simple question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by silver6g72, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. silver6g72

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    11
    0
    what is the difference between the 2? what different types of applications would you use each? my book doesnt give me a point blank answer :(
     
  2. haditya

    Senior Member

    Jan 19, 2004
    220
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    Rheostats are generally high power(current) rated whereas pots hav a relatively low power rating..
     
  3. Sebi

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2005
    59
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    Yeah, i mean, this terms depending from country. In my mind the rheostat have only two connections: one end and wiper, the pot. have 3 legs: two end and wiper.
    With pot. possible to make a voltage divider, the rheostat connection most of case:serial with load.
     
  4. silver6g72

    Thread Starter Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    11
    0
    thanks guys for the responses
     
  5. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
    6,960
    145
    I remember someone saying to me that the difference between the two was that the Rheostat was a variable resistor that varied the resistance by current control, whereas the potentiometer was a variable resistor that varied the resistance by voltage control. This is why the Rheostat is used as a two legged device and the potentiometer is a three legged device.
     
  6. n9xv

    Senior Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    329
    1
    A rheostat controlls current. A potentiometer controls voltage. Think of it this way, a potentiometer is used to "meter" (control) a "potential".
     
  7. Firestorm

    Senior Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    353
    0
    I made a schem showing the differences for a question just like this one. Just gotta find the link or file on my comp (If its still there! ahh)
    thx l8er

    *found it!...sorta a visual of what every1 else has already explained.*

    -fire
     
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