex circuitry combined in a single package with external pins/terminals to connect to other circuitry. You can easily make all kinds of fun circuits with just a 555 timer and the components covered above, so I think it’s a good component to learn next.

Transistors will probably be the most challenging components to learn. Understanding them will help you understand all of electronics much better, and help you the most in being creative while designing your own circuits.

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