In electronics and electricity there is a component that is very important, with it you can calculate the power of the voltage by means of a voltage divider. In this article you will find everything you need to understand what a potentiometer.

He Potentiometer It is a device that is used in electricity and is for control. It is used to make calculations and to adjust the power of the voltage.

What is a Potentiometer?

It is a device that is mostly used in technology, and its purpose is to calculate the different electrical powers within a pair of electricity terminals. That difference in force is what is commonly called voltage.

How is the operation of a Potentiometer?

The potentiometer works in a very easy way, it has a resistance that is adjustable at the tips and also has a connection in a slider control, which allows you to raise or lower the resistance itself. The purpose is that the values ​​can be graduated in a connection, which is controlled manually.

If you want to know in a more extensive way the operation of the potentiometer, it is essential to know how it is composed and what each one does. It is made up of a resistance that can vary its value, that increases the energy, its value, it can go up or down.

This resistance has three terminals where the connections of the voltage to be measured are made.

When the resistance is turned, the amount of power from the terminals changes. This is why the energy value is adjusted in the same way as the resistance.

Potentiometer Types

On the market there are several types of Potentiometers and they are categorized according to their resistance, they have different types of control and currently there are many due to technology.

According to the variations of the resistances

Here we show you the potentiometer according to its variation:

  • Linear Potentiometer: The resistance in this potentiometer has a variation in a linear way as the angle that causes the resistance to have a variation varies.
  • Logarithmic potentiometer: The resistance has variations according to the angle, although in this case it is exponentially inversely.
  • Sinusoidal potentiometer: Its function is variable within the angle.
  • Antilog Potentiometer: Its change is exponential according to the angle of the turn.

Depending on the type of command

The following are types of potentiometers according to the type of command:

  • Rotary Potentiometers: The way to control them is by rotating an axis. They have a long life and the space they occupy is not much, it is not very big.
  • Sliding Potentiometers: Its control is linear, which moves. It is frequently used in sound equipment such as equalizers.
  • Multiple potentiometers: their axes are coaxial. And they usually occupy a minimal area.
  • Digital Potentiometers: these potentiometers are those that appear to be an analog potentiometer by means of an integrated circuit, they are of good precision.

The Applications of a Potentiometer

The use of the Potentiometer in many electronic and electrical equipment. They are used to act as a control archetype, in other words to change any situation, also to make adjustments, when something that is not regular is observed and has to be corrected. Example:

  • In an audio control: In a sound system who controls the volume is a potentiometer.
  • in a fan: The speeds that the fan makes its turns (3; 2; 1; 0) is done with a potentiometer; if it is at number zero, it is not on or off.
  • in enlightenment: When you need to have a dim or stronger light, use a potentiometer, you can also use a light regulator.
  • Control system: It is normal to get a potentiometer in any control system, whose function is to measure the variables.

How is a Potentiometer Connected?

The potentiometers come with three terminals, they are regularly identified, it can be with the letter A, B, C, or with numbers 1, 2, 3. The ends are identified with A or 1 – B or 2, which connect to the circuit terminals and C or 3 is the one that connects the signal or is the reference point.

It is normal if this type of configuration is used:

  • Terminal A or 1: which corresponds to GND.
  • Terminal B or 2: which corresponds to signal
  • Terminal C or 3: which corresponds to V or the input signal.

Types of construction of a Potentiometer

Among the types of construction we have:

  • The Printed Potentiometers: They are made with a cermet or carbon track on a hard base such as a kind of bakelized paper or cardboard, bakelite, fiberglass, etc. The splices have some terminals at their tips and a kind of slider that connects to a skate that moves through the resistive zone.
  • The Wirewound Potentiometers: it contains a coiled toroid with a resistive wire, there is also evidence, with a slider that moves the skate on itself.