Description: Potentiometers are incredibly useful, whether you’re controlling the volume on your stereo or the ‘mood lighting’ in your room. The problem with traditional potentiometers is the fact that your microcontroller doesn’t have an easy way to interface with them. Digital Potentiometers solve that problem by allowing you to control a voltage splitter with digital signals.
Wire it up just like a potentiometer and use serial signals to ‘turn the knob.’ Another handy feature of digital potentiometers is that because they aren’t controlled mechanically, they don’t have a pre-determined sweep profile.In other words, depending on the way you write your code the potentiometer can ‘sweep’ in a linear fashion, a logarithmic fashion, or according to any other profile you like. Digital potentiometers can also be used in conjunction with rotary encoders to consolidate large banks of potentiometers into one ‘smart’ rotary control.
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Once I understood how a ‘SPI’ device works with micro-controllers, Arduino in particular everything was great. It was a pain to get going, not having a starting point, so i was thinking about making a small getting started tutorial just to link here…but I am hoping someone at ‘Sparkfun’ beats me to it! :O)
ok these are pretty great. especially for their price.
If you need to controll voltage splitters like volume controll befor a audio circuit this is pretty much a great and easy to use device. just connect a simple SPI connection to it and your ready to go! also works great as a slow DAC.
Only downside is that if you are planning to use these to controll a stereo signal you will need to hunt down the dual-channel version. there is slight variation between individial Digital-pots making it less ideal to use 2 of these single-channel rather then 1 dual-channel. Sparkfun should start carrying those.