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September 18, 2013 AT 4:00 am

Resistor Decoder Graphic

resistordecoder

Bret Victor posted this resistor decoder:

This chart is perhaps the fastest way to decode the value of a resistor. Simply match the colors of the bands, and read off the value. After you use it for a little while, you’ll be decoding resistors with a single quick glance.

I created this to demonstrate how clever graphic design can often beat interactive software. There are a lot of resistor-decoding widgets and websites out there, and they are all incredibly tedious to use. When you’ve got your hands full of soldering equipment, the last thing you want to do is navigate through pull-down menus.

This chart requires zero interaction, zero memorization, and zero mental arithmetic. Just let your eyes do the work.

If you would like to print this out and hang it near your workbench, you can download the PDF.


resistorhelper

We made a resistor helper too– no app needed!, all paper! :)

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1 Comment

  1. I like the concept, as I’m always teaching people that resistors should be read like words; one should get to the point where you just look at the colours yellow, violet, orange and think “47K” without “sounding it out”.
    However this chart needs to be tweaked to cover the preferred values to be of any use that way.

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