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Resistors restrict the flow of electric current, for example a resistor is placed in series with a light-emitting diode (LED) to limit the current passing through the LED.

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Connecting and soldering

Resistors may be connected either way round because they are not polarized (no negative or positive). They are not damaged by heat when soldering.

Resistor values – the resistor colour code

Resistance is measured in ohms, the symbol for ohm is an omega .
1 is quite small so resistor values are often given in k and M .
1 k = 1000     1 M = 1000000 .

Resistor values are normally shown using coloured bands.
Each colour represents a number as shown in the table.

Most resistors have 4 bands:

  • The first band gives the first digit.
  • The second band gives the second digit.
  • The third band indicates the number of zeros.
  • The fourth band is used to shows the tolerance (precision) of the resistor. (Gold is 5%, Silver is 10% and None is 20%)

This resistor has red (2), violet (7), yellow (4 zeros) and gold bands.
So its value is 270000  ± 5%= 270 k ± 5%.
On circuit diagrams the is usually omitted and the value is written 270K.

Basic Electronics
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