Potentiometers

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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Digital Potentiometers

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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. 460-7526
Mfr. Part No.534B1103JL
BrandVishay
€21.96
Each
units
10 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
RS Stock No. 167-9487
Mfr. Part No.534B1103JL
BrandVishay
€14.639
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 790-4401
Mfr. Part No.P16NP103MAB15
BrandVishay
€12.69
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 8.8mm
RS Stock No. 167-8774
Mfr. Part No.P16NP103MAB15
BrandVishay
€12.084
Each (In a Box of 20)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 16 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±20% P16 8.8mm
RS Stock No. 790-4362
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00102KA
BrandVishay
€11.07
Each
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-8866
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00102KA
BrandVishay
€8.51
Each (In a Box of 60)
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-9569
Mfr. Part No.534B1103JC8872
BrandVishay
€14.571
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Panel Mount 2W 6 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 534 20.6mm
RS Stock No. 486-7093
Mfr. Part No.534B1103JC8872
BrandVishay
€22.04
Each
units
10 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
RS Stock No. 790-4221
Mfr. Part No.P10XXAI103KB30
BrandVishay
€4.35
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.5W 3 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% P10 20mm
RS Stock No. 162-2374
Mfr. Part No.P10XXAI103KB30
BrandVishay
€2.528
Each (In a Box of 100)
units
10 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.5W 3 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% P10 20mm
RS Stock No. 167-9486
Mfr. Part No.534B1102JL
BrandVishay
€15.076
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. 460-7510
Mfr. Part No.534B1102JL
BrandVishay
€17.64
Each
units
1 kΩ Linear 10 - Panel Mount 2W 6.35 mm - - - Solder Lug ±5% 534 -
RS Stock No. 790-4390
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00501KA
BrandVishay
€8.92
Each
units
500 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-8874
Mfr. Part No.P11S1V0FLSY00501KA
BrandVishay
€6.917
Each (In a Box of 60)
units
500 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11S 25mm
RS Stock No. 850-9858
Mfr. Part No.536-1-1-101
BrandVishay
€12.42
Each
units
100 Ω Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Solder Lug ±5% 536 22.2mm
RS Stock No. 790-4457
Mfr. Part No.PE30L0FL102KAB
BrandVishay
€28.86
Each
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-8699
Mfr. Part No.PE30L0FL102KAB
BrandVishay
€27.053
Each (In a Box of 10)
units
1 kΩ Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 3W 6 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% PE30 25mm
RS Stock No. 167-8936
Mfr. Part No.P10XXAI101KB30
BrandVishay
€2.518
Each (In a Box of 100)
units
100 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 0.5W 3 mm Linear - Cermet Pin ±10% P10 20mm
RS Stock No. 168-0024
Mfr. Part No.P11P1F0GGSY00501KA
BrandVishay
€8.131
Each (In a Box of 30)
units
500 Ω Rotary 1 1 Panel Mount 1W 6.35 mm Linear - Cermet Solder Lug ±10% P11P 15.9mm
RS Stock No. 850-9794
Mfr. Part No.534-1-1-103
BrandVishay
€11.96
Each
units
10 kΩ Rotary 10 1 Bushing Mount 2W 6.35 mm Linear - Wirewound Turret ±5% 534 20.6mm