Slide potentiometers, also known as slide pots, are electronic components that utilize a resistive element and a sliding contact to create an adjustable voltage divider. This allows for precise control over the output voltage or resistance in a circuit.
When only two terminals of the slide potentiometer are used, namely one end of the resistive element and the sliding contact, it functions as a variable resistor or rheostat. By adjusting the position of the sliding contact along the resistive element, the resistance can be increased or decreased, thereby controlling the flow of current in the circuit.
Slide potentiometers are available in various configurations and are selected based on several parameters. The resistance value of the resistive element is an important consideration, as it determines the range of resistance that can be achieved. Additionally, the travel range of the sliding contact, or how far it can move along the resistive element, is another factor to consider.
Mounting type refers to how the slide potentiometer is physically attached or mounted onto a circuit board or panel. Power dissipation specifies the maximum amount of power that the slide potentiometer can handle without overheating.
Adjustment type refers to the method used to adjust the position of the sliding contact. It can be controlled manually by hand, or it can be motorized for automated adjustments. Dual slide potentiometers have two sliding contacts and can provide independent control over two separate circuits.
Slide potentiometers find applications in audio equipment, lighting controls, instrumentation panels, and other electronic systems where precise voltage or resistance adjustments are required.
In summary, slide potentiometers are versatile components that allow for adjustable voltage division or resistance control in electronic circuits. Their selection depends on factors such as resistance value, travel range, mounting type, power handling capability, adjustment method, and whether they are dual, motorized, or standard fader types.