Sie sind auf Seite 1von 5




College of Engineering and Architecture
Department of Electrical Engineering

Activity No. 2


Color Code
The ohm is the unit of resistance. The symbol for ohm is (Greek letter omega). Resistance values are
indicated by a standard color code that manufacturers have adapted. This code involves the use of color
bands on the body of the resistor. The colors and their numerical values are given in the resistor color
chart, Table 2-1. This code is used for 1/8-W, -W, -W, 1-W, 2-W, and 3-W resistors.
Table 2-1. Resistor Color Chart
Resistors, IEA and MIL Significant
Multiplier Tolerance, % figures Color
1 0 Black
10 1 Brown
100 2 Red
1,000 3 Orange
10,000 4 Yellow
100,000 5 Green
10 6
6 Blue
107 7 Violet
108 8 Gray
109 9 White
0.1 5 Gold
0.01 10 Silver
20 No color

The basic resistor is shown in Figure 2-1. Note the color bands. The color of the first band tells the first
significant figure of the resistor. The color of the second band tells the second significant figure. The
color of the third band tells the multiplier (number of zeros to be added or the placement of the decimal
point). A fourth color band is used for tolerance designation. The absence of the fourth color band means
20 percent tolerance.
In Figure 2-1 the resistor is
coded red, red, black, gold. Its
value would be 22 at 5 percent

Color %Rating
Brown 1%
Red 0.1%
Orange 0.01%

In the Yellow 0.001% case of a resistor whose value is less than 1 , the
multiplier is silver (band or dot). In the case of a resistor
whose value is greater than 1 but less than 10 , the multiplier is gold.

Resistors used in military electronics carry a fifth band to indicate the reliability level, rated in percent
per 1000 hours. The fifth band color code is as follows:

Wirewound, high-wattage resistors usually are not color-coded, but have the ohmic and wattage rating
printed on the body of the resistor.

Resistors with brown body color are insulated; those with black body color are not insulated.

In writing the values of resistors, the following designations are employed:

k, a multiplier which stands for 1000

M, a multiplier which stands for 1,000,000

For example 33 k stands for 33,000 ; 1.2M stands for 1,200,000 .

Variable Resistors

In addition to fixed-value resistors, variable resistors are used extensively in electronics. There are two
types of variable resistors, the rheostat and the potentiometer. Volume controls used in radio and the
contrast and brightness controls of television receivers are typical examples of potentiometers.

A rheostat is essentially a two-terminal device. Its circuit symbol is shown in Figure 2-2. Points A and B
connect into the circuit. A rheostat has a maximum value of resistance, specified by the manufacturer, and
a minimum value, usually zero ohms. The arrowhead in
Figure 2-2 indicates a mechanical means of adjusting the
rheostat so that the resistance, measured between points
A and B, can be set to any intermediate value within the
range of variation.

The circuit symbol for the potentiometer (Figure 2.3a) shows that this three-terminal device. The
resistance between points A and B is fixed. Point C is the variable arm of the potentiometer. The arm is a
metal contactor which moves along the uninsulated surface of the resistance element, selecting different
lengths of resistive surface. Thus, the longer the surface between point A and C, the greater is the ohms
resistance between these two points. Similarly, the resistance between point B and C varies as the length
of element included between
point B and C.

The axiom which states that

the whole is equal to the sum
of its parts applies to a
potentiometer as well as it
does to geometric figures. In
this case it is apparent that
the resistance RAC from A to
C, plus the resistance RCB
from C to B, make up the
fixed resistance RAB of the
potentiometer. The action of
the arm, then, is to increase
the resistance between C and one of the end terminals, and at the same time to decrease the resistance
between C and the other terminal, while the sum of the two resistances RAC and RCB remains constant.

A potentiometer may used as a rheostat if the center arm and the one of the end terminals are connected
into the circuit and the other end terminal is left disconnected. Another method of converting a

potentiometer into a rheostat is to connect a piece of hookup wire between the arm and one of the end
terminals, for example, C can be connected to A. The points B and C now serve as the terminals of the
rheostat. (When two points in a circuit are connected by hookup wire, these points are said to be shorted

Measuring Resistance

This is one of the functions of a multimeter. To measure resistance, the function switch should be set to
Ohms. Next, before you use the ohms function of the meter, you should adjust to their proper settings.
You are then ready to make measures and continuity checks. Now to measure the resistance between two
points, say A and B, one of the meter leads is connected to point A, the other to point B. The meter
pointer then indicates, on the ohms scale, the value of resistance between A and B. If the meter reading is
zero ohms, point A and B are short-circuited, or simply shorted. If, however, the meter pointer doe not
move (that is, if the indicator points to infinity on the ohms scale), points A and B are open-circuited, that
is, there is an infinite resistance between them.

Reading the Ohms Scale

The multimeter contains a basic ohms scale from which readings are made directly on the R 1 range of
the meter. The ohms scale is nonlinear; that is the arc distance between the consecutive graduations is not
equal. Thus the distance between 0 and 1 is much greater than the distance between 9 and 10, though each
arc represents, in this case, a change of 1 .

If the resistance greater than 100 is to be measured with some degree of accuracy, the meter range
should be switched to R 10, R 100, or R 1000, depending on the actual resistance to be measured.
These three ranges, R 10, R 100, or R 1000, will usually be found on the meter. In the R 10 range,
any reading made on the basic scale must be multiplied by 10. In the R 100 range, any reading must be
multiplied by 100, etc.

College of Engineering and Architecture
Department of Electrical Engineering

Activity No. 2
Resistor Color Code

Date Performed: __________

Name: ______________________________
Section: __________


1. To determine the value of resistors from their EIA (Electronic Industries Association) color code.
2. To read resistance value at a specified point on each of the ohmmeter scales on multimeter.
3. To measure resistors of different values
4. To measure the resistance across each combination of two of the three terminals of a
potentiometer and to observe the range of resistance change as the shaft of the potentiometer is
varied throughout its entire range.

Materials Required

Resistors: Ten (10) assorted values
10,000 potentiometer
Jumper wire


1. Determine the value of each resistor supplied from its color code. Fill the information
required in Table 2.2.
2. Measure each resistor with the multimeter, and fill in the results in the row, Measured
value. The coded value and the measured value should agree within the tolerance range
of the resistor. Indicate percentage of accuracy between coded and measured values.
3. Measure and record the resistance of a small piece of wire (jumper wire).
4. (a.) Connect the wire across the resistor in which the resistor has been said to be short-
circuited. (b.) Measure and record the value of this combination (i.e., the resistance from
A to B) in Table 2.2. (c.) Repeat step a and b for the remaining nine resistors.
5. Examine the potentiometer assigned to you. Orient it so that the rotatable shaft comes out toward
you. Call the terminals A, B, and C as in Figure 2-3b. Measure and record in Table 2-3 the total
resistance RAB between A and B. Vary the arm of the potentiometer, while keeping the ohmmeter
connected across AB. Does the total resistance vary? Indicate the effect in Table 2-3.
6. Connect the multitester terminals across AC. Turn the potentiometer control completely
clockwise (CW). Measure and record the resistance RAC (between points A and C), and also the
resistance RBC (between points B and C). Compute and record the value RAC + RBC.
7. Now observe how the resistance RAC varies as the potentiometer arm is turned from its CW
position to complete CCW position; how RBC varies over the same range. Record the CW and
CCW values for RAC and RBC. Compute and record RAC + RBC in each case.
8. Set the control one-quarter of the way CW. Measure and record RAC and RBC in Table 2-3.
Compute and record RAC + RBC.
9. Set the control three-quarters of the way CW. Measure and record RAC and RBC in Table 2-3.
Compute and record RAC + RBC.
10. Set up an experiment and study the effect on the resistance RAC when point B is shorted to C and
the resistance RBC when A is shorted to C. List the data for your experiment in Table 2-4.

Table 2-2 Resistor Measured versus Color-Coded Values
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1st color
2nd color
3rd color
4th color
Coded value,
Tolerance, %
Measured value,
Percent Error
Measured value,
(wire and resistor)

Table 2-3 Potentiometer Measurements

Step Setting of potentiometer control Computed Value

5 Vary over its range X X X
6 Completely CW X
7 CW to CCW X
8 CW X
9 CW X

Table 2-4 Effect of Potentiometer during Short-Circuit

Resistance Measured values,
RAC (B and C are short-circuited)
RBC (A and C are short-circuited)


1. At which end of the scale are resistance readings more reliable, the crowded or the uncrowded

2. To what range should you shift if your readings are at the crowded end of the scale?
3. Give the color coding for the following resistor:
a. 0.27 : _______________________________________________________________
b. 2.2 : ________________________________________________________________
c. 39 : ________________________________________________________________
d. 560 : _______________________________________________________________
e. 33,000 : ____________________________________________________________
4. How much resistance would you measure across the terminals of a short circuit? An open circuit?
5. How can a potentiometer be used as a rheostat?
6. Explain the significance of your measurements in Table 2-3.
7. What is the effect of potentiometer when short-circuited?