Connect with us

Mystery part

Discussion in 'Datasheets, Manuals and Component Identification' started by Westside, Jun 22, 2016.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Westside


    Jun 22, 2016
    Can you help me identify the name or function of this old part? It looks like a regular potentiometer, with the 3 tabs I will call 1, 2 and 3 (left to right, looking at knob face). But there's an extra 3/8" thick disk behind it with two heavy (14-gauge?) wires labeled A and C. The knob clicks "off" at full CCW. Here's what it does, as far as I can tell with an ohmmeter:

    Knob "off": A and C are open, 2 and 3 are closed/short
    Knob clicked "on" (any amount): A and C instantly closed/short, 2 and 3 instantly open
    Knob turned fully CW, about 300 degrees: 1 and 2 closed/short

    There's no gradual change in any of these characteristics, as the knob turns.

    Thank you!
  2. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    Sounds like a standard switched pot with an open circuit pot section. Any markings on the body of the unit anywhere?
  3. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    a photo or 2 would be VERY helpful
  4. Westside


    Jun 22, 2016
    Thank you for your replies! I went back and looked at it again as if it would be a standard pot. Now I see that the seemingly unusual binary behavior (open and closed) was due to my ohmmeter being set too low. Turns out to be a 880K pot, with the three tabs acting normally.

    But, I am still wondering about the function of the add-on disk behind the pot. The disk body labels one wire as A and the other as C. Wikipedia says "Older potentiometers may be marked with an "A" for linear taper, a "C" for logarithmic taper." So I was looking for some kind of variable reading from those wires as the knob turns. Only get the binary result from my original post: open when knob clicked off, closed/short when knob clicked on (any amount).

    So for now I will assume that the A and C markings have nothing to do with taper. It's simply an on-off switch to control something else, of higher voltage, perhaps even 110V (AC!).

    What would be an electronic device that uses a single knob to turn something on and off, and also acts as an 880K pot? I guess maybe a stereo amp: turn the power on and then control the volume?

    The only other marking is on the side of the pot body: F in a circle, followed by BIM.
  5. 73's de Edd

    73's de Edd

    Aug 21, 2015
    Alright you can now see that it is a given that the rear portion is being a single pole single throw switch.
    Now, If you want to further differentiate on the potentiometers type , you will be finding that it has a 270°
    rotational range, now find the center of that range at 135.
    Now measure from the center of that pot to each side terminal, and see if they are being approximately equal in value .
    If you find that to be the case , then you have yourself a linear pot .
    If you find yourself finding approximately 50 K on one center to side terminal, compared to finding approximately 800 K on the opposite half of the pot.
    You have yourself a logarithmic potentiometer .
    If you confirm that type of potentiometer, further check at the one third and one half positions of the section which was giving you the low readings .
    Then, kick your brain into full logic and reasoning mode.
    Then you wonder, "how dey do dat " ?
    If you find yourself having a logarithmic pot I think they've done quite well in approaching that overall one megohm assigned value, considering the intermediate values of resistance tapering that they had to accomplish .

    73's de Edd

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  6. Westside


    Jun 22, 2016
    OK yes it seems to be a linear pot, or nearly so. Thank you!

    Item is now labeled and in the Pots drawer.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day