Ceramic capacitors have a three digit code, rather than the actual capacitance value listed. You can use this ceramic capacitor value calculator to calculate the actual value of your, or use the ceramic capacitor code calculator to covert the capacitance value into a code!
Capacitor Value Calculator / Capacitor Code Calculator
About Ceramic Capacitor Codes
Ceramic capacitors are tiny! It’s difficult to read their values even with the code. Imagine if we had to shrink their complete specifications down and print them on the capacitor! We’d need a microscope to read them! This is why manufacturers started using a three-digit-code to mark ceramic capacitors. You can either memerize the formula, or use a calculator to figure them out:
- The Capacitor Value Calculator will convert the three digit code into a capacitance value.
- The Capacitor Code Calculator will convert a value into a code.
“Breaking” the Capacitor Code
The formula that the capacitor value calculator uses isn’t really all that difficult, and one that you could memorize and do in your head. Really, its not that hard!
Let’s break that 3 digit code!
The first two digits are the capacitance value in pF and the third digit is simply a multiplier. This is where you need a good memory, or the calculator! The multiplier is always a number between zero and six. If you find a larger number than six, it is not using the standard numbering scheme, or it may not even be a capacitor.
RELATED: What is a Capacitor?
Ceramic Capacitor Multipliers
Here’s a simple table of the multipliers you can use to do this calculation in your head:
- 0: multiply by 1
- 1: multiply by 10
- 2: multiply by 100
- 3: multiply by 1000
- 4: multiply by 10,000
- 5: multiply by 100,000
- 6: multiply by 1,000,000
Let’s try a simple example of how this works. If you have a code of 130, then you would take 1 and 3 at value. The third digit is zero and means to multiply times one. Since one times anything is itself, 1 X 13 is just 13. So the value of a 130 coded capacitor is 13.
Another example of 103. Again we take 1 and 0 at face value. So 10. The third digit is a 3, which means we multiply 10 by 1000. This makes this capacitor a 10,00 pF capacitor (more easily written as .01 µF).
So you can see that calculating these ceramic capacitors isn’t too hard. My problem is I can never remember the multiplier, and always wind up using the ceramic capacitor value calculator to figure it out!