# Resistor codes

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
I understand how to decipher resistor codes online or through a chart, but how do you know which end is the first color? In other words, how can you identify color band 1 as opposed to color band 5?

Thank-you

Moderator
Nov 8, 2019
3,034

#### Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
4,670
That question really tickles me. I asked the same question.
I still have problems sometimes. I found it easier to work out both ways and see what was more in line with current values. Then measure it.
Or measure first then calculate both ways. It does get easier for more often used values.
Have a resistor colour code calculator open on your desktop so you can quickly input the colours. I did that too.
Print out the different E series for quick reference. That helps too. Mine are laminated.

Martin

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
Great guide. Thank-you. My problem however is how to physically determine which side of the resistor is left and which is right. This is an important distinction when reading color bands. So, I am wondering, how do I know what the left side of the resistor is, so that I can look up the colors in the proper order?

#### bertus

Moderator
Nov 8, 2019
3,034
Hello,

Did you see this picture on the page I in the thread I linked to:

Bertus

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
I did but if I cant tell which side of the resistor to read from, how would I know. For example, if I have one that is

brown. Black black red red

how do I know whether brown is the first colour or red?

#### bertus

Moderator
Nov 8, 2019
3,034
Hello,

I would say that that resistor is 10k 2%.
Often the tolerance band is wider as the rest, or the distance between the tolerance band and the rest is wider.

Bertus

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,196
Hello,

Did you see this picture on the page I in the thread I linked to:

Bertus

You are still missing the point of the OP's valid and yet unanswered Q

Often the tolerance band is wider as the rest, or the distance between the tolerance band and the rest is wider.

That was what should have been in your first response

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,196
I did but if I cant tell which side of the resistor to read from, how would I know.

It's, as Bertus finally got to, all about distance between the tolerance band and the value bands

On 4 band resistors, this is easy as the tolerance band is well separated from the 3 value bands

A little more difficult on a 5 band resistor, like a metal film type, but there are still enough of a gap if you look carefully
Also a big giveaway is that most of the tolerance or temp coefficient colours do NOT get used for first digit value colours
eg. silver, gold

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
Thank-you folks. I think you have answered it.

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
By the way, I think i was having problems because on the 5 band resistors, it is very difficult to see the spaces between bands. I will print out that chart for quick reference, as well.

#### Martaine2005

May 12, 2015
4,670
1% and 2% can be a real PITA.
Like I said previously, I have to read them both ways to find the logical Value. Then measure to verify.

Martin

#### bertus

Moderator
Nov 8, 2019
3,034
Hello,

As @Martaine2005 said, have a list of possible values ready.
The 220 Ohms does not exist in E48 , E96 and E192.
See the attached PDF for the values.

Bertus

#### Attachments

• _color_code_card_draloric_resistors_vmn_ms6212_1501.pdf
424.9 KB · Views: 1

#### SparkyCal

Mar 11, 2020
846
I should mention that when i responded and provided resister colors, I was not at home and I was simply making the colors up. It wasn't a real resistor. i was just using it as an example.

R
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