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Unravel The Mysteries Of How Potentiometers Work


What is a potentiometer, how do potentiometers work, how to connect a potentiometer, how to make a voltage divider, how to control current, how to control RGB LED, what are the different types of potentiometers.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 acts as a variable resistor or rheostat.

source.image: The Engineering Mindset

The measuring instrument called a potentiometer is essentially a voltage divider used for measuring electric potential (voltage); the component is an implementation of the same principle, hence its name. Potentiometers are commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment.

Potentiometers consist of 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.


Multiturn potentiometers are also operated by rotating a shaft, but by several turns rather than less than a full turn. Some multiturn potentiometers have a linear resistive element with a sliding contact moved by a lead screw; others have a helical resistive element and a wiper that turns through 10, 20, or more complete revolutions, moving along the helix as it rotate.