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

...
Read more Read less

Filters

Viewing 81 - 100 of 1876 products
Results per page
Description Price 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 Stock No. 842-7037
BrandRS PRO
$8.74
Each
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder ±10% P25 25mm
RS Stock No. 850-9817
Mfr. Part No.534-1-1-502
BrandVishay
$31.78
Each
units
5 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Turret ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 831-8772
Mfr. Part No.53C31K
BrandHoneywell
$26.72
Each
units
1 kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Conductive Plastic Solder Lug ±10% 53C 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 387-745
Mfr. Part No.1623757-2
$10.28
Each
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 460-1900
Mfr. Part No.533B1502JL
BrandVishay
$52.73
Each
units
5 kΩ Linear 3 - Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 533 -
RS Stock No. 167-9490
Mfr. Part No.533B1502JL
BrandVishay
$35.357
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
5 kΩ Rotary 3 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 533 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 167-9492
Mfr. Part No.535B1103JC
BrandVishay
$37.11
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 5 1 Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 535 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 460-1922
Mfr. Part No.535B1103JC
BrandVishay
$39.78
Each
units
10 kΩ Linear 5 - Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 535 -
RS Stock No. 135-4478
Mfr. Part No.1623757-2
$6.763
Each (In a Box of 200)
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 167-0101
Mfr. Part No.PTV09A-4225F-B103
BrandBourns
$0.936
Each (In a Tray of 100)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.05W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PTV09 25mm
RS Stock No. 827-4990
Mfr. Part No.PTV09A-4225F-B103
BrandBourns
$1.19
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.05W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PTV09 25mm
RS Stock No. 249-9266
Mfr. Part No.RK1631110TVG
$4.62
Each
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±20% RK163 -
RS Stock No. 684-2673
Mfr. Part No.PE60L0FLW4R7MA
BrandVishay
$132.07
Each
units
4.7 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 6W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Wire Lead ±20% PE60 25mm
RS Stock No. 168-0009
Mfr. Part No.PE60L0FLW4R7MA
BrandVishay
$86.208
Each (In a Box of 5)
units
4.7 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 6W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Wire Lead ±20% PE60 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-8871
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00103KA
BrandVishay
$17.43
Each (In a Box of 60)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 790-4463
Mfr. Part No.PE30L0FL222KAB
BrandVishay
$58.87
Each
units
2.2 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-4422
Mfr. Part No.PDB182-K220K-104B
BrandBourns
$2.45
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.125W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PDB18 20mm
RS Stock No. 737-7726
Mfr. Part No.PDB182-K220K-104B
BrandBourns
$3.34
Each
units
100 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Panel Mount 0.125W 6 mm Linear - Carbon PC Pin ±20% PDB18 20mm
RS Stock No. 790-4381
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00103KA
BrandVishay
$22.66
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 502-8615
Mfr. Part No.TW1252KA
$21.00
Each
units
2.5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
Related Products
22mm 5 Turn 3548 Series Wirewound elements High ...
Description:
22mm 5 Turn 3548 Series Wirewound elements High rotational life Suitable for use under side load Designed for HMI and MMI applications Wirewound elements High rotational life Suitable for use under side load Designed for HMI and MMI applications.
Description:
16 mm 91 Series Bourns 91 Series are single turn, rotary linear potentiometers Features and Benefits:Available in various pin-out configurations One piece shaft and rotor assembly Panel and PCB mountable Conductive plastic resistance element Linear and audio (log) output track ...
RS NP22 Series Conductive Plastic Potentiometers (With Stop) ...
Description:
RS NP22 Series Conductive Plastic Potentiometers (With Stop) This series of RS potentiometers with stop offer resistance options of 1kΩ to 100kΩ and are constructed from a long life conductive plastic resistance element with an anodised aluminium machined body These ...
PC - “Slimline” 22 mm Square Panel Control ...
Description:
PC - “Slimline” 22 mm Square Panel Control Space saving design Imperial shaft and bushing option Linear taper version Space saving design Imperial shaft and bushing option Linear taper version.