Potentiometer Types | Types of Potentiometers | Potentiometer Symbol

What is a Potentiometer?

In this article explains Potentiometer types and its having a 3-terminal device, it is manually adjustable variable resistor. This potentiometer commonly named as a potmeter or pot, the two terminals of the potentiometer connected to opposite ends that is resistive element and the 3rd terminal used as sliding contact which is movable it is called a wiper and moving upside of resistive element. The potentiometer essentially acting as a variable resistance divider. let us suppose two resistors connected in series, where the wiper place identify the resistance ratio of the first resistor to the second resistor.

potentiometer symbol

Potentiometer Symbol

Potentiometers are commonly used for control the electrical and electronic devices like in audio equipment used as volume controls. Potentiometers operating like position transducers, for example joystick. Potentiometers power consumption is more than a watt so rarely used as direct control of power.

Types of Potentiometers

potentiometers types are:

  • Rotary potentiometers
  • Linear potentiometers

Rotary Potentiometers

Rotary type Potentiometers most widely used for providing variable supply voltage in both electrical circuits and electrical circuits. The best example for rotary potentiometer for volume controller of a transistor radio where the rotary knob of the potentiometer which controls the supply to the amplifier.

Rotary potentiometer having two terminals which is semi circular pattern a uniform resistance is placed and the middle terminal which is connected to resistance through a sliding contact.By rotating the knob one can move the sliding contact on the semi-circular resistance. The voltage is taken between a resistance end contact and the sliding contact.

Linear Potentiometers

linear potentiometer

This type of Linear potentiometers is mainly used to measuring in internal resistance of a battery cell and also measure the voltage across a branch of a circuit. It is widely used in the equalizer of musical equipment and Audio amplifier mixing systems.


Rheostat is nothing but variable resistor or adjustable resistor used for adjustment of current or voltage varying of resistance in an electric circuit. The applications of rheostat can control the dim lights and speed of motors and also adjust the generator characteristics.

Rheostat images

Digital potentiometers

A digital potentiometer is nothing but digital resistor but same action as normal potentiometer but in place of mechanical action. Digital potentiometers used in digital signals and switches, but resistance varying by digital process. This is frequently done by making the use of a string of small resistors connected in series.

Digital potentiometer

Potentiometer Symbols


Applications of Potentiometer

Many different applications of potentiometers are,

  • Comparing the EMF of a battery cell with a standard cell
  • Measuring the internal resistance of a battery cell
  • Measuring the voltage across a branch of a circuit

write on :  potentiometer pinout,potentiometer wiring,variable resistor

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