What's a resistor?
A resistor is an electrical component that limits or regulates the flow of electrical current in a circuit. Resistance is measured in Ohm's and is given the symbol Ω.
Examples of Resistors
(Larger size often indicates higher power rating)
Two types of resistors
1. Fixed resistors - The resistors that come with two wires are listed in this resistor type. These kinds of resistors do not allow you to change the resistance. Fixed resistors have only one single value of resistance. Schematic symbol for fixed resistor
Resistor with Different Power Ratings
Examples Fixed Resistors 2 Watts
1 Watt 1 Watt
0.5 Watt 0.25 Watt 0.25 Watt The size indicates the power rating, NOT the resistance value 2. Variable resistors - There is a fixed value of resistance between two terminals. The moving part of the variable resistor is called the wiper. Variable resistors can provide an infinite number of resistance values between zero and their maximum value. They are used in electronic circuits to adjust the value of voltages and currents. They are used in televisions as volume control, brightness control etc. Schematic symbol for variable resistor
Examples Variable Resistors
Fixed resistors are classified into 4 types based on various factors like manufacturing style, resistance range, power rating.
Three types of Fixed Resistors ( according to materials used )
a. Carbon composition - The Carbon Composite Resistor is a low to medium type power resistor which has a low inductance making them ideal for high frequency applications but they can also suffer from noise and stability when hot. Carbon composite resistors are generally prefixed with a "CR" notation (eg CR10kΩ ) and are available in E6 ( ±20% tolerance (accuracy), E12 ( ±10% tolerance) and E24 ( ±5% tolerance) packages with power ratings from 0.125 or 1/4 of a Watt up to 2 Watts. Carbon composite resistors are very cheap to make and are therefore commonly used in electrical circuits. However, due to their manufacturing process carbon type resistors have very large tolerances so for more precision and high value resistances, film type resistors are used instead.
b. Film or Cermet Resistor - consist of Metal Film, Carbon Film and Metal Oxide Film resistor types, which are generally made by depositing pure metals, such as nickel, or an oxide film, such as tin-oxide, onto an insulating ceramic rod or substrate.
This method of manufacture allows for much closer tolerance resistors (1% or less) as compared to the simpler carbon composition types. The tolerance of a resistor is the difference between the preferred value (i.e, 100 ohms) and its actual manufactured value i.e, 103.6 ohms, and is expressed as a percentage, for example 5%, 10% etc, and in our example the actual tolerance is 3.6%. Film type resistors also achieve a much higher maximum ohmic value compared to other types and values in excess of 10MΩ (10 Million Ω´s) are available. Metal Film Resistors are prefixed with a "MFR" notation (eg MFR100kΩ) and a CF for Carbon Film types. Metal film resistors are available in E24 (±5% & ±2% tolerances), E96 (±1%
tolerance) and E192 (±0.5%, ±0.25% & ±0.1% tolerances) packages with power ratings of 0.05 (1/20th) of a Watt up to 1/2 Watt. Generally speaking Film resistors are precision low power components. c. Wire wound - is made by winding a thin metal alloy wire (Nichrome) or similar wire onto an insulating ceramic former in the form of a spiral helix similar to the film resistor above. These types of resistors are generally only available in very low ohmic high precision values (from 0.01 to 100kΩ) due to the gauge of the wire and number of turns possible on the former making them ideal for use in measuring circuits and Whetstone bridge type applications. They are also able to handle much higher electrical currents than other resistors of the same ohmic value with power ratings in excess of 300 Watts. These high power resistors are moulded or pressed into an aluminum heat sink body with fins attached to increase their overall surface area to promote heat loss and cooling. These types of resistors are called "Chassis Mounted Resistors". They are designed to be physically mounted onto heatsinks or metal plates to further dissipate the generated heat increasing their current carrying capabilities even further.
Surface Mount Resistors
4.7kΩ SMD Resistor Surface Mount Resistors or SMD Resistors, are very small rectangular shaped metal oxide film resistor. They have a ceramic substrate body onto which is deposited a thick layer of metal oxide resistance. The resistive value of the resistor is controlled by increasing the desired thickness, length or type of deposited film being used and highly accurate low tolerance resistors, down to 0.1% can be produced. They also have metal terminals or caps at either end of the body which allows them to be soldered directly onto printed circuit boards.
Surface Mount Resistors are printed with either a 3 or 4-digit numerical code which is similar to that used on the more common axial type resistors to denote their resistive value. Standard SMD resistors are marked with a threedigit
How To Read SMD Resistor Code
SMD stand for surface mount device and if you repair LCD monitors, you would come across lots of SMD components. CRT monitors rarely use SMD thus it is quite easy to find out the components value. This SMD resistor codes is different from the normal resistor color code (color bands) you had seen in the electronic circuit boards. Surface mount resistors is very much smaller in size than the normal carbon film resistor and because of this the numbers and letters were stamped upon or printed on the top side of the component. Those numbers and letters have a meaning and you could use that as information to find out or calculate the desire resistance values. Sometimes the resistors are designed in a very small size until we have difficulty to read the code. By using a magnifier glass we could easily read the resistor codes. There are two types of surface mount resistors used in an electronic circuit board-the 3-digit and 4-digit code SMD. The first two digits represent the two digits in the answer. The third digit represents the number of zero's you must place after the two digits. The answer will be in Ohms. For example: 104 which mean 10 0000 (4 zero's) and the final answer is 100k. Let's calculate the 4 digit SMD, 1182 which mean 118 00 (2 zero's) and the final answer is 11.8k. 3 Digit Example 4 Digit Example 0R1=0.1 Ohm 0000= 0 ohms= link or jumper R33=0.33 Ohm 00R1=0.1 Ohm 8R2= 8.2 Ohm 0R47=0.47 Ohm 220 is 22 Ohm and not 220 ohms 1R00=1 Ohm 331= 330 Ohms 1000= 100 Ohm 473=47000 or 47k 8202= 82000=82k
Measuring surface mount resistors is very easy with the help of digital multimeter. Most of the times when you check directly on the SMD resistors, you would get the right reading even without lifting a resistor lead. But not all digital multimeter can perform this kind of test. Select only the one that has the output voltage (measure at the probes) of less than 0.6 volts so that it won't trigger any semiconductor devices that can give you a false reading. Once you know how to calculate the SMD resistor code and using the right way to test SMD resistors on board , you could check lots of SMD resistors in the shortest time.
Three Types of Variable Resistors
a. Potentiometer - These types of resistors allow you to change the resistance by using the knob. Classified into carbon potentiometer and wire wound potentiometer . They are used in electronic circuits to adjust the value of voltages and currents. They are used in televisions as volume control, bass control, treble control etc. b. Rheostat – is a device which is used to vary the resistance in an electrical circuit without interrupting the circuit. Rheostat are used to set lighting levels for comfort or mood. c. Trimmer - A trimmer resistor usually called a trim pot is a small variable resistor it is used in circuits to do preset it is trimmed with a trimmer screwdriver it is made up with a round fiber disc with a layer of carbon with a wiper that run on the carbon layer to change the resistance it always have 3 connecting pins where the center one is connected to the wiper and the other two to opposite ends of the carbon strip.
Resistor Power Rating When an electrical current passes through a resistor, electrical energy is lost by the resistor in the form of heat and the greater this current flow the hotter the resistor will get. This is known as the Resistor Power Rating. Resistors are rated by the value of their resistance and the power in watts that they can safely dissipate based mainly upon their size. Every resistor has a maximum power rating which is determined by its physical size as generally, the greater its surface area the more power it can dissipate safely into the ambient air or into a heatsink. A resistor can be used at any combination of voltage (within reason) and current so long as its "Dissipating Power Rating" is not exceeded with the resistor power rating indicating how much power the resistor can convert into heat or absorb without any damage to itself. The Resistor Power Rating is sometimes called the Resistors Wattage Rating and is defined as the amount of heat that a resistive element can dissipate for an indefinite period of time without degrading its performance. The power rating of resistors varies a lot from less than one tenth of a watt to many
hundreds of watts depending upon its size, construction and ambient operating temperature. Most resistors have their maximum resistive power rating given for an ambient temperature of +70oC or below.