30 January 2024

Aging carbon resistors

4k7 ohm 5%, right?

Here's a post to mark January 2024. I've been doing very little in the lab because of work, flu and mostly cold temperature in my cave.

Today while trying to tidy up the desk I picked up a bunch of new old stock resistors I bought together with a drawer box at a flea market. They have a brown body and they are marked as 4k7 ohm 5% tolerance (yellow, violet, red, gold bands).

In order to sort them out I did as usual: confirm the color code value with a DVM reading. They all returned a high value, well above the expected 5% tolerance range, actually more between +10% and +20%.

I have read warnings about carbon resistors increasing their value with time, and I have met some while restoring valve equipment. But I never had "NOS" specimen.

4k7 now is 5k4!

These resistors cannot be trusted and will be used for artistic projects. I got quite a few of them with the drawer box: I will save time and avoid trying to sort them.