They have many names, Linear Potentiometers, Linear Pots, Linear Position Sensors but in essence they are one of the most common forms of measuring device for linear position. They are incredibly simple to use relative to other devices, infinite resolution, output is proportional to stroke length and very robust. Not all Linear pots are the same. Ours have unique features to ensure long trouble free life in the most harsh of environments from motorsport to structural monitoring. From measuring linear position or displacement in a wide variety and broad range of manufacturing and process equipment. Options include 4-20mA output, front or rear facing cable exits, Ingress protection IP65/67, spring return versions, rod ends or pop flanges.
Frequently Asked Questions about Linear Potentiometers
A is a type of sensor used to measure displacement (length) along a single axis. They can be mounted vertically or horizontally as the application demands. Linear potentiometers have an internal shaft with a wiper blade which slides over a conductive track creating a potential divider.
Linear potentiometers can be used in many applications including motor sport for suspension travel, Automotive road load data (RLD), Medical, Robotics, Mobile vehicles and Civil/Structural measurements.
There are 4 main types of potentiometer and each is used based on the application. Slide, Dual Slide, Multi-Turn Slide & Motorised fader potentiometer.
Both sensor types have a potentiometric output. Linear potentiometers measure linearly along a single axis (Straight line) whereas measure rotational movement.
A linear potentiometer is a length of resistive track which when connected to a power source acts as a variable potential divider using a wiper contact which is moved along the resistive track. In most cases the resistance is in the region of 1000 to 10000 ohms and is made from conductive plastic or printed conductive ink. Some high-power linear potentiometers are made from a cylinder with a thin wire wound around it which can dissipate more heat than a conductive plastic device.
The connection of the linear potentiometer is always for the negative and positive power supply to be connected either end of the track, and the output to be taken from the wiper connection which will give a voltage output proportional to the position of the wiper between the two ends.
A linear potentiometer is made with a resistive track that is the same uniformity along the full length. This allows the change of signal to be linear in proportion to the position of the wiper from end to end. A logarithmic potentiometer has a varying resistance of track along the length causing a more rapid change at one end compared to the rate of change for the same distance at the other end.
Linear potentiometers are used for measuring lengths and for applications requiring a proportional output to distance moved, however logarithmic potentiometers are used where a rapid change is required at the start or the end of the movement and a smaller change in signal the further the distance travelled. Logarithmic potentiometers are more commonly found in audio, motor, or lighting control applications where linear potentiometers are found in measurement applications.