Choosing the Right Resistor for Your Project

09 May

If you want to undertake an electrical project, you are likely to need various components, including capacitors and resistors.  The type of project you have should guide you on the components to choose.

While they may be of the same size, not all resistors are the same. You should learn about the different types of resistors to know which ones would be suitable for your project. Your electronic project schematics may indicate that you need a resistor of 100k Ohms. However, when you go online, you will find different types of resistors, including metal film, carbon composition, thin film, among others.

Most people simply choose random transistors for their electronic circuits. Most of the time, the resistors will work just fine. However, for some projects, using specific resistors is important to avoid performance problems. This is why you should learn how to read a resistor.

Types of Resistors
Resistors are usually made from a combination of materials. The main types of resistors are wirewound, foil resistor, thick and thin film, metal film, carbon film and carbon composition.

Different types of resistors have varied properties. Some resistors are cheap, some can withstand high temperatures and some are very accurate.  The functionality of the components also vary. For example, some resistors are good for use in high-speed applications, high-power applications, low noise applications and measurement circuits.

Guide to Choosing the Right Resistor
There are a number of things you should keep in mind when looking to choose a surface mount resistor. The most important is the amount of power that the resistor would have to dissipate.  The amount of power provided by a resistor should be twice what you anticipate your project would require.

In most cases, the standard resistors would be fine for your project. However, there are some instances when you would need to choose a non-standard resistor. The non-standard resistors would be needed for some circuits such as high-speed circuits, high-accuracy measurement circuits, RF circuits, noise-sensitive audio circuits, and others.

If your project will be using any of these circuits, check the schematics to know the specific type of resistor that you would be suitable for it.

If you are using standard circuits, then you won't have to worry about the type of resistor to go for. The most important hang would be to get a resistor that can produce the amount of power and resistance value that your board needs.

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