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Reading 1% Tolerance Resistors

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  • Reading 1% Tolerance Resistors

    Is there an easy way?

    I'm brand spankin' new to pedal building, but I do understand how to read the bands. However, the resistors I am working with are so small that all the bands are equidistant so the tolerance band is not separated from the other bands. So in instances where the circuit calls for a resistar starting with a "1" I don't know which end to start reading from.

    Also, my multimeter doesn't seem to be able to read them--probably too cheap.

    Here is an example of my problem...the pedal calls for:
    100k = Brown-Black-Black-Orange

    But looking at the resistor it is actually (because of the brown tolerance band) Brown-Black-Black-Orange-Brown. How to I know if I am holding it backwards and it's actually Brown-Orange-Black-Black?


  • #2
    Originally posted by PoorMan View Post
    Is there an easy way?

    ..., my multimeter doesn't seem to be able to read them--probably too cheap.
    Time to invest in a better multi-meter
    Building a better world (one tube amp at a time)

    "I have never had to invoke a formula to fight oscillation in a guitar amp."- Enzo


    • #3
      I find it hard to believe that a meter won't read the resistors, even a cheapie (unless they are really high Megohms or something unusual like that where it's beyond the meter's capability). Make sure the battery is fresh, the leads are clean(enough--oxidation can hinder good contact. How about the resistor/part leads also?), and set the meter on the correct setting (if it isn't auto-ranging). I have a cheapie (GW Instek?) which is somewhat more of a pain to use (than my slightly more upmarket old but trusty Sanwa) since it lacks autoranging, auto-power off, etc., but it works okay.

      re: reading, I would say 1) practice (practice reading and getting used to correlating colors w/values and discerning where the tolerance band is, and 2) checking/reading with a DVM to make sure they are the value you intend to use (because, yes, the same color for the tolerance band and values starting with "1"(brown) can indeed make for confusion).


      • #4
        100k = Brown-Black-Black-Orange
        OK< so 1 - 0 - 0 - 000 = 100,000 ohms.

        And we get 1 - 3 - 0 - (0) = 130 ohms A quick comparative reading should sort the two possibilities out.
        Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.


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