Category Archives: Potentiometers

How do Electronic Potentiometers work?

Nowadays, most electronic gadgets change their settings such as volume, bass, treble, brightness, contrast, sharpness etc., through “up/down” or “+/-” buttons in contrast to the rotary mechanical controls earlier. These are the electronic or digital potentiometers in action. While the principle of operation remains the same whether it is a mechanical or an electronic potentiometer, the functionality of the two is quite different. While the mechanical potentiometer offers a continuous variation Read more [...]

How Do Mechanical Potentiometers Work?

Electronic gadgets of about one generation back (prior to the prolific use of SMD), used rotary mechanical potentiometers for setting different parameters such as volume, tone, brightness, contrast, etc. For adjusting circuit parameters within the gadget, a smaller variation called the trim pot was a common sight. These are outdated now, but those who still own and use these gadgets often wonder how mechanical potentiometers function. The most common example of a mechanical potentiometer is the Read more [...]

How do rotary encoders work?

When tracking the turning of shafts, it is usually necessary to generate digital position and motion information. The most popular way of doing this is by using rotary encoders. They may be incremental or absolute, optical or magnetic, but they are used extensively in industrial and commercial designs in myriad applications. You will find rotary encoders being used on motors paired with automated machinery and drivers for nearly everything from robotics, position control and conveyor speed monitoring Read more [...]

How To Clean Potentiometers On Your Audio Equipment

How to Clean the Potentiometers on Your Audio Equipment If you have a dirty potentiometer, you probably will find out about it from the scratchy sounds your equipment will make when you adjust the volume control. Here's a simple and safe method to rid yourself of that noise: -Unplug your equipment -Remove the cover from the knob -Carefully use contact spray on the shaft of the potentiometer -Replace the knob -Plug your equipment back in and turn it on -Rotate the knob from one end of Read more [...]

The Basics of Potentiometers

Potentiometer Basics A potentiometer is a manually variable resistor. It has 3 terminals, one of which is connected to ground, the second to a current source and the third to a sliding contact that runs along a strip of resistor. The varying resistance is used to control other parameter like volume. Potentiometers are widely used electronic components used in volume control, brightness control etc. though recently they are being replaced by digital control circuits. A potentiometer can regulate Read more [...]