Potentiometer FAQs:


Q: Is a potentiometer essentially a voltage divider used for measuring electric potential?

A: Yes, the component is an implementation of the same principle, hence its name.

Q: Are potentiometers used to scale intermediate results by desired constant factors?

A: Yes, or to set initial conditions for a calculation.

Q: Are potentiometers widely used throughout electronics wherever adjustments must be made during manufacturing or servicing?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers also operated by rotating a shaft?

A: Yes, but by several turns rather than less than a full turn.

Q: Is a potentiometer often used?

A: Yes, and with one terminal unconnected or connected to the wiper.

Q: Are potentiometers used when the division ratio of the potentiometer must be proportional to the angle of shaft rotation?

A: Yes, for example, controls used for adjusting the centering of the display on an analog cathode-ray oscilloscope.

Q: Are potentiometers rarely used to directly control significant amounts of power?

A: Yes, Instead they are used to adjust the level of analog signals , and as control inputs for electronic circuits.

Q: Is a potentiometer that the slider position gives a visual indication of its setting?

A: Yes.

Q: Is a potentiometer not one half of the total value of the potentiometer?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers also very widely used as a part of displacement transducers because of the simplicity of construction and because they can give a large output signal?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers often made of graphite?

A: Yes.

Q: Was a potentiometer often used to adjust "vertical hold"?

A: Yes, and which affected the synchronization between the receiver's internal sweep circuit and the received picture signal, along with other things such as audio-video carrier offset, tuning frequency and so on.

Q: Are potentiometers widely used as user controls?

A: Yes, and may control a very wide variety of equipment functions.

Q: Were potentiometers formerly used to control picture brightness?

A: Yes, and contrast, and color response.

Q: Is a potentiometer a multi-turn potentiometer operated by an attached reel of wire turning against a spring?

A: Yes, and enabling it to convert linear position to a variable resistance.

Q: Are potentiometers problematic?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers constructed with a resistive element formed into an arc of a circle usually a little less than a full turn and a wiper sliding on this element when rotated?

A: Yes, and making electrical contact.

Q: Are potentiometers often used in connection with audio amplifiers?

A: Yes, as human perception of audio volume is logarithmic.

Q: Are potentiometers typically 1 million to 20 million cycles depending on the materials used during manufacturing and the actuation method?

A: Yes, contact and contactless methods are available. Many different material variations are available such as PET, FR4, and Kapton.

Q: Are potentiometers not accurately logarithmic?

A: Yes, but use two regions of different resistance to approximate a logarithmic law.

Q: Is a potentiometer constructed with a resistive element that either "tapers" in from one end to the other?

A: Yes, or is made from a material whose resistivity varies from one end to the other.

Q: Are potentiometers rarely used to directly control significant power?

A: Yes, since the power dissipated in the potentiometer would be comparable to the power in the controlled load.

Q: Are potentiometers significantly more expensive?

A: Yes.

Q: Are potentiometers sufficient?

A: Yes.

Q: Is a potentiometer a potentiometer that has a bias built into the resistive element?

A: Yes.