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).
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.
- 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.
Keep scrolling down for links to more topics!
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Other basic electronics topics that you should know before moving on to more advanced topics.
- Electronic component appearance and schematics – Commonly used through hole versions
- Electronic circuit basics
- Voltage sources for electronics basics
- Multimeter measuring voltage
- Resistor component – Learning electronics resistors
- Light Emitting Diodes – Indicator LEDs
- LED circuit -Lighting a Light Emitting Diode
- Resistor limiting current – Ohms law
- Multimeter measuring current
- Wattage – Electrical Power unit
- Resistors connected in parallel
- Series resistors
- Voltage divider – Setting a fractional voltage
- Resistor color code
- Diode – Rectifier
- Trimpot – Trimmer potentiometer – Voltage divider – Variable resistor
- Capacitor component
- Capacitor RC time constant
- Voltage ramp Demonstrated using a capacitor.
- LM334 three terminal adjustable current source not a common component. I use for an easy current source in many circuits.
- Switch NOT logic gate – digital signal inverter
- Switch OR gate – LED circuit
- Switch AND gate – LED circuit
- Switch based NAND logic gate – LED demonstration circuit
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.
- 555 Timer IC This particulars of this integrated circuit covered on this page make a lot more sense after you study the basic circuits that follow.
- 555 timer bistable mode – Flip flip basic circuit
- 555 timer monostable mode – One shot
- 555 timer astable multivibrator mode – Flashing LEDs
- 555 timer schmitt trigger logic inverter – NOT gate
- 555 timer LDR controlled astable multivibrator mode LED flasher circuit
- 555 timer – Buzzer output – Astable multivibrator mode – Light dependent resistor LDR controlled circuit
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.
- NPN BJT switch circuit – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3904
- PNP BJT switch – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3906
- NPN BJT emitter follower circuit – transferring a voltage minus a diode drop
- PNP BJT emitter follower circuit – Transferring weak signal voltage with a diode voltage shift
- Bipolar Junction Transistor BJT voltage follower circuit improved to eliminate base emitter diode shift
- NPN BJT current source – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3904
- PNP BJT current source – Bipolar Junction Transistor – 2N3906
- Schmitt trigger – NPN BJT
- Zener diode component – voltage reference – regulator
- Voltage doubler circuit fragment- Capacitor charge pump – Some V loss
- 7805 5V positive voltage regulator IC
- Battery voltage state of charge SOC – From fully charged to discharged
These pages are still being compiled.
Circuits covered more quickly series:
- Brief polarity indicator LEDs circuit
- Brief capacitor charge and discharge through LEDs circuit
- Brief capacitor charging RC time constant demonstration circuit
- Brief 555 bistable mode flip flop alternating LEDs circuit