Users' questions

Can I use a potentiometer for volume control?

Can I use a potentiometer for volume control?

Yes, you can use a volume control as a potentiometer, so long as you know and understand the limitations. If you think that you can take the output of the power supply and then reduce the voltage with a potentiometer (as a voltage divider) you are making a mistake.

What is a volume potentiometer?

A potentiometer is a three-terminal resistor with a sliding or rotating contact that forms an adjustable voltage divider. Potentiometers are commonly used to control electrical devices such as volume controls on audio equipment.

What potentiometer should I use for volume control?

For our ears to perceive a halving of volume with the control at the midway point, the pot actually needs to be logarithmic. So, log pots are generally preferred for volume because signal level ramps up, and down more smoothly that it does with linear pots.

How does a volume control work?

A speaker volume control is usually a wirewound potentiometer that just increases the series resistance of the speaker system. It makes a potential divider with the resistance of the louspeaker so that less voltage gets to the speaker. A volume control on an amplifier is slightly different.

Why would a potentiometer be used to control the volume of a speaker?

Anything resistive is going to waste power to a certain degree, however in audio amplifier applications a potentiometer is used to control the gain of the amplifier. The control of the volume is done by changing the resistance of the feedback circuit in the amplifier.

Why potentiometer is used?

A potentiometer is a type of position sensor. They are used to measure displacement in any direction. In Linear Potentiometers the track is straight and in Rotary potentiometers the track is circular. The wiper moves along the track to measure the displacement through proportionally dividing the input voltage.