Blog  /  0 Ohm Resistor – What Is It Used For?

0 Ohm Resistor – What Is It Used For?

Electrical engineering professionals who haven’t come across a 0 ohm resistor usually don’t understand its practicality and application. They don’t know why industrialists manufacture resistors with nill resistors while jumper wire will efficiently serve the same purpose. Besides, it cannot restrict high-current connections flow. Thus, what is its use? This article will help you understand its unique applications and why it is essential for you. We will also compare it with a jumper and highlight its advantage.

 

What Is a 0 Ohm Resistor?

 

Just as the name indicates, a zero-ohm resistor refers to a resistor without any resistance near 0 ohms. A through-hole resistor has a black band mark showing its resistance value. Its design enables it to unite PCB traces (printed digital circuit board) using automated equipment. It has two paths where one contains a zero-ohm link and the other runs between the leads keeping away from contacting the other average trace. 

 

0 ohm axial resistor

0 ohm axial resistor

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

 

0 Ohm Resistor vs. Jumper: Why Do You Need Zero Ohm Resistors?

 

When inserting most PCB components such as diodes, capacitors, and resistors, operators use automatic insertion technologies instead of doing it manually. Nevertheless, inserting machines for jumper wires isn’t doable with this technology. It requires a regular jumper wire or a person to insert it manually. Purchasing just one jumper alternative to wires to insert only one component doesn’t make economic sense. On the other hand, a person doing it manually will spend time inserting the jumper. Using a zero-ohm sense resistor is the simplest solution. Besides, it works like a jumper in the double layer PCB design process (closing or opening part of the current electronic circuits), replacing the separate jumper wire machine.

 

Jumper wire

Jumper wire

 

Why do manufacturers suffer the hassle of manufacturing nill resistors instead of easily using Jumper wire on the design?

  • Automatic Placement
  • Has a single Layer Design
  • It prevents Reverse Engineering

 

Types of Zero Ohm Resistors

 

The o-ohm resistor comes in two types:

 

Wire Wound Zero

 

A type of resistor you can identify easily since it has only one black band printed on the resistor. Wire wound zeroes the familiar shape of ordinary resistor kits.

 

Surface Mount (SMD)

 

0 ohm SMD 0603 resistor

0 ohm SMD 0603 resistor

 

Rather than making resistors with wire wounds, the newly created are surface mount resistors. It’s a new way of minimizing cost, reducing PCB covered area, and simplicity. Manufacturers print three zeros (000) or a single zero (0) on the surface when making a zero ohm surface mount resistor.

 

Uses of 0Ω resistor

 

  • Used as a jumper: its primary purpose is “jumping” over a track under the board. It's necessary since there is no alternative at times, and paths cannot cross on a single-sided board. 
  • Used as a fuse: sometimes, it is hard to fuse if faults like over-current/short-circuit occur because of high large fusing currents of PCB traces. Such occurrences might result in more severe accidents. When there is overcurrent, the 0-ohm resistor is fused; thus, it disconnects the circuit preventing significant accidents. 
  • The place reserved for debugging: 0-ohm resistor allows you to install other values per your requirements.  In some instances, it's marked with *, meaning it's from debugging. 
  • Used as configuration denoising circuits: configuring circuit features works similarly to the DIP switch or jumper. Nevertheless, the welding fixes it to prevent normal users from amending the configuration. 

 

Design Considerations When Using 0 Ohm Resistors

 

When using it, you need to understand that the thermal characteristic of the size and material defines the maximum power rating. Like other conductive traces and conductive wires, it has a particular resistance, hence not an ideal component. The tiny amount of resistance disperses heat once the currents pass through. Thus, choose an ohm resistor pack material that doesn’t burn out when currents pass through.

Once you have good PCB design & analysis software, it's easy to add zero ohms. Whether you are automating the assembly process fully or protecting your parallel design, it comes with substantial cost savings. It will amaze you how a tiny component can save you so much money.

 

Resistors on slot used for the electronic device

Resistors on slot used for the electronic device

 

Advantages of 0 Resistors

 

Zero ohm resistors are very valuable for circuit design variations and technology. Here are the advantages of 0 Ohm resistors.

  • PCB Board, circuit function, and debugging compatibility
  • Convenient and easy wiring
  • Convenient when measuring current
  • Reduces electrical noise
  • Reserve resistance position
  • Serves as a capacitor inductor
  • Ground Dupont wire link isolation
  • Effective circuit operation
  • Fully compatible with automated assembly
  • Inexpensive

 

0 Ohm SMD resistors

0 Ohm SMD resistors

 

Summary

 

Even though zero-ohm is easily replaceable, it plays numerous vital roles in the printed circuit single-layer board. Besides, it's cost-effective, reliable, and available in many online stores. Unlike the jumper, you can easily remove the ohms resistor pack on board in case of a PCB design software change. Such abilities make a 0-ohm resistor the ideal option. You will never encounter any issue with it, such as resonance frequency.