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variable resistor

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New Member
on standard potentiometers, as well as the little blue surface mount version, there are 3 pins. on the pinout sheets they say "wiper" for the third pin. I know the wiper is the little physical thing that spins around to adjust the resistance, however, where does this pin go out to on the circuit?

|(1) |(2)

this is what the bottom of my little blue guy looks like.

i would imagine 1 and 2 are like the normal leads on a nonvariable resistor, but what do i do with pin 3 (wiper)?



Active Member
Connect the wiper to either pin 1 or pin 3 to get a 2-wire variable resistor. To make a variable potential-divider, take the output between wiper and 3-pin and connect the input to pins 1 and 3 (This connection is used in audio amplifiers for volume control).
See picture below:


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