Using a Pot as a Variable Resistor

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by tracecom, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    When using a potentiometer as a variable resistor (i.e., using the wiper and only one other terminal), is it proper to tie the unused terminal back to the wiper? Does it matter? Why?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    You don't have to do this, but wipers sometimes don't make contact. Tying the unused side down offers some failure protection if this happens.
     
  3. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    That makes sense. Thanks.
     
  4. sceadwian

    New Member

    Jun 1, 2009
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    Tieing one end to the wiper also helps distribute the current across the entire POT element. It's not perfect, but it will give you slightly higher power handling than otherwise.
     
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