Resistor Markings - Alpha Numeric & Color Codes
Three methods of resistor markings are predominant - color coding, numerical value coding and three-digit symbol coding. MIL-PRF-55342 assigns part numbers using alpha-numeric coding. Tolerance, temperature, package style and failure rate are integrated into some numbering schemes.
When I posted a recommendation for new uses for the color codes on the RF Cafe Smorgasbord feature, I invited visitor inputs. They are presented at the bottom of the page.
Here are the RF Cafe visitor responses to an invitation I made for suggested uses of the color code, or for different versions of the mnemonics used to remember the number-color relationships.
OK, since people have requested the politically incorrect mnemonic that I was taught in high school electrical vocational classes, here it is:
Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls But Violet Gives Willingly
also Bad Boys Rape Our Young Girls Behind Victory Garden Walls
Does the non PC mnemonic you learned involve a YL named Violet? The Boy Scout mnemonic I learned way back when was " Better Be Right Or Your Great Big Venture Goes West - Get Some Now". A very early form of PC I guess.
Kevin A., Virginia
Note: Get Some Now refers to tolerance - Gold = 5%, Silver = 10%, None = 20%
Indeed, color codes will fade away. Being colorblind I do not really care, however. You might want to know the color code mnemonic in Dutch:
Zij Bracht Rozen Op Gerrits Graf Bij Vies Grauw Weer.
black = zwart
brown = bruin
red = rood
orange = oranje
yellow = geel
green = groen
blue = blauw
purple = violet
gray = grijs
white = wit
(Approximate translation: she brought roses on Gerrits grave during dirty gray weather)
I am curious about the English version, that is supposed to be politically incorrect.
With kind regards, Hugo K., the Netherlands.
Try this: Bad Beer Rots Our Young Guts But Vodka Goes Well – get some now
Troy Z., MT
I’m sure I’m not the first to point out that the black box should be a brown one for your phone number. I learned the color code at age 9….not to date myself too much. I used to be able to read the capacitor and inductor color codes but I forgot those!
I’ve seen a total lack of analog Engineering skills from recent hires. If it doesn’t have a keyboard, then what is it???? Even component level digital skills are poor. Also, a shocking lack of troubleshooting skills. Broke? Replace the whole thing! The Engineering community needs an old fashioned mentor/apprentice program before the old guys retire; like me!
See ya, Neil
Bye Bye Rosie, Off You Go, Bristol Via Great Western.
Clean and easy for a railroad fan to remember.
Joe B., Senior Project Engineer
We could color code our Social Security #’s …………….. NOT!
Your point on the color code is well taken. I'm 41 and I wasn't too far into my career when it 'disappeared' as SMT technology took over. I recently ran into it again and saw that it is alive and well in specifying wire color, especially with military standards (MIL-STD-681).
I found myself repeating that old politically incorrect mnemonic (bad
boys.....) again. ;-)
Regards, Roy A.
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