Does variable resistor do the same as a potentiometer?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by stanman11, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. stanman11

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    do the do the same things?
  2. paulktreg

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    The potentiometer usually has three connections as you are probably aware. If you connect the wiper to either of the other two connections you have a variable resistor with two connections. You can also use the potentiometer to provide a variable voltage, from the wiper, with a reference voltage connected across the potentiometer. So strictly speaking they don't do the same thing but you can use a potentiometer has a variable resistor. I hope that makes sense? ;)
  3. stanman11

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    Not to much, the Var Resistors I have, have 3 pins and so does the pots I have.
    I was playing with them and the pot seemed to reduce a little power while the resistor barely let any power go through.
  4. Austin Clark


    Dec 28, 2011
    It seems like the only difference in your case are the resistance values then. They're the exact same but with different resistance ranges.