Series Resistors

Adding Series Resistors

Series Resistors:

Adding Series Resistors


In some situations, it may be better to include multiple resistors in series to achieve a desired resistance rather than using just one resistor. One such situation is when the power dissipated in each resistor needs to be reduced. If too much power is dissipated in a resistor, the resistor will fail due to overheating. Thus, if one resistor is not rated to withstand the power that will be dissipated in the circuit, an extra resistor (or several) can be included in the circuit to decrease the power dissipation in each one, preventing overheating.

In this project, we will expand our understanding of resistors in series by finding three fixed resistors—when combined in series, they will provide a specified resistance. This exercise uses concepts introduced in our project on Series Resistors. A link to this project is provided at the right.

Note: We will only be using resistors that are available in the Digilent® Analog Parts Kit.

Figure 1. Circuit with 3 arbitrary resistors and a total resistance of 10 kΩ.

Find 3 resistors such that the total resistance in the circuit above is 10 kΩ. Be sure to follow the rules for adding resistors in series.

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