Digital Potentiometers

Digital Potentiometers are three-terminal devices, two fixed end terminals and one wiper terminal which are used to vary resistance.

What is a Digital potentiometer?

A digital potentiometer also known as a digipot, is similar to a standard analogue potentiometer, which is a variable type resistor except the digital potentiometer has an IC (integrated circuit) that can take a signal input rather. Potentiometers physically change the resistance value whereas digital potentiometers modify the resistance value via digital inputs rather than a rotary wheel or a slider.

Where might I use one?

Digital potentiometers would be beneficial where environmental factors would impact a mechanical potentiometer in areas where there is vibration, dust, moisture or grease as digital potentiometers are encapsulated they offer better protection, they are also less vulnerable to vibration Digital potentiometers are used to calibrate system tolerances or control system parameters.

What are the advantages over a mechanical potentiometer?

Digital potentiometers can be operated in a closed control loop and don’t need physical access to be adjusted. . They offer better stability and reliability and as digital will offer additional functionality, some even have on - chip memory

Applications

  • System calibration
  • Process control
  • Sensor calibration
  • Smart actuator
  • Voltage margining
  • Programmable power supplies
  • Volume control

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Description Price Control Interface Resistance Value Number of Positions Taper Type Memory Type Number of Pots per Package Mounting Type Package Type Pin Count Power Supply Type Typical Single Supply Voltage Typical Dual Supply Voltage Dimensions Height
RS Stock No. 189-7150
Mfr. Part No.DS1803Z-010+
£3.009
Each (In a Tube of 50)
Units
Serial-2 Wire 10kΩ 256 Linear Volatile 2 Surface Mount SOIC 16 Single 5 V - 10 x 4 x 1.5mm 1.5mm
RS Stock No. 403-743
Mfr. Part No.MCP41100-E/SN
BrandMicrochip
£1.24
Each (In a Pack of 5)
Units
Serial-SPI 100kΩ 256 Linear - 1 Surface Mount SOIC 8 Single 3.3 V, 5 V - 4.9 x 3.9 x 1.25mm 1.25mm