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Do You Still See This Type Of Capacitor?

By on October 29, 2009

 capacitor coding

During my early days in studying electronics, i was asked in calculating the value for capacitor that have color stripes on it. I have seen this type of cap back in the mid of 80’s but now i could hardly see one. They are polyester capacitors and already obsolete but of course there are still many around. The colors should be read like the resistor code, the top three colour bands giving the value in pF.  Ignore the 4th band (tolerance) and 5th band (voltage rating).  Note that there are no gaps between the colour bands, so two identical bands actually appear as one wide band. Do you still see this type of capacitor in electronic equipment? If yes i would like to hear from you.



  1. behzad

    October 30, 2009 at 1:55 am


    recently these kind of cap are not going to use via manufatures

    they belongs to 80/90
    now smd caps are telling the last word
    if you tell me how can i decode the code of such caps
    i know that there is no any standard system to put the code on smd caps
    but if you can help me i will be thankful in advance

  2. admin

    October 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hi behzad,

    You can visit this link to find out the capacitor code value


  3. Marcial

    November 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Sir may i ask what is tha function of that kind capacitor in tha circuits and how to identify wether defective or not.
    Thank you very much and hoping for your positive reply sir

  4. Marcial

    November 6, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Sir may ask, what is the common cuase of shorted transformer because my Philip Component is No Power as i check the resistance of the Power cord that connected to the Power supply the reading is shorted therefore i conclude that the problem is the transformer but i dont know what is the cause why my transformer is shorted.

  5. M Yachad

    November 8, 2009 at 1:53 am

    Hi Jestine,
    Yes, I still see these capacitors on many vintage B&O equipment which I restore. Some of these which have these capacitors, especially as bypass caps in the rectifier bridge stages are the BeoMaster 1600, Beomaster 1400, and BeoMaster 900.
    M Yachad

  6. robert lampron

    November 8, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Hello m yong be that you can have books(pounds) of it francais thank you

  7. admin

    November 8, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Yachad,

    Thanks for sharing the info. Didn't know that you are still repairing Vintage equipment.


  8. admin

    November 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Hi Marcial,

    There are many functions of this cap in an electronic circuit. It can act as a wave shaper, in timing and etc. To test it, just simple use a digital capacitance meter to check the capacitance value.


  9. admin

    November 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    HI Marcial,

    A shorted transformer primary winding can only be checked with a coil/winding tester. You may visit this website


  10. admin

    November 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    HI Robert,

    Thanks for your suggestion but have no plan in selling out my books copyright yet.


  11. Bernie Scott

    October 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Those capacitors show up in a lot of vintage musicial equipment...I see them a fair bit....

    • Jestine Yong

      October 1, 2012 at 7:28 am

      Hi Bernie,

      They are no longer in use in current consumer electronics product. Thanks again for the sharing.



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