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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Description Prix 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
N° de stock RS 460-7526
Référence fabricant534B1103JL
MarqueVishay
16,47 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
N° de stock RS 167-9487
Référence fabricant534B1103JL
MarqueVishay
14,733 €
Each (In a Box of 10)
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
N° de stock RS 172-6361
Référence fabricantRK1631110TWA
MarqueAlps Alpine
1,169 €
Each (In a Box of 2400)
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
N° de stock RS 249-9238
Référence fabricantRK1631110TWA
MarqueAlps Alpine
1,69 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
N° de stock RS 135-4432
Référence fabricant1623760-2
2,524 €
Each (In a Box of 200)
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
N° de stock RS 168-140
Référence fabricant1623760-2
4,20 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
N° de stock RS 167-3584
Référence fabricant3590S-2-502L
MarqueBourns
9,851 €
Each (In a Tray of 25)
Unité
5 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3590 20.6mm
N° de stock RS 107-0779
Référence fabricant3590S-2-502L
MarqueBourns
11,73 €
Each
Unité
5 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3590 20.6mm
N° de stock RS 107-0785
Référence fabricant3590S-2-103L
MarqueBourns
12,21 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 3590 20.6mm
N° de stock RS 165-5998
Référence fabricant3683S-1-103L
MarqueBourns
47,17 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
N° de stock RS 167-3206
Référence fabricant3683S-1-103L
MarqueBourns
32,483 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
10 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
N° de stock RS 460-7582
Référence fabricant534B1502JLB
MarqueVishay
18,26 €
Each
Unité
5 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6.34 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
N° de stock RS 167-9502
Référence fabricant534B1502JLB
MarqueVishay
12,926 €
Each (In a Box of 10)
Unité
5 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
N° de stock RS 263-3270
Référence fabricantRSA0N11S9002
MarqueAlps Alpine
5,93 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Slide 1 - Through Hole 0.5W - Linear - - Pin ±20% RSA0N -
N° de stock RS 172-6396
Référence fabricantRSA0N11S9002
MarqueAlps Alpine
2,674 €
Each (In a Tray of 40)
Unité
10 kΩ Slide 1 - Through Hole 0.5W - Linear - - Pin ±20% RSA0N -
N° de stock RS 135-5048
Référence fabricantTW1502KA
6,368 €
Each (In a Box of 500)
Unité
5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
N° de stock RS 502-8621
Référence fabricantTW1502KA
9,87 €
Each
Unité
5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
N° de stock RS 249-9266
Référence fabricantRK1631110TVG
MarqueAlps Alpine
1,22 €
Each
Unité
100 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
N° de stock RS 167-8870
Référence fabricantP11S1V0FLSY00103KL
MarqueVishay
8,924 €
Each (In a Box of 60)
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
N° de stock RS 790-4378
Référence fabricantP11S1V0FLSY00103KL
MarqueVishay
11,51 €
Each
Unité
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm