# Odd 220 pF capacitor form factor, how to read markings, what type and what for?

I was recently given a bag of electronic components by a relative. These components have been bought in the late 1970s or at the latest in the early 1980s.

Among them were ten components that I initially took for 1/4 W resistors (shown in image on the left): they had the same form factor (about 6.3 mm x 2.5 mm, cylindrical with axial leads) and were also marked like resistors (shown in image on the right).

220 pF capacitors in unusual form factor (left). 330 Ω resistors for comparison (right.)

The markings were

red - red - brown(sic!) - silver - silver

If this had been a resistor, this would have been a 2.2 Ω resistor (or an oddly specific 2.21 Ω resistor, which would make no sense given the silver stripe).

Measuring the resistance gave an open circuit reading, but when I accidentally measured them as capacitors, they came out as 220 pF. I assume that the brown stripe used to be black, but that this colour has faded over the years.

My questions now are:

• Was this style of capacitor common in those days? Is it common now? I have never seen this before.
• What type of capacitor is this most likely?
• Since they came out as 220 pF but the silver stripe indicates x 0.01 on resistors, it seems like the silver stripe has a different meaning on capacitors, is it x 1 or x 0.001?
• This component came out of a hobbyist home computer lab in the 1970s/1980s. What do you need a 220 pF cap for in this context where the fastest CPUs had 20 MHz clock cycles?
• Uncommon now but used to be pretty normal. "2 2 1" means 22 * 10^1 = 220 whether ohms or pF.
– user16324
Jan 3, 2022 at 14:46
• On a four-band colour coding yes, but this has five bands, which threw me. But you're right of course. Jan 3, 2022 at 14:48