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Wiring a Pot

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Old Grey, Jul 19, 2016.

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  1. Old Grey

    Old Grey

    26
    2
    Feb 5, 2016
    This is going to sound pretty basic, but when wiring a variable resistor to ground why do people tie the free end back to the wiper.

    For example I have a car sensor, like the coolant temp sensor, that is just a temp dependant variable resistor to ground.
    Now I want to simulate it on the bench with a pot, so I connect one of the pot's outer contacts to GND, and my circuit to the middle wiper. This leaves one free contact on the pot, which I see in some circuits being tied back to the wiper.

    If you look at the 3 pots - middle left -, 2 are tied, 1 not.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chemelec

    Chemelec

    291
    47
    Jul 12, 2016
    If the Wiper Looses Contact with no connection to the one terminal, than the resistance goes to Infinity.
    If the Center in connected to the Center, than it just goes to the Total Resistance of the pot.

    This is better as it offers PROTECTION from damage to other parts in some situations.
     
  3. Old Grey

    Old Grey

    26
    2
    Feb 5, 2016
    Ahh, so I will tie them all to the wiper from now on.

    Thanks
     
  4. Alec_t

    Alec_t

    2,928
    797
    Jul 7, 2015
    That would be appropriate only if the pot is being used as a rheostat (as distinct from a potential divider).
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2016
  5. Chemelec

    Chemelec

    291
    47
    Jul 12, 2016
    The Initial Question is about a FREE END, Unused Terminal on a Pot.
    Not about Volume controls or Voltage Dividers where all 3 terminals are being used.
     
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