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100K Preset (pack of 5) £1.04

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Preset Resistor trim pot 100K

A potentiometer, informally a pot, is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. If only two terminals are used, one end and the wiper, it acts as a variable resistor or rheostat.

The measuring instrument called a potentiometer is essentially a voltage divider used for measuring electric potential (voltage); the component is an implementation of the same principle, hence its name.

Potentiometers are commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment. Potentiometers operated by a mechanism can be used as position transducers, for example, in a joystick. Potentiometers are rarely used to directly control significant power (more than a watt), since the power dissipated in the potentiometer would be comparable to the power in the controlled load.


Tech Tin Files: Better Symbolic Representation of Resistance

  • When preparing electronic documents, some document editing software applications have used the Symbol typeface to render the character Ω. Where the font is not supported, a W is displayed instead ("10 W" instead of "10 Ω", for instance). As W represents the watt, the SI unit of power, this can lead to confusion.
  • In the electronics industry it is common to use the character R instead of the Ω symbol, thus, a 10 Ω resistor may be represented as 10R. This is the British standard BS 1852 code. It is used in many instances where the value has a decimal place. For example, 5.6 Ω is listed as 5R6. This method avoids overlooking the decimal period, which may not be rendered reliably on components or when duplicating documents.