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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Omschrijving Prijs 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-stocknr. 249-9238
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TWA
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,69 €
Each
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-6361
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TWA
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,169 €
Each (In a Box of 2400)
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 263-3270
FabrikantnummerRSA0N11S9002
FabrikantAlps Alpine
5,93 €
Each
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Slide 1 - Through Hole 0.5W - Linear - - Pin ±20% RSA0N -
RS-stocknr. 172-6396
FabrikantnummerRSA0N11S9002
FabrikantAlps Alpine
2,674 €
Each (In a Tray of 40)
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Slide 1 - Through Hole 0.5W - Linear - - Pin ±20% RSA0N -
RS-stocknr. 249-9266
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TVG
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,22 €
Each
Aantal stuks
100kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-7625
FabrikantnummerRK09L1140A65
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,287 €
Each (In a Tray of 100)
Aantal stuks
5kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09L -
RS-stocknr. 729-3420
FabrikantnummerRK09L1140A65
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,65 €
Each
Aantal stuks
5kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09L 25mm
RS-stocknr. 172-7572
FabrikantnummerRK09D1130C3W
FabrikantAlps Alpine
0,622 €
Each (In a Box of 1000)
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 - Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09D -
RS-stocknr. 249-9165
FabrikantnummerRK09712200JC
FabrikantAlps Alpine
4,66 €
Each
Aantal stuks
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK097 -
RS-stocknr. 249-9250
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TV6
FabrikantAlps Alpine
2,40 €
Each
Aantal stuks
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-7660
FabrikantnummerRK09712200JC
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,452 €
Each (In a Tray of 80)
Aantal stuks
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK097 -
RS-stocknr. 172-7656
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TV6
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,184 €
Each (In a Box of 1000)
Aantal stuks
50kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 729-3619
FabrikantnummerRK09K1130AV7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
0,91 €
Each
Aantal stuks
5kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K 20mm
RS-stocknr. 249-9294
FabrikantnummerRK1631210AY7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
5,66 €
Each
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-8116
FabrikantnummerRK1631210AY7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,55 €
Each (In a Box of 2400)
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-7540
FabrikantnummerRK09K1130AV7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
0,554 €
Each (In a Box of 1000)
Aantal stuks
5kΩ Rotary 1 - Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK09K -
RS-stocknr. 729-3482
FabrikantnummerRK0971110D57
FabrikantAlps Alpine
1,90 €
Each
Aantal stuks
10kΩ Rotary 1 1 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm - - - Pin ±20% RK097 25mm
RS-stocknr. 249-9418
FabrikantnummerRS6011Y1401A
FabrikantAlps Alpine
2,16 €
Each
Aantal stuks
50kΩ Slide 1 - Through Hole 0.2W - Linear - - Pin ±20% RS60 -
RS-stocknr. 249-9222
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TV7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
3,00 €
Each
Aantal stuks
100kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS-stocknr. 172-8095
FabrikantnummerRK1631110TV7
FabrikantAlps Alpine
0,962 €
Each (In a Box of 1000)
Aantal stuks
100kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK163 -