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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.
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
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.
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.