Reading the E96 5-Band Resistor Color Code
Courtesy of Texas Instruments
The resistor color code uses colors to represent numbers;
- Digits in a resistance value
- The power of ten used to multiply the resistance value by
- The tolerance of the resistor.
The location and number of the bands determines the context for their use. For 1% resistors, the first three bands are resistance values, the fourth is the exponent, and the fifth is the tolerance, which is always brown for 1%:
A couple of notes of caution:
- If the resistance value begins with brown, sometimes it is hard to tell on which end the color code of the resistor begins. It is easy to confuse the first resistance value band with the tolerance band. The resistor color code MUST end up with a legal E-96 value, or the code has been read from the wrong end of the resistor. The example above, if read from the wrong end, would give a value of 120 W - which is not a legal E-96 value.
- There is an old military specification (Mil-R-22684) for 2%, 5%, and 10% resistors that uses 5 color bands. In that case, the first two bands are the resistor value, the third the multiplier, the fourth the tolerance, and the fifth is white indicating 1 ½ times solderable.