Hardware or Software pots

Hey all,

Quick q. I have a light trigger designed to work with the Arduino Uno. I am wondering if it's better (not easier) to implement sensitivity and output delay potentiometers as hardware inputs via Analog in, or software via UI (using a small TFT in my project). I can't seem to see the benefit of having the extra hardware...

Cheers! Andy

One advantage of hardware pots is that they maintain their state when the power's off without any coding and you can both see their settings and adjust them when the power's off - for instance this is really useful for an audio amplifier when you want to switch it on and guarantee the volume is set to minimum - simply crank the volume pot fully CCW before power up. Software can either turn on with the previous state (deafening you perhaps) or always turn on at min volume (which is annoying if you have set things up 'just right' last time)...

Basically I think the extra knobs/sliders are more intuitive and human friendly in certain situations (for a mixing desk its pretty much a requirement!)

Thanks MarkT,

I guess having the hardware pots update a given value on the UI would be really nice, and reduce the amount of scrolling / updating required, and as you say, the user experience is the most important factor to making a gadget really work well.

I am now thinking of an up/down switch with a single pot to adjust the selected input would work better... mmm...

Cheers Andy

Very popular are at the moment jog-dials which can also be pressed. They are really great if you're mostly interested in relative adjustments, as they don't have any stop or for multi-function dials. If you have a single purpose dial where you're more interested in absolute positions, the potentiometers have a nice feel. Button-up / button down interfaces suck except for things where you mostly want to move one or two forward or back - like the next/prev channel on tv remote.