Skip to content

Electronic components: Potentiometers

New Course Coming Soon:

Get Really Good at Git

A potentiometer is a tiny component that has 3 connectors: 2 on one side, 1 on the other side:

The two connectors are the input, they are connected to the negative and to the positive, and the opposite one is the output.

Rotating potentiometer we can have on output a fraction of the voltage difference we have in the input pins.

This is because the potentiometer is a resistor we can modify the resistance of. In this case I have a 10kΩ potentiometer:

See this simulation: if we have the potentiometer at full left (counterclockwise), on the output pin we have a 9V difference between the output pin and ground, because the potentiometer is working at 100% as a 10kΩ resistance and absorbs all the current:

If we change the potentiometer value at full right, on the output pin we have 9V because the potentiometer does not absorb any current. It works like a wire, applying 0 resistance.

Having the potentiometer at 50% gives 1/2 of the starting tension in the output pin:

Potentiometer are handy for many reasons, on their own, but they are also used in integrated circuits to help us regulate the output, like in this case with a sound sensor where the potentiometer is the blue box we can regulate with a screwdriver:

Are you intimidated by Git? Can’t figure out merge vs rebase? Are you afraid of screwing up something any time you have to do something in Git? Do you rely on ChatGPT or random people’s answer on StackOverflow to fix your problems? Your coworkers are tired of explaining Git to you all the time? Git is something we all need to use, but few of us really master it. I created this course to improve your Git (and GitHub) knowledge at a radical level. A course that helps you feel less frustrated with Git. Launching May 21, 2024. Join the waiting list!

Here is how can I help you: