Here in this large color chart is the resistor color code - learn the sequence forever -
BLACK, BROWN, RED, ORANGE, YELLOW, GREEN, BLUE, PURPLE, SILVER, WHITE
I have accomodated two current color banding of resistances - four band and five band resistance color code. It should be pretty self explanatory I hope.
The five band resistor color code is more likely to be associated with the more precision 1% and 2% types. Your "garden variety" 5% general purpose types will be four band resistance codes.
Resistors come in a range of values but the two most common are the E12 and E24 series. The E12 series comes in twelve vaues for every decade. The E24 series comes in twent four vales per decade.
E12 series - 10, 12, 15, 18, 22, 27, 33, 39, 47, 56, 68, 82
E24 series - 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 43, 47, 51, 56, 62, 68, 72, 82, 91
You will notice with the E12 values that each succeeding value falls within the plus / minus 10% of the previous values. This stems from the real old days when resistances were stated as within 20% tolerance (accuracy). Later values of plus / minus 5% tolerance led to the E24 range of resistance. Quite common today are 2% tolerance metal films types but for general purpose use we tend to stick to E12 values of resistance in either 1%, 2% or 5% tolerance.
I hope the resistance color code helps.
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Updated 20th May, 2000