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Beautiful resistance

Saar Drimer

By now, when I look at components I evaluate their aesthetics as much as I do their functionality. When I design boards, the

look and feel

of the component has to fit the design, not only what it's supposed to be doing. Resistors come in an amazing spectrum of colours -- particularly older ones! -- and I wanted to find a way to use them for their colour rather than their value.

I had a bunch of resistors -- 1/8W and 1/4W -- left over from a project and I wanted to experiment with a symmetrical arrangement.

A week or so ago it was raining and I found refuge at a Maplin. Looking around I found an amazingly colourful resistor pack, and I made this piece with its contents.

The base is made of a soda can. I found it to be just the right thickness for the job, although a copper foil might have been better for the square piece. I experimented with a bunch of methods for fixing the resistors in place while still having bright 'background' colours.

What I've done is to set the resistors in regular acrylic paint. That meant that they are attached to each other through a common base, but can still move a bit for final adjustment. Then I attach the resistor 'pack' to the metal base with epoxy and apply acrylic on the top to fill in all the holes and get an even coat (that needed to happen more than just once). When it's nearly dry I soak the whole thing in water and peel off the paint that's on the resistors -- this didn't work quite as well as I had hoped. You'll notice that some of the resistors are battered from the numerous peelings.

Finally, I apply a transparent acrylic pouring medium to create the 'dome' and give it a shine. You'll notice that there are bubbles and some 'cloudy' areas in this dome -- I'll need to figure out how to avoid that from happening.

There's still work do be done to get these things to look perfect, but as a first go I'm happy with the results. Imperfect as they are, each goes as a gift to one of the two women in my life ;)