How to remember electrical resistor color codes

What is your mnemonic to remember the color-code order (Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, Gray, White, [Gold],[Silver],[None].

Wikipedia suggests: BB ROY of Great Britain has Very Good Wife

Bad beer rots our young guts but vodka goes well – get some now

Anyone got something better ?

I don't have any. I almost never use through-hole resistors, and on SMD parts, the value is printed on. And if i have to use a color-coded resistor, there is always a computer nearby that i can use to look up the value.

0805 fits on perfboards and in between two male header pins if you absolutely must breadboard.

Incredibly racist, but this is one that was apparently taught at one time. Learned it working in Lynchburg, Virginia unsurprisingly:

EDIT: thanks for the correction frankenbeans!

I learned it as "Bad Boys"

I think a instructor in college originally taught me that one.

I'd be careful I know someone who accidentally said that under their breath while trying to remember it and got fired.

I think it's probably high time we put that one well behind us

I have a color code shirt and on the side it said "bad" boys "ruin" our young girls. I'd say that's a good adaptation

Historically interesting, but indeed horrible !

That used to be in old electronics textbooks XD

That's pretty racist man : /

Not quite a mnemonic, but I always go back to thinking of the colors of the rainbow. ROYGBIV. That's gets the middle colors, if you take out Indigo. Than You just need each end, going from dark to light. Black and brown, and gray and white. It doesn't sound super intuitive, but it works for me.

In this article we are going to learn about resistor color codes ,resistance band , resistance value ,resistance band color code ,resistor color coding formula and examine the color code chart.

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Resistor colour code :

In the electrical experiments resistances starting from about 0.1 ohm to 1000 ohm are widely used .These types of resistances are generally made of copper or any other conducting metal or alloys .Usually in electronics goods resistances are less than 1000 ohm. Nowadays , high resistances graphite and gas carbon are used widely .These resistors are known as carbon resistor. The allotropes of carbon are thousand times greater than metals .Carbon is very effective as an element of high resistance .The carbon resistors are cheaper than metal resistors.

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How to remember electrical resistor color codes

Color code of carbon resistor

A cylindrical shell of bad conductor is used to made carbon resistor .The value of resistance can be determined by calculating the color codes drawn on the resistance .Two conducting metal wires are taken out from either side of the shell along its axis through which the resistor is connected to the external circuit .The fourth color is drawn apart from the three consecutive colors .From the above diagram we can see that the yellow color is apart from the two red and brown color .From the colors of the resistor we can calculate the resistance of the resistor .

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Also read –

Resistance Colour code chart :

Resistance colour code chart or resistor color code calculator are used to calculate the resistance and tolerance values of resistors.

There are 10 signal digits from 0 to 9 which corresponds to 10 colors.


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How to remember electrical resistor color codes

As shown in the table, different colours represent different values in the resistor colour code. The gold colour code is the multiplier to the resistance value. Black colour code is 0, brown colour code is 1, red colour code is 2, orange colour code is 3, yellow colour code is 4, green colour code is 5 and so on. It is the resistor color code calculator

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Reading of a resistor color code :

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

According to the given diagram of the resistor

Red blue violet gold

For red and blue we will put the values of the digit , for violet we will write multiplier and for gold we will write tolerance.

Red colour code is 2

For blue digit is 6

For violet digit is 7 so the multiplier is 107

For gold the tolerance is ±5%

So the resistance of the given resistor Red blue violet gold will be 26×107 ±5% Ω

How to remember the sequence of the color code :

To remember the color code sequence of color code given above by the sentence given below,

B B ROY of Great Britain has a Very Good Wife wearing Gold and Silver necklace.


Tolerance is the product of the value of the resistor and the tolerance band value .

Also check-

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) – Resistor Colour Code – Colour Chart, FAQs

Question: Who invented resistor color code?


Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA) invented resistor colour code.

Question: When the resistor colour code was invented?


In the 1920s the resistor colour code was invented.

Question: Why resistors are colour coded?


Resistors are small. In such a small space, it is hard to write the values of the resistors so resistors are colour-coded.

Question: What is the 100-ohm resistor colour code?


Brown, Black and brown and gold (as tolerance factor) will be the resistor code of 100 Ω.

Question: Why carbon resistors are most commonly used than metal resistors?


Carbon resistors are used most commonly than metal resistors because they are cheaper than metal resistors. Also, they are smaller in size so carbon resistor colour codes can be easily analyzed.

Question: Write about wire colour code India.


As reported by wire colour code India, the red colour signifies live power, the black colour indicates neutral and the green colour shows the earthing.

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

The Color Codes used on resistors in carbon, carbon film and metal film types are widely used and a ‘must learn’ for electronics engineers. Resistors are usually very tiny and it is difficult to print resistance values on them. So, color bands are printed on them to represent the electrical resistance. These color bands are known as resistor color code.

Resistors are available in a range of different resistance values from fractions of an Ohm (Ω) to millions of Ohms.

Values of resistance, tolerance, and wattage rating are generally printed onto the body of the resistor as numbers or letters when the resistor’s body is big enough to read the print, such as large power resistors. In most cases, when the resistor is small such as a 1/4 W carbon or film type, these specifications will be color-coded. These colored painted bands produce a system of identification generally known as Resistor Color Code.

All leaded resistors with a power rating up to one watt are marked with color bands. They are given by several bands and together they specify the resistance value, the tolerance rate, and sometimes the reliability or failure rates. The number of bands present in a resistor varies from three to six.

The tolerance values represent by how much the resistance can vary from its mean value in terms of percentage. A gold band represents the lowest variation, so be sure to buy these at the electronics store. The value of the given resistance is: 22 Ω ± 5% . The tolerance of the resistor can be calculated as follows:

Tolerance=Value of resistor × value of tolerance band

= 22 Ω × 5% = 1.1 Ω

This means that the 22 Ω resistors with a tolerance value of 1.1 Ω could range from the actual value as much as 23.1 Ω to as little as 20.9 Ω. It is important to note that the band next to the tolerance band represents the multiplier. All the bands to the left of this band represent the significant digits. There can be more than two such bands.

The humble resistor is a key component of many renewable energy systems. They are designed to resist electricity and can, therefore, be used to supply the correct voltage or a suitably limited current to the various components in an electric circuit. Because resistors are so small too small to print numerical resistance values on they are instead marked with four, five, or (less commonly) six colored bands. Each color represents a different number and so the value (in Ohms) of the resistor can easily be calculated.

An international resistor color code scheme was developed many years ago as a simple and quick way of identifying a resistor’s ohmic value no matter what its size or condition. It consists of a set of individual colored rings or bands in spectral order representing each digit of the value of the resistor.

The resistor color code markings are always read one band at a time starting from the left to the right, with the larger width tolerance band oriented to the right side indicating its tolerance. By matching the color of the first band with its associated number in the digit column of the color chart below the first digit is identified and this represents the first digit of the resistance value.

Resistor Color Code Chart –

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

Colors on the resistor like brown, red, green, blue, and violet are used as tolerance codes on 5-band resistors only. The blank (20%) “band” is only used with the “4-band” code (3 colored bands + a blank “band”).

Following are the ways to understand which end of the resistor must be used for reading the color codes:

Most of the resistors have color bands grouped closer at one end. Hold the resistor with these grouped bands to our left. Always read the resistor from left to right.

Resistors never have a metallic band on the left. If the resistor has either gold or silver band on either end, then the tolerance of the resistor is 5% or 10%. This band of the resistor must be position on the right and the color code must be read from left to right.

Resistors range from 0.1 Ohm to 10 Mega-ohms. For a four-band resistor, the third color will always be blue i.e. 106 or less and for a five-band resistor, the fourth color will always be green i.e. 105 or less.

There are many mnemonic phrases to help us to remember the order of the colors:

Black Brown Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet Gray White…which correspond to the values 0-9.

If you want to understand resistor color coding then you are at right place where you are explained full resistor calculator depending upon the resistor colour bands which are always confusing for the electricians. There are 4, 5 and 6 bands on different resistors.

How to Read Resistor Color Code?

Resistors are color coded for easy reading. To determine or calculate the resistance and tolerance value of a given resistor color look for the gold or silver tolerance band and hold the resistor with this band to the right. Then read the resistor color code bands left to right.

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

Look at the 1st color band and determine its color. This may be difficult on small or oddly colored resistors. Now look at the chart given below on this page and match the “1st & 2nd resistor color code band” color to the “Digit it represents”. Write this number down.

Now look at the 2nd color band and match that color to the same resistor colour code chart. Write this number next to the 1st Digit.

Match the 3rd color band with the chart under multiplier. This number will give the number of zeros (0’s) you will multiply with the other 2 numbers by i.e. if it is 3 you will multiply with 1000 (3 zeros). Write it next to the other 2 numbers with a multiplication sign before it.

Resistor Calculator Example

First color is red which is 2, Second color is black which is 0, Third color is yellow which is 4 so multiplier come 10,000. Tolerance band is silver which is 10% Therefore the equation is:

2 0 x 10,000 = 200,000 Ohms ± 10%

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

Now you can easily remember the resistor colour code by remembering below given sentence.

B ig B rown R abbits O ften Y ield G reat B ig V ocal G roans W hen G ingerly S lapped.

Why to use kilo Ohm & Mega Ohm in Resistance Calculator

When we calculate the resistance of a resistor we see large number of zeros, therefore prefixes are used to have a handy short name. “k” is used for kilo and means 1000 times and “M” is used for mega and means 1,000,000 times (million)

Another example to understand resistor calculation

We have resistor color codes Orange Orange Brown Gold resistor, lets calculate what will be resistance? The first orange means 3, The second orange means 3, The brown means 1 zero and the gold means ± 5%.

The answer is 330 ohms ± 5%

How to remember electrical resistor color codes

Standard Resistor Values

Because it is not possible to stock all possible values of resistances in a shop or component store, preferred values have been chosen to represent a usable spectrum of values for resistor color code and classes.

Many inventions and discoveries have been produced to make life easier for humans. One such discovery that we are extremely reliant on to make our lives easier is the discovery of current electricity. The discovery of electricity is credited to Benjamin Franklin.

The flow of electrons from one segment of the circuit to another is referred to as current electricity. A pace of flowing electric charge past a place or region is referred to as an electric current. When there is a net movement of electric charge through a region, an electric current exists. Charge carriers are moving particles, and different sorts of particles can be found in different conductors. Electrons flowing through a wire are the charge carriers in electric circuits. Ions are charged carriers in an electrolyte, while ions and electrons are charge carriers in an ionised gas. An ammeter is a device used to measure electric current. In incandescent light bulbs, electric current induces Joule heating, which produces light.

When an electric current flows through a bulb or any other conductor, the conductor creates an obstacle, which is known as electrical resistance.

What is Electrical Resistance?

The electrical resistance of a circuit is the ratio between the voltage applied to the current flowing through it. There is a relationship between the current running through a conductor and the potential difference across it, according to Ohm’s law. It is provided by

  • V is the potential difference across the conductor (Volts)
  • I is the current through the conductor (Amperes)
  • R is the constant of proportionality called resistance (in ohms)


A Resistor is a device used for restricting the flow of electric current in the circuit. Some of the uses of resistors are heating, LEDs and transistor, dividing voltage, frequency and timing, circuit functions.

Resistor definition explains that it is a basic component found in all electronic gadgets. The resistor is a two-terminal passive electrical component. The resistor is used to limit the passage of electric current in a circuit, according to its definition. One of the most frequent forms of electronics is the carbon resistor. They’re comprised of a solid cylindrical resistive element with wire leads or metal end caps implanted inside.

The SI unit of the resistor is Ohm (Ω).

  • Linear resistor: Linear resistors are resistors whose values fluctuate as the applied temperature and voltage change.
    • Fixed resistors: These resistors have a predetermined value that cannot be altered. The many types of fixed resistors are as follows:
      • Carbon composition resistors
      • Wire wound resistors
      • Thin-film resistors
      • Thick film resistors
      • Potentiometers
      • Rheostats
      • Trimmers
      • Thermisters
      • Varistors
      • Photoresistors

      What are Carbon Resistors?

      Materials like nichrome, brass, platinum, and tungsten, which are metal, and alloys are used to produce the resistance. However, most of these metals have low electrical resistance compared to carbon resistors, as it makes it difficult to produce high resistance without making the resistor bulky.

      Resistance ∝ (Length × Resistivity)

      How to remember electrical resistor color codes

      Carbon resistors are favoured for the vast majority of applications. This is due to the fact that they are inexpensive to manufacture, small, and can be directly printed onto circuit boards (like the computer processors in phones and tablets). Within practical constraints, they also reproduce resistance fairly well. In comparison to metal wires, which are costly to create, carbon is abundant and inexpensive.

      Carbon resistors come in different physical sizes with power dissipation limits commonly from 1 W to 1/8 W. They are made from a solid cylindrical resistive element with embedded wire leads or metal end caps and consist of a ceramic core, on which a thin layer of crystalline carbon is deposited. There is only one disadvantage of Carbon resistors i.e they cannot withstand very temperature (with an increase in temperature there is a change in the resistivity).

      Parts of a Carbon Resistor

      • Ceramic Core
      • Nickel Cap
      • Lead
      • Carbon Film
      • Protective Lacquer

      The deposition procedure is used to make the carbon resistors. The carbon layer is deposited on the resistor’s ceramic body in this method. Because the carbon film slows current flow, it is an essential component of the resistor. Hydrocarbons such as methane and benzene are shattered at a high temperature of 1000 °C. Pure graphite (carbon) is used for distribution on the ceramic body, and the ceramic mould functions as an insulator against high temperatures or electricity. Because of the carbon covering, the resistor is able to endure electricity without being damaged.

      • Carbon is deposited onto a ceramic core in the carbon resistor. The deposited carbon is etched in a spiral, which transforms it into a wire wound on a ceramic core.
      • The Pitch, diameter, and length of the carbon spiral vary depending on the resistance required. Nickel caps are added to both ends of the core to ensure that the carbon and lead make good contact. For electrical insulation, the leads are soldered to the nickel caps, and the entire resistor is coated with lacquer.
      • Metal caps operate as heat sinks for small resistances necessary for small currents, carrying away heat dissipated by the resistor. A metal heat sink is added separately for larger current requirements to carry away excess heat and prevent the resistor from burning up.
      • To indicate the resistance, carbon resistors are colour-coded.

      How Does Carbon Resistor Work?

      When building an electric or electronic circuit for a certain purpose, the exact amount of resistance in the circuit board must be induced. It is accomplished by using carbon resistors, which are small components. These components are a small packet of resistance that is plugged into the circuit to decrease the flow of current by a specified amount.

      • The Carbon resistor’s ability to endure high energy pulses is one of its most significant advantages.
      • When current travels through a carbon resistor, the entire body conducts the energy.
      • Carbon resistors are less expensive to manufacture and have a higher resistance than wire-wound resistors.
      • A major disadvantage of a carbon resistor is its large negative coefficient of resistance, which causes the resistance to fluctuating rapidly when the temperature changes. The resistance of the resistor reduces as the temperature rises.

      What is the Resistor colour code?

      Because of their small size, it is challenging to print resistance values on the resistors. To solve this problem the resistor colour code was invented in the 1920s by the Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA).

      Colour bands are used to identify any leaded resistors with a power rating of less than one watt. They are specified by a number of bands, which collectively determine the resistance value, tolerance rate, and, in some cases, dependability and failure rates. A resistor’s number of bands might range from three to six. The resistance value is indicated by the first two bands, while the third band acts as a multiplier. Let’s look at how to read resistor colour codes, look at an example, and learn a mnemonic to remember the number sequence in this post.