Capacitor Codes

 
 
 

How to read capacitor values from their colour or numeric codes
    It would be nice if there was more consistency to capacitor markings. If the manufacturer has lots of room (like on big electrolytics) they will usually print everything they can; value, voltage rating, temperature rating, series, even country of manufacture. However, the smaller the part gets, the less information you get until, on the smallest parts there may be nothing at all. On small through-hole ceramics, a two-number-plus-exponent system is often (but not always) used. This, like most marking systems, is based on the pico-farad, the lowest common denominator of capacitance. 470 may be 47 (47 x 100) or 470 pF but 471 is almost certainly 470 (47 x 101). 473 will probably be 0.0047. However, 479 will probably mean 4.7 (47 x 10 -1). Values below 10 pF may use "R" for a decimal point, 4R7 = 4.7 pF for example. With luck, you might also find the material (C0G, X7R, etc.) and voltage rating. The tolerance may be next to the value.

   
                 
                 
   

Ceramic capacitor codes using numeric coding

   
   

Multiplier Table

Tolerance Table

   
   
Number Multiply By ..
(Additional no. of Zeros)
0 None (0)
1 10 (1)
2 100 (2)
3 1,000 (3)
4 10,000 (4)
5 100,000 (5)
6 1,000,000 (6)
Code Tolerance
C 0.25pF
J 5%
K 10%
M 20%
D 0.5pF
Z +80% / -20%

 

   
                   
                   
    6-DOT RMA-JAN-AWS Standard Capacitor Color Code

   
   

COLOR

TYPE

1st
DIGIT

2nd
DIGIT

MULTIPLIER

TOLERANCE
(percent)

CHARACTERISTIC
or CLASS

Black

JAN Mica

0

0

1

   

Brown

 

1

1

10

1

Applies to

Red

 

2

2

100

2

temperature

Orange

 

3

3

1000

3

coefficients or

Yellow

 

4

4

10000

4

methods of testing

Green

 

5

5

100000

5

 

Blue

 

6

6

1000000

6

 

Purple

 

7

7

10000000

7

 

Gray

 

8

8

100000000

8

 

White

RMA mica

9

9

1000000000

9

 

Gold

     

.1

   

Silver

AWS paper

   

.01

10

 

Body

       

20

 

 

   
                   
   

5-Color Capacitor Color Code

   
   

COLOR

1st
DIGIT

2nd
DIGIT

MULTIPLIER

TOLERANCE
(percent)

VOLTAGE

Black

0

0

1

   

Brown

1

1

10

1

100

Red

2

2

100

2

200

Orange

3

3

1000

3

300

Yellow

4

4

10000

4

400

Green

5

5

100000

5

500

Blue

6

6

1000000

6

600

Purple

7

7

10000000

7

700

Gray

8

8

100000000

8

800

White

9

9

1000000000

9

900

Gold

   

.1

 

1000

Silver

   

.01

10

2000

Body

     

20

 

 

   
                   
   

Ceramic Capacitor Color Code

   
   

COLOR

1st
DIGIT

2nd
DIGIT

MULTIPLIER

TOLERANCE
over 10pf

TOLERANCE
under 10 pf

TEMPERATURE

Black

0

0

1

20%

2.0 pf

0

Brown

1

1

10

1%

 

-30

Red

2

2

100

2%

 

-80

Orange

3

3

1000

   

-150

Yellow

4

4

10000

   

-220

Green

5

5

 

5%

0.5 pf

-330

Blue

6

6

     

-470

Purple

7

7

     

-750

Gray

8

8

.01

 

0.25 pf

+30

White

9

9

.1

10%

1.0 pf

+500 to -330

Gold

     

 

 

+100

 

   
                   
         
                   
         
 

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