Sunday, March 7, 2010

Resistance is futile

OK, so we've covered some of the basic terms we'll run into in simple circuits. So now lets look at some of the components we'll use to actually build them.

Lets start with the lowly resistor. A resistor limits the current flow in a circuit (I know, we've already established that.)

More specifically, a resistor is a device that is added to a circuit to control and limit the flow of current. The resistance of a resistor is fixed and not affected by the flow of current or changes in voltage. (There are variable resistors, but they don't count.) (OK, they kinda count, but we're just talking about plain old resistors right now.)

For some strange reason, resistors aren't marked labeled with plain markings. That would be too easy. Instead, they're marked with a series of colored stripes. The colors denote the value and tolerance of the resistor.

Resistors also have a wattage rating that denotes the overall safe power rating of the resistor.

There are some really good resistor color code calculators online.


  1. Really enjoying you sharing this side of hanting and controller type information. For me, know how things work makes it less "scary" or "magic" and puts it in the realm of something the is possible.

    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks, Queenie. I enjoy the techie side of this stuff, & get a few questions now and then about it. Just thought that if I put the info here it might help someone.