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### Topic: How to connect potentiometer! (Read 932 times)previous topic - next topic

#### Ufoguy

##### Jul 03, 2012, 08:23 am
I'm having difficulty finding how to connect a potentiometer. In circuits potentiometer has only 2 pins like a resistor, however in real life it has 3 pins. Please help me!
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#### nickgammon

#1
##### Jul 03, 2012, 08:27 am
http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Potentiometer
Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

#### AWOL

#2
##### Jul 03, 2012, 09:17 am
Quote
In circuits potentiometer has only 2 pins like a resistor

It may be that the potentiometer is intended to be wired as a variable resistor, and not a potential divider, but without seeing the circuit, it is difficult to know (hint).
"Pete, it's a fool looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart." Ulysses Everett McGill.
Do not send technical questions via personal messaging - they will be ignored.
I speak for myself, not Arduino.

#### Ufoguy

#3
##### Jul 03, 2012, 11:04 am

Quote
In circuits potentiometer has only 2 pins like a resistor

It may be that the potentiometer is intended to be wired as a variable resistor, and not a potential divider, but without seeing the circuit, it is difficult to know (hint).

I know how to connect a pot meter to arduino, but my doubt is about connecting it in normal circuits. For example the second circuit found on this web page http://www.buildcircuit.com/darklight-sensor-using-transistor/
If you want to meet a beautiful nurse you must be patient.

#### Ufoguy

#4
##### Jul 03, 2012, 12:04 pm
Never mind I figured it out. To use pot meter as variable resistor you have to leave one of the end pins unconnected and use the other two.
If you want to meet a beautiful nurse you must be patient.

#### floresta

#5
##### Jul 03, 2012, 03:24 pm
Quote
I'm having difficulty finding how to connect a potentiometer. In circuits potentiometer has only 2 pins like a resistor, however in real life it has 3 pins. Please help me!

You are confusing two different devices.  A potentiometer has three pins, it is essentially a fixed resistor with a variable tap.  A rheostat has two pins, it is essentially a variable resistor.

Quote
Never mind I figured it out. To use pot meter as variable resistor you have to leave one of the end pins unconnected and use the other two.

This will frequently work in electronic circuits.  Most of the time one end is connected to the wiper as shown in the circuit diagram you mentioned.  In either case you should be aware that you are in danger of destroying the potentiometer when you adjust it toward one end if you don't have a fixed resistor in series with it.

As you adjust the potentiometer toward the low resistance end of it's travel the current increases.  In the absence of a external series resistance just before you get to zero ohms you have slightly less than infinite current.  This is the reason that many potentiometers are burned out at one end.

From the tutorial at the link in reply #1:  "A potentiometer is a simple knob that provides a variable resistance..."
My opinion: AARRGGHH

Don

#### jackrae

#6
##### Jul 03, 2012, 09:09 pm
It was, and probably still is, good practice to connect the "redundant" third terminal of a potentiometer to the slider terminal when using as a rheostat.  By that means, if the slider connection to the track should fail, the rheostat value goes to the full resistance value rather than open circuit.

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