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4 Band Resistor Color Code Calculator

How to read a typical 4-band resistor value

Reading the resistor from left to right, the first two color bands represent significant digits, the third band represents the decimal multiplier, and the fourth band represents the tolerance. The Gold or Silver band is always placed to the right. Use our 4 Band Resistor Color Code Calculator online tool to calculate the information for color banded axial lead resistors of 4 band. Select the color of four bands, then their tolerance to determine the resistance.

four band resistor color code values

Resistors are devices that limit current flow and provide a voltage drop in electrical circuits. Because carbon resistors are physically small, they are color-coded to identify their resistance value in ohms. The use of color bands on the body of a resistor is the most common system for indicating the value of a resistor. Color-coding is standardized by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA).

The number of bands is important because the decoding changes based upon the number of color bands. The 4 band signifies:

Band 1 – First significant digit

Band 2 – Second significant digit

Band 3 – Multiplier

Band 4 – Tolerance

Resistor color code is a standard for the color bands on resistors, each representing a different value.

The resistor color code is used to identify the value of a resistor from its bands. The first two bands represent the first two digits of the value and the third band represents the multiplier. For example, if a resistor has orange, green, and brown bands then it will be an orange resistor with green stripes. This would read as 10Ω 5%.

Formulae for calculating 4 band resistor value

Resistance = (First Significant Digit . Second Significant Digit) * Multiplier ± Tolerance %

First Digit Second Digit Multiplier Tolerance Color
0 0 zero Black
1 1 1 zero Brown
2 2 2 zero 2 % Red
3 3 3 zero Orange
4 4 4 zero Yellow
5 5 5 zero Green
6 6 6 zero Blue
7 7 7 zero Violet
8 8 na Grey
9 9 na White
x 0.1 5% Gold
x 0.01 10% Silver

Tolerance Explanation

Resistors are never the exact value that the color codes indicate.Therefore manufacturers place a tolerance color band on the resistor to tell you just how accurate this resistor is made. It is simply a measurment of the imperfections. Gold means the resistor is within 5% of being dead-on accurate. Silver being within 10% and no color band being within 20%. To determine the exact range that the resistor may be, take the value of the resistor and mutiply it by 5, 10, or 20%. That is the number that the resistor may go either way.


Example: A 1,000 Ohm resistor with a gold band maybe any value between 950 to 1050 Ohms.

Example: A 22,000 Ohm resistor with a silver band maybe any value between 19,800 and 24,200 Ohms.

Phrases to remeber the resistor color code chart sequence

  • Big Boys Race Our Young Girls But Violet Generally Wins
  • Better Be Ready Or Your Great Big Venture Goes Wrong, Go Study Now
  • Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well, Get Smashed Now
  • Big Brown Rabbits Often Yield Great Big Vocal Groans When Gingerly Slapped.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Just a few common questions to help you out.

Question: Which side of the resistor do I read from?
Answer: The Gold or Silver band is always set to the right, then you read from left to right. Sometimes there will be no tolerance band. Simply find the side that has a band closest to a lead and make that the first band.

Question: Sometimes the colors are hard to make out. How do I make certain what the value of the resistor really is?
Answer: Occasionally the colors are jumbled or burnt off. The only way to read it then is with a multimeter across the leads.

Question: What is the equivalent replacements for diode D1 and D8 on the MC2100ELS-18W-2Y board?
Answer: Try DigiKey for best equivalents.

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