Copyright: 1996 - 2024
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
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Resistor combos - RF Cafe Forums
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but until then it is probably not worth the effort. Regardless, there are still
lots of great posts in the archive that ware worth looking at.
Below are the old forum threads, including responses to the original posts.
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Post subject: Resistor combos
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan
01, 2005 10:57 am
I need to combine a couple 1% resistors to
make a nonstandard value. For power dissipation in the resistors, is
it best to use series resistors or parallel resistors? Thanks.
Resistor power dissapation
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:09
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:01 pm
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:24 am
Smith answer is wrong because it is incomplete.
In general it
does not matter whether you use a series or parallel circuit, but you
need to use resistors that are equal or almost equal to obtain an equal
distribution of the total power over all components. This is alo the
best strategy to obtain optimal tolerance improvement.
Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:41 am
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Total power dissipation in the series/parallel resistor combinations
is going to be the same for a given equivalent resistance. The only
difference is how the power dissipation will be distributed between
the resistors. Depending upon the combination(s), one resistor can dissipate
nearly all the power while the other(s) dissipate very little. Using
values as close to equal as possilbe will keep the power distribution
Based on Ohm's Law, power dissipation is proportional
(or inversely proportional) to resistance, so in a series combination,
the power dissipation in the larger resistor will be greatest (same
I through all resistors and P=I^2*R, so larger R dissipates higher power),
and in a parallel combination the power dissipation in the smaller resistor
will be greatest (same voltage across all resistors and P=V^2/R, so
smaller R dissipates greatest power).
One last comment. With
series combinations, the closest you can get to some exact non-standard
value is equal to the number of significant places in the nominal resistance
value and the available stanrd values. For instance, if you need exactly
37.5 ohms, then for 5% values the closest you can get with a series
combination is within +/0.5 ohms (22+15=37, 22+16=38 ). Using a parallel
combination of two 75 ohm resistors gets you right on. Theoretically,
any degree of precision can be obtained with enough parallel resistors,
but not with series.
- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024