Potentiometer working and types

This is the one terminal that slides over a resistive strip to make an electrical contact. You may of course be deliberately loading the pot as described below, but the following stage must still present a high impedance unless its impedance has been included in your calculations.

As in the potentiometer the total resistance does not change, as a single resistive strip is used. Often used in high-end audio equipment where a high resolution and low noise are important.

They are mostly used in high power applications and last really long. However, it is not that accurate in its operation. This characteristic of the pot is called, hop on hop off resistance.

This very concept is the principle behind the working of a potentiometer. Attenuation at this setting is zero assuming a zero or low impedance source - this is often overlooked!

Angular position of the rotary wiper in degrees is given by the formula: It is represented by a zigzag line with an arrow pointing inwards at the center.

Other end of the galvanometer is in contact with the resistor via a sliding contact as shown in the figure above. Used in for example stereo audio volume control or other applications where 2 channels have to be adjusted in parallel. For simplicity, lets name the two resistors, R1 and R2 Refer figure.


Out of these two resistors, the one having longer resistive path will have a higher resistance. The output voltage of potentiometer should be high in order to get high sensitivity.

At this point, a diagram is needed A digipot is generally immune to the effects of moderate long-term mechanical vibration or environmental contamination, to the same extent as other semiconductor devices, and can be secured electronically against unauthorised tampering by protecting the access to its programming inputs by various means.

They are usually physically much smaller than user-accessible potentiometers, and may need to be operated by a screwdriver rather than having a knob. From the name of this pot it can be assumed what it is.

Potentiometer Working Principle of Potentiometer

However, it is not that accurate in its operation. Even though the basic construction and working principle of potentiometers are the same, they differ in one aspect that is the geometry of the moving terminal.

Instead they are used to adjust the level of analog signals for example volume controls on audio equipmentand as control inputs for electronic circuits.

Potentiometer Working Principle of Potentiometer

It also has a reasonably low noise and lesser wear than other naterials. This is yet another type of custom pot, made for a specific purpose. Next section deals with that. Digital potentiometer A digital potentiometer often called digipot is an electronic component that mimics the functions of analog potentiometers.

The rating of the rheostat is given with the full resistance value and the allowable power dissipation is proportional to the fraction of the total device resistance in circuit. Computation[ edit ] In analog computershigh precision potentiometers are used to scale intermediate results by desired constant factors, or to set initial conditions for a calculation.

Preset potentiometers are widely used throughout electronics wherever adjustments must be made during manufacturing or servicing.A potentiometer consists of a resistive element having a sliding contact.

This sliding contact is known as a wiper.


A potentiometer is also called as POT because it is used in voltage division. It is a resistive and passive transducer. A potentiometer is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider.

If only two terminals are used, one end and the wiper, it. The pot as we know it was originally known as a rheostat (or reostat in some texts) - essentially a variable wirewound resistor.

The array of different types is now quite astonishing, and it can be very difficult for the beginner (in particular) to work out which type is suitable for a given task. Potentiometer construction Potentiometers comprise a resistive element, a sliding contact (wiper) that moves along the element, making good electrical contact with one part of It, electrical terminals at each end of the element, a mechanism that moves the wiper from one end to the other, and a housing containing the element and wiper.

What is a potentiometer? A potentiometer is a manually adjustable variable resistor with 3 terminals. Two terminals are connected to both ends of a resistive element, and the third terminal connects to a sliding contact, called a wiper, moving over the resistive element.

A potentiometer is also commonly known as a potmeter or pot. The most common form of potmeter is the single turn rotary potmeter.

Potentiometer transducer | Advantages & Applications

The most common form of potmeter is the single turn rotary potmeter. This type of pot is often used in audio volume control (logarithmic taper) as well as many other applications.

Potentiometer working and types
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