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The potentiometer is a handy little component that you really should know how to use. Check out the wiring examples at the end to see it in action. It is like the resistor. Between the two side pins of the potentiometer there is a strip of resistive material. For example as carbon. This material creates resistance.
We call the middle pin the wiper. It is connected somewhere on the strip between the two ends. You can move the point where the wiper connects to the carbon strip by turning the shaft of the potentiometer. When you move the wiper to the left side, the resistance between the middle pin and the left pin decreases. And the resistance between the middle pin and the right pin increases. When you buy a potentiometer, you have to choose a value. For example k. This value is the resistance between the two end pins.
As explained above, the two pins on the side connect to the ends of a carbon strip. The middle one connects somewhere between the ends of this strip. Keep that in mind, and have a look at the following three examples on how to wire a potentiometer.
If you need a simple resistor that you can change the resistance of, you only need two pins: the middle pin and one of the side pins. The above image shows a simple circuit to dim an LED. Turn the shaft of the potentiometer one direction and the resistance increases. Turn it the other direction and Hook up variable resistor resistance decreases. This way of connecting is actually equal to connecting only two pins. Hook up variable resistor the third pin to the middle pin does not affect the resistance at all. Some people prefer it this way. This example uses all three pins of the potentiometer to create a simple way of adjusting the volume of an amplifier.
The more you turn the shaft, the more you decrease the volume. Go back to read about all the basic electronic components. Really interested in electronics and enjoy the mail you send me. Like to expand my knowledge as much as possible.
Look forward to the next mail. Thanks David. Thank u so much my dear mr.
Nydal dahl for inspiring me as far as electronics is concerns and to be honest u are a blessing to the world from GOD. May our GOD bless u dear and please keep on sending me mails. Thanks alot. I will soon be ordering potentiometers so I am extremely glad too have these explanations and circuits. If not, will it still work if I limit the rotation with stops, or is there not enough current in that range of rotation for it work correctly? The lowest rotation I have seen on a potentiometer is degrees.
But yes, you can limit the rotation with stops. Thanks so much for this. Yes it can. The potentiometer digrams look like they have four connections: 3 pins and one mysterious connection to the center. Can you help me decode it? The mysterious connection at the center just means that you should connect a wire to the metal body of the potentiometer.
This is often done in guitars to reduce noise. In example 2, I believe the reason the third pin is connected to the middle pin is just in case the wiper fails, then at least you would still have resistance instead of an open circuit. I managed to fry a couple of potentiometers. Can you give me a few caveats on how NOT to do this?
Potentiometers have a max watt rating. Often 0. If you turn your potentiometer all the way to one side and end up with for example 1 Ohm Hook up variable resistor resistance, then you can have maximum 0. This is easily achieved with a resistor in series. Could be just a connection to the housing for grounding purposes. Dear sir, How should I wire a dual taper potentiometer? Where is position of grounds? Regards Chandran. Dual taper is just two potentiometer that use the same shaft.
I have a force dryer for my dog grooming shop, the motor Hook up variable resistor a very long time to stop, the techs say I need to send it in to set potentiometer, can I turn the shaft myself to remedy this problem, if so which way do I turn it? I have a USB fan that I would like to vary the speed of. I would like to reverse the rotation of the potentiometer knob on my golf power caddy, is it just a question of swopping the two outside le on the three Hook up variable resistor potentiometer. If it does not change when you turn the knob, then those are the ones to swap.
Does that make sense? Will it work? Just had a new potentiometer put on my cart. Now I have to press the accellator nearly to the floor to make it go.
Is the part not put in, or set, right? Hi I really loved your site. Makes the concepts for beginners very understandable. The best part being the community where one every one is willing to help each other understand the concepts. I am repairing the volume control of my speaker creative 4. Turns out the potentiometer its controller uses is a B50k 50 Ohms 5 pins. I understand that the three pins are potentiometer pins and other two must be switch.
I got the fix alright but I wanted to understand how the person calculated to a 10k 5 pin potentiometer for a B50k potentiometer. I understand there are resistors of 24k and 4. I wanted to understand the calculation part. Hi, I was searching why some people connect 3 pins in the resistance scenario instead of 2 pins, and you give the right information. So thank you for that. If the wiper is turned all the way to the left, the resistance between the left leg and the center leg will be zero, yes. Thanks for your articles about electronics, they Hook up variable resistor really useful when trying to understand things in a less mathematical and more intuitive way… I have a doubt Hook up variable resistor Now the question is, if in the diagram u show for scenario 3 I did NOT connect pin 3 to ground, Hook up variable resistor then as in scenario 2 only 2 pins connected a voltage drop will still occur, and the amount of the voltage drop will depend on the variable resistor right?
Would this not act as a volume knob too? If not, can you please explain why? This also brings me to another question, what affects the volume, current or voltage? Both right, since they are directly proportional? Hope I can get your reply sometime soon, please keep up doing what you do with this website, it helps thinking about elevtronics as simple as possible and you do a great job with that! Yes, a voltage drop would still occur if you only connect two of the pins in scenario 3. But if you use all three pins of the pot, you have the full range of the input al from 0 to max.
You have two resistors in series, yes. But there is a wire from the upper side of resistor 2 from the wiper down to the lower wire of resistor 2. So you have a wire in parallel to the lower resistor. And the resistance of a wire 0 ohm in parallel with any resistor is still 0 ohm. That means only the resistance of the upper resistor matters. Hi I want to use a 12vlt 17amp atx psu as a bench supply and would like to use a potentiometer to give me a variable supply other than the 3,3,5 and 12volt.Hook up variable resistor
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