Potentiometer - Taper

Replacement: None. There is no direct replacement for this item. This page is for reference only.

An adjustable potentiometer can open up many interesting user interfaces. Turn the pot and the resistance changes. Connect VCC to an outer pin, GND to the other, and the center pin will have a voltage that varies from 0 to VCC depending on the rotation of the pot. Hook the center pin to an ADC on a microcontroller and get a variable input from the user!

This is a center-tap taper type potentiometer. The outer two pins will always show 500K resistance, the center pin resistance to one of the outer pins will vary from 500K Ohm to about 50 Ohm. This is a taper-type pot meaning the resistance will vary non-linearly with its position. This is commonly used for audio and volume control applications.


Looking for answers to technical questions?

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  • NickH / about 15 years ago / 2

    Something to be aware of is that this is not a linear pot. (Oops) Its taper is 15A instead of 2B (linear).
    If you're looking to use a potentiometer as in input for an Arduino or other microprocessor, this probably isn't the one to use. Mapping the shaft position to output voltage is not a simple and easy and linear.

    • ghostfish / about 15 years ago / 1

      According to the datasheet, this is a linear taper (1B) not 15A. Do you actually have the product or did one of us misread the datasheet?

      • I read the data sheet as it being 15A taper as well. The last "A" in the product number indicates 15A taper. "B" would be the 1B taper

  • Bryan McClanahan / about 15 years ago / 1

    So, I plugged this puppy in for the UMC32. The taper is pretty wack. At 4/5th turn, resistance is at 100K. I don't recommend this pot for the UMC32, however, it certainly does do the job if your out of options or time.
    Spark fun, please order the Panasonic EVU-F2MFL3B14, Digikey.com # EVU-F2MFL3B14
    Also, the matching knobs (COM-08828) fit on perfectly!

    • Surge311 / about 15 years ago / 1

      Yeah, I can second your results. Using this with my Arduino gets me some freakin whack results right around 3/4 turn.
      Gotta admit, I just started in the electronics world, and I ordered a bunch of parts from sparkfun for small projects, so I guess I didn't really know what to look for.

  • Stigern / about 16 years ago / 1

    And this fits onto the breadboards easily?

    • It works with a breadboard pretty well. The three pins are 0.1" spaced, but the mounting legs get in the way of the breadboard. I clipped off the larger PCB mounting legs, and the pot stays in the breadboard ok, but it tends to work its way out as you use it.

  • Quazar / about 16 years ago / 1

    What is the taper? An exact part number (like "RK09D1130C1B") would be handy so we can look up the details in the referenced spec sheet.

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