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 162-2384
Tillv. art.nr157B103MX9001
VarumärkeVishay
230,313 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 157 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 173-760
Tillv. art.nr157B103MX9001
VarumärkeVishay
284,66 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 157 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-8774
Tillv. art.nrP16NP103MAB15
VarumärkeVishay
126,055 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 8.8mm
RS-artikelnummer 790-4401
Tillv. art.nrP16NP103MAB15
VarumärkeVishay
132,35 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 8.8mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-9763
Tillv. art.nr357B2103MAB251S22
VarumärkeVishay
146,696 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-8896
Tillv. art.nrPE30L0FL103KAB
VarumärkeVishay
281,703 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 790-4445
Tillv. art.nrPE30L0FL103KAB
VarumärkeVishay
300,58 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 460-7447
Tillv. art.nr357B2103MAB251S22
VarumärkeVishay
216,42 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 790-4170
Tillv. art.nrP16NM103MAB15
VarumärkeVishay
226,14 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 9.4mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-8735
Tillv. art.nrP16NM103MAB15
VarumärkeVishay
211,986 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 9.4mm
RS-artikelnummer 460-7526
Tillv. art.nr534B1103JL
VarumärkeVishay
229,03 kr
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10 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
RS-artikelnummer 167-9757
Tillv. art.nr357B2502MAB251S22
VarumärkeVishay
158,216 kr
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5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 460-7475
Tillv. art.nr357B2502MAB251S22
VarumärkeVishay
393,54 kr
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5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Turret ±20% 357 22.2mm
RS-artikelnummer 790-4467
Tillv. art.nrPE30L0FL224KAB
VarumärkeVishay
301,00 kr
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220 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.41W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-8702
Tillv. art.nrPE30L0FL224KAB
VarumärkeVishay
282,21 kr
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220 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.41W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-9487
Tillv. art.nr534B1103JL
VarumärkeVishay
152,711 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS-artikelnummer 743-5683
Tillv. art.nrP11L1V0FLSY00103KA
VarumärkeVishay
111,47 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11L 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 460-1922
Tillv. art.nr535B1103JC
VarumärkeVishay
216,11 kr
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10 kΩ Linear 5 - Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 535 -
RS-artikelnummer 850-9794
Tillv. art.nr534-1-1-103
VarumärkeVishay
129,46 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Turret ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS-artikelnummer 850-9791
Tillv. art.nr534-1-1-102
VarumärkeVishay
156,03 kr
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1 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Turret ±5% 534 20.6mm