Potentiometers

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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.

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.


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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. 167-9492
Mfr. Part No.535B1103JC
BrandVishay
MYR98.012
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
MYR112.74
Each
units
10 kΩ Linear 5 - Panel Mount 1.5W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 535 -
RS Stock No. 850-9794
Mfr. Part No.534-1-1-103
BrandVishay
MYR80.26
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Turret ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 172-7667
Mfr. Part No.RK09712200MC
MYR12.378
Each (In a Tray of 120)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK097 -
RS Stock No. 729-3492
Mfr. Part No.RK09712200MC
MYR12.80
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Through Hole 0.05W 6 mm - - - Pin ±20% RK097 15mm
RS Stock No. 475-6072
Mfr. Part No.M-22E10-050 10K
MYR157.04
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6 mm Linear - - Solder Lug ±5% - -
RS Stock No. 387-739
Mfr. Part No.1624139-2
MYR26.08
Each
units
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 502-8615
Mfr. Part No.TW1252KA
MYR45.75
Each
units
2.5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS Stock No. 165-5976
Mfr. Part No.3683S-1-102L
BrandBourns
MYR308.45
Each
units
1 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
RS Stock No. 167-3204
Mfr. Part No.3683S-1-102L
BrandBourns
MYR328.899
Each (In a Box of 50)
units
1 kΩ Digital Display - 2 Panel Mount 2W - - - - Solder Lug ±3% 3680 -
RS Stock No. 135-5047
Mfr. Part No.TW1252KA
MYR36.218
Each (In a Box of 500)
units
2.5 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS Stock No. 135-4477
Mfr. Part No.1624139-2
MYR16.615
Each (In a Box of 200)
units
4.7 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.4W 6.35 mm Linear - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% 23 50mm
RS Stock No. 729-3688
Mfr. Part No.RK12L12C0A0E
MYR9.93
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 2 Through Hole - 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK12L 25mm
RS Stock No. 172-8043
Mfr. Part No.RK12L12C0A0E
MYR4.351
Each (In a Tray of 80)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Through Hole - 6 mm Logarithmic - - Pin ±20% RK12L -
RS Stock No. 502-8637
Mfr. Part No.TW1103KA
MYR61.05
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
RS Stock No. 167-9486
Mfr. Part No.534B1102JL
BrandVishay
MYR81.085
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
1 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 172-6361
Mfr. Part No.RK1631110TWA
MYR8.453
Each (In a Box of 2400)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
RS Stock No. 770-3080
Mfr. Part No.PDB241-GTR03-504A2
BrandBourns
MYR19.93
Each
units
500 kΩ Rotary - 1 Panel Mount 0.25W 6 mm Audio - Carbon Solder Lug ±20% PDB241-GTR 27.5mm
RS Stock No. 249-9238
Mfr. Part No.RK1631110TWA
MYR15.13
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 - Panel Mount, Through Hole 0.1W 6 mm Linear - - Pin ±10% RK163 -
RS Stock No. 135-5049
Mfr. Part No.TW1103KA
MYR36.218
Each (In a Box of 500)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±10% TW 15mm
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