Potentiometers

What is a potentiometer?

A potentiometer is a variable resistor. Potentiometers enable you to regulate and change the current flowing through a circuit. Potentiometers can also be called pots or potmeters.

Potentiometers have two terminals that are fixed to a resistive element (the track). The resistive element is typically wirewound or made from carbon, cermet or conductive plastic. The third terminal is connected to the wiper, which is a sliding contact. As the wiper moves along the track, the resistance changes and the current flowing through the circuit changes.

Types of potentiometer

Rotary potentiometers are easily controlled by turning a spindle or a knob. Rotary potentiometers can be single turn or multiturn.

Slide potentiometers are also known as slider potentiometers or fader potentiometers. To use a slide potentiometer, its simply a case of sliding a fader along a straight track to change the resistance.

Trimmer potentiometers, sometimes called trimpots, are used to calibrate and fine-tune circuits and can be mounted straight onto a PCB (printed circuit board). Trimmer potentiometers are easy to adjust with a screwdriver.

String potentiometers (or string pots) take movement and transform it into an electrical signal.

Membrane potentiometers are completely flat. Membrane potentiometers change their resistance when pressure is applied to the membrane.

Do I need a potentiometer with a linear or logarithmic taper?

The taper you need for your potentiometer depends on the intended application.

For potentiometers with a linear taper, the resistance between one end of the track and the wiper varies at a constant rate. If you turn the potentiometer halfway or slide the fader halfway along the track, the resistance will be half of the total resistance. Linear taper potentiometers are typically used in applications such as light dimmer switches.

For logarithmic taper potentiometers, the resistance does not vary at a constant rate. The level of resistance moves exponentially up or down. A potentiometer that has been turned or moved halfway along its track, will not produce resistance that is half the total resistance. Logarithmic potentiometers are commonly used for audio applications.

What is the difference between a potentiometer and a rheostat?

The key difference is the number of terminals that each device has. Potentiometers have three terminals while rheostats only have two terminals.

Looking for peripherals for your potentiometer?

Potentiometer KnobsPotentiometer Accessories Potentiometer Mounting Nuts

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Beskrivning Pris Maximum Resistance Potentiometer Type Number of Turns Number of Gangs Mounting Type Power Rating Shaft Diameter Electrical Taper Mounting Hole Diameter Element Material Termination Style Tolerance Series Shaft Length
RS-artikelnummer 161-4615
Tillv. art.nr1624203-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
40,837 kr
Each (In a Bag of 100)
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100 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 168-437
Tillv. art.nr1624203-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
67,62 kr
Each
Enheter
100 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 135-4480
Tillv. art.nr1624202-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
39,925 kr
Each (In a Box of 100)
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 387-846
Tillv. art.nr1624202-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
67,21 kr
Each
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 502-8570
Tillv. art.nrTW1251KA
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
94,09 kr
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250 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS-artikelnummer 136-1810
Tillv. art.nrTW1251KA
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
84,612 kr
Each (In a Box of 500)
Enheter
250 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS-artikelnummer 162-833
Tillv. art.nr404802696038
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
177,12 kr
Each
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% M 25.4mm
RS-artikelnummer 387-745
Tillv. art.nr1623757-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
54,08 kr
Each
Enheter
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 163-8379
Tillv. art.nr1624146-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
21,613 kr
Each (In a Box of 200)
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470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 502-8637
Tillv. art.nrTW1103KA
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
128,53 kr
Each
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS-artikelnummer 135-5049
Tillv. art.nrTW1103KA
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
71,034 kr
Each (In a Box of 500)
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS-artikelnummer 387-789
Tillv. art.nr1624146-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
37,43 kr
Each
Enheter
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 168-099
Tillv. art.nr1624151-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
47,36 kr
Each
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 135-4478
Tillv. art.nr1623757-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
38,81 kr
Each (In a Box of 200)
Enheter
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 136-1613
Tillv. art.nr1624151-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
29,386 kr
Each (In a Box of 200)
Enheter
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.2W 6.35 mm Logarithmic - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 377-4811
Tillv. art.nr17PCSA474MC19P
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
59,25 kr
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Enheter
470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.25W 6 mm Linear - Carbon Pin ±20% 17P 19mm
RS-artikelnummer 161-5162
Tillv. art.nr17PCSA474MC19P
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
61,103 kr
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470 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.25W 6 mm Linear - Carbon Pin ±20% 17P 19mm
RS-artikelnummer 135-4477
Tillv. art.nr1624139-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
27,866 kr
Each (In a Box of 200)
Enheter
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 387-739
Tillv. art.nr1624139-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
44,67 kr
Each
Enheter
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS-artikelnummer 168-207
Tillv. art.nr1623767-2
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
39,09 kr
Each
Enheter
1 MΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm