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Direct Current: Resistors

The most basic electrical component is the resistor. Here's a look at resistors and what you need to know about them.

Circuit Components: The Resistor

Resistors: what are they, what do they do, and how are they made?

The Color Code

Many resistors are too small to print legible numbers on them, and yet every resistor needs to be marked to show its value clearly. The color code is a very practical way to manage this.

Practice with the Color Code

This optional page will help you learn to read the color code quickly and accurately. All color combinations presented are real resistance values.

Resistors in Series

How does a circuit behave when it has two or more resistos in series?

Resistors in Parallel

We've seen resistors in series. Now what happens if we connect them in parallel?

The Voltage Divider

Here is a very practical application for resistors in series.

Resistance Ratio Calculator

Calculating standard resistance values to get sprcific voltage ratios can be tedious. Here's a page that does the calculations for you.

Three-Terminal Resistor Configurations

Sometimes resistors are connected in more complicated arrangements that involve both series and parallel parts. Here are two classic configurations.

Delta<==>Wye Conversions

For those who like the math: this page shows how we derived the equations needed to convert back and forth between Delta and Wye configurations.

The Wheatstone Bridge

This circuit is the start of an enormous number of similar circuits which serve many practical purposes.

Applications of the Wheatstone Bridge

Now that we've seen the basic Wheatstone Bridge circuit, here are a few of the many things we can do with it.