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Recommendations for Resistor Resources

At Lessons in Electric Circuits (allaboutcircuits) you can find a very easy introduction to the elementary basics of resistors and an explanation of their color codes with examples. On the Socratic Electronics Project there are a few resistor related questions to test your new knowledge. If you find them interesting - here is some information about Lessons In Electric Circuits (allaboutcircuits) and the Socratic Electronics Project in general.

The Basic Electronics Tutorials by Wayne Storr contain a Resistor Tutorial. On page 2 of this tutorial is an explanation of resistor codes - 4, 5 and 6 band color codes, the British Standard Codes (BS 1852, BS EN 60062) - and a table of the E-series.

The Resistor Calculator from Okaphone is a nice tool that will let you determine the value of a given resistor from its color code, or, conversely, let you select the right resistor from a E-series if you type in an arbitrary value.

Much more detailed than the discussion in allaboutcircuits, but still easy to understand, is chapter 4 of Analog Electronics Lecture Notes by Dr. Peter McLean, University of Technology, Sydney.

From Vishay, one of the biggest manufacturers of passive components, you can get some more advanced information about the internals of resistors, including an introduction to the relevant standards: Basics of Linear Fixed Resistors.

If you have access to The Circuit Designer's Companion by Tim Williams, you can find some practical tips regarding resistors and potentiometers on pages 70 - 84, especially if you have to design electronic circuits for series production. Very interesting are the discussions about tolerance variations (p.74), limiting element voltage (p. 77) and the troubles you can have with adjusting potentiometers (p.83 - 84).

If you think you already know everything about resistors and potentiometers, you should take a look at chapters 4 and 5 of the free ANALOG SEEKrets by Leslie Green. If contains some very interesting and thorough discussions of topics that are often ignored, including the capability of resistors to withstand large peak powers, resistor matching, preferred resistor ratios, and the problems you will face when you try to set a potentiometer to a precise value (and keep it there).

Speaking of potentiometers, the free Potentiometer Handbook by Todd will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this component.

If you want to design precision circuits, the app note AN348 Avoiding Passive Component Pitfalls from Analog Devices can give you some very valuable tips. Resistors and potentiometers are covered on pages 3 - 5.

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