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, it’s 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 Knobs

Potentiometer 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 136-1810
Tillv. art.nrTW1251KA
VarumärkeTE Connectivity
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250 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
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Tillv. art.nrRK097111020N
VarumärkeAlps Alpine
19,65 kr
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50 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm - - - Pin ±20% RK097 15mm
RS-artikelnummer 317-780
VarumärkeRS PRO
332,29 kr
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5 kΩ - 1 - Panel Mount - 3 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Wire Lead ±20% LM10 -
RS-artikelnummer 468-8705
Tillv. art.nr05.061.5100
VarumärkeRadiohm
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10 kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% POTM -
RS-artikelnummer 460-7526
Tillv. art.nr534B1103JL
VarumärkeVishay
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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 248-6771
Tillv. art.nr3682S-1-104L
VarumärkeBourns
336,98 kr
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100 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
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 167-3599
Tillv. art.nr3540S-1-103L
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10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3540 20.6mm
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Tillv. art.nrRK0971110D57
VarumärkeAlps Alpine
16,72 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK097 -
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 219-9130
Tillv. art.nrRK27112A00A5
VarumärkeAlps Alpine
123,46 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK27 -
RS-artikelnummer 460-7475
Tillv. art.nr357B2502MAB251S22
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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 692-8639
Tillv. art.nrPDB241-GTR01-504A2
VarumärkeBourns
33,71 kr
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500 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.25W 6 mm Audio - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% PDB241-GTR 19mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-3607
Tillv. art.nr3682S-1-104L
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224,754 kr
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100 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
RS-artikelnummer 172-7722
Tillv. art.nrRK27112A00A5
VarumärkeAlps Alpine
94,537 kr
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK27 -
RS-artikelnummer 729-3482
Tillv. art.nrRK0971110D57
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10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm - - - Pin ±20% RK097 25mm
RS-artikelnummer 167-9487
Tillv. art.nr534B1103JL
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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 172-7540
Tillv. art.nrRK09K1130AV7
VarumärkeAlps Alpine
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5 kΩ Rotary 1 - Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K -
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Tillv. art.nrRK09K1130AV7
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5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K 20mm