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 842-7103
MarqueRS PRO
7,93 €
Each
Unité
1kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 173-0743
MarqueRS PRO
2,301 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
2kΩ - 1 - Panel Mount 0.5W 3.17 mm - - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% P12 19mm
N° de stock RS 173-0733
MarqueRS PRO
1,283 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
50Ω - 1 - Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm - - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 173-0721
MarqueRS PRO
1,283 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
50Ω - 1 - Panel Mount 1W 6 mm - - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 173-0750
MarqueRS PRO
3,383 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount 3W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P40 68mm
N° de stock RS 842-7125
MarqueRS PRO
4,52 €
Each
Unité
1kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP23 20mm
N° de stock RS 842-7093
MarqueRS PRO
18,56 €
Each
Unité
500Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P40 68mm
N° de stock RS 842-7197
MarqueRS PRO
132,13 €
Each
Unité
5kΩ Linear - 1 Spring Return - - Linear - Conductive Plastic - ±20% WT22 -
N° de stock RS 842-7037
MarqueRS PRO
5,20 €
Each
Unité
1kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 173-0755
MarqueRS PRO
4,527 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
1kΩ - 1 - Bushing Mount 1W 6.35 mm - - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP22 22mm
N° de stock RS 842-7169
MarqueRS PRO
7,09 €
Each
Unité
5kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 8 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP32HS -
N° de stock RS 173-0749
MarqueRS PRO
3,383 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount 3W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P40 68mm
N° de stock RS 173-0768
MarqueRS PRO
55,216 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
1kΩ - 1 - Servo Mount 3W 6 mm - - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% 40CP 15mm
N° de stock RS 842-7034
MarqueRS PRO
5,20 €
Each
Unité
500Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 842-7166
MarqueRS PRO
6,57 €
Each
Unité
5kΩ Rotary - 1 - 0.5W 5 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP24HS -
N° de stock RS 842-7068
MarqueRS PRO
5,17 €
Each
Unité
25Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 173-0752
MarqueRS PRO
4,033 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
5kΩ Rotary - - Panel Mount 2W 8 mm - - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP32HS -
N° de stock RS 842-7078
MarqueRS PRO
4,56 €
Each
Unité
100Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
N° de stock RS 842-7113
MarqueRS PRO
7,96 €
Each
Unité
1kΩ Rotary 1 1 Bushing Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder ±20% NP22 22mm
N° de stock RS 173-0727
MarqueRS PRO
1,283 €
Each (In a Box of 50)
Unité
500Ω - 1 - Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm - - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm