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# Usi ng Ohm s Law to Bui l d a Vol tage

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St udent Wor ks heet :
St e p b y St e p P r o c e d u r e s
Before the appropriate resistors can be chosen, their values must be determined. One
way, of course, is to measure every resistor. Obviously, this is not practical. Fortunately,
every resistor comes with a color-coded value printed on it.
Review the handout on Resistor Color Codes.
etermine the color codes for the followin! resistors. Find the resistor in the lesson "it.
#easure and record the resistance. \$s the value within the tolerance%
Resistor irst
Band
Se!ond
Band
"ultiplier #oleran!e \$ighest
Resistan!e
Lowest
Resistan!e
"easured Within
#oleran!e%
&'( ohm
)*( ohm
+, ohm
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/si n! Ohm0 s 1aw t o Bui l d a 2ol t a!e i vi der
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-n!ineers often use a tool called a Breadboard to build prototype circuits. Find a white
plastic board full of holes and a bo3 of pre-cut wires in the lesson "it. .his is the
Breadboards are made so that some of the holes are electrically connected, so that
circuits can be built. /sin! the multimeter and wires from the "it of pre-cut wires, draw a
dia!ram of some of the connections on the breadboard.
4e3t, draw a dia!ram showin! how a volta!e divider circuit mi!ht be built with the
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/si n! Ohm0 s 1aw t o Bui l d a 2ol t a!e i vi der
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Step *: Building a Voltage Divider
/sin! the dia!ram and the resistors in the lesson "it, build a volta!e divider usin! the 62
battery, R+7&'(ohm, and R'7)*(ohm.
8hat volta!e would you e3pect%
7
9
R'
: ; <
2' 2battery :R+;R'<
8hat volta!e did you measure%
Step +: Building a Voltage Divider ,or a Desired Output
/sin! the volta!e divider circuit, select R+ and R' from the lesson "it to produce the
followin! output volta!es
V( V)atter- R1 R( V( !al!ulated V( measured
(./V
*./V
0./V
1./V
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/si n! Ohm0 s 1aw t o Bui l d a 2ol t a!e i vi der
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Step 0: Building a Light 2mitting Diode !ir!uit
= circuit to illuminate a 1i!ht -mittin! iode :1-< is very similar to a 2olta!e ivider
circuit. =n 1- circuit replaces R+ with the 1-. For an 1- in this confi!uration, 2+ will be
a constant volta!e, re!ardless of the total current. .herefore, for these circuits, 2' is also
"nown. 1-0s re>uire a certain amount of current for optimal operation. .his is called the
bias current. .herefore, if 2' and bias current are "nown, a value for R' can be calculated.
As the name implies, LEDs are diodes and they will only illuminate when installed with
the proper polarity. For this circuit, the flatted side should point towards R2
\$f R+ is replaced with an 1- that has a volta!e 2+ of '.(2 and re>uirin! a bias current of
'(m=, :(.('(=< determine the followin!
8hat is the value of 2'%
7 - '.(
2' 2battery 2+
8hat is the value of \$total
7 (.('( 7
\$total \$+ \$'
8hat is the resistor re>uired for proper bias.
7 ? (.('(
R' 2' \$'
.ry a few resistors near the calculated value to find an optimal 1- bri!htness. #easure
2' and compute the bias current.
V( measured V)atter- R( 3( !al!ulated
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Usi ng Ohm s Law to Bui l d a Vol tage
Di vi der
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8hich resistor is the best choice% 8hy% 8hat happens if the 1- is installed bac"wards%

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