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# What is the relationship between the potentiometer and the variable resistor?

ednchina | 20/04/2021

First we look at the concept:

# Variable Resistor:

A resistor with adjustable resistance (Variable Resistor), used in situations where the circuit current needs to be adjusted or the circuit resistance needs to be changed. The variable resistor can change the characteristics of the signal generator, dim the light, start the motor or control its speed.

# Potentiometer:

Potentiometer in English: Potentiometer or Potential meter. As the name implies, it is a device to obtain a certain potential (potential, voltage). Its essence is to obtain the desired partial voltage by adjusting the resistance of the resistor or sliding the middle contact of the resistor.

The potentiometer is a resistance element with three lead-out terminals and the resistance value can be adjusted according to a certain change rule. The potentiometer is usually composed of a resistor and a movable brush. When the brush moves along the resistor body, the resistance value or voltage that has a certain relationship with the displacement is obtained at the output end.

The potentiometer can be used as a three-terminal component or a two-terminal component. The latter can be regarded as a variable resistor, because its function in the circuit is to obtain an output voltage that has a certain relationship with the input voltage (external voltage), so it is called a potentiometer.

# The function of the potentiometer is:

## 1. Used as a voltage divider

The potentiometer is a continuously adjustable resistor. When the rotary or sliding handle of the potentiometer is adjusted, the movable contact slides on the resistor body. At this time, at the output end of the potentiometer, an output voltage that has a certain relationship with the external voltage of the potentiometer and the angle or stroke of the movable arm can be obtained.

## 2. Used as a rheostat

When the potentiometer is used as a rheostat, it should be connected as a two-terminal device, so that within the stroke range of the potentiometer, a smooth and continuous resistance value can be obtained.

## 3. used as a current controller

When the potentiometer is used as a current controller, one of the selected current output terminals must be the sliding contact terminal.
If the potentiometer is all through, the potentiometer is a kind of variable resistor, usually composed of a resistor body and a rotating or sliding system, that is, a movable contact moves on the resistor body to obtain part of the voltage output.

The structural characteristics of the potentiometer-the resistor body of the potentiometer has two fixed ends. By manually adjusting the shaft or sliding handle, changing the position of the movable contact on the resistor body will change the position between the movable contact and any fixed end. The resistance value, which changes the size of the voltage and current.

The potentiometer is an adjustable electronic component. It is composed of a resistor body and a rotating or sliding system. When a voltage is applied between the two fixed contacts of the resistor body, the position of the contact on the resistor body is changed by rotating or sliding the system, and a moving contact position can be obtained between the moving contact and the fixed contact. The voltage of a certain relationship. It is mostly used as a voltage divider, at this time the potentiometer is a four-terminal element. The potentiometer is basically a sliding rheostat. There are several styles, which are generally used to adjust the volume of the speaker and the power of the laser head. The potentiometer is an adjustable electronic component.

Since the potentiometer is a variable resistor for voltage division. On the bare resistor body, one or two movable metal contacts are pressed tightly. The position of the contact determines the resistance between either end of the resistor and the contact. According to the material, it is divided into wire winding, carbon film, and solid core potentiometer; according to the relationship between the output and input voltage ratio and the rotation angle, it is divided into linear potentiometer (in a linear relationship) and function potentiometer (in a curve relationship). The main parameters are resistance, tolerance, and rated power. It is widely used in electronic equipment for volume control in speakers and receivers.

# What is the difference?

According to the above description, especially based on the original English text, and the name definition explanation. The variable resistor emphasizes the change and adjustment of the resistance value, and the potentiometer emphasizes the adjustment of the partial pressure. In fact, there is not much difference in the nature of physical phenomena. Is the usage of the circuit different? Is it called a potentiometer for voltage division? If a fixed resistance terminal and a sliding terminal are short-circuited together, a variable resistance resistor is realized.

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