Arduino Potentiometer

Arduino Potentiometer
Arduino Potentiometer

The Arduino potentiometer (short: “pot”) is an adjustable resistor. The inside, exterior, and voltage input connectors are there. When its voltage change pin is linked to the analog pin, Arduino can measure a value between 0 and 1023 from the pot using 5V power. Thus, Arduino pin A0 can read a voltage between 0 and 5 volts. Arduino reads voltage changes and acts on them. By twisting the pot, we can control the output. Some potentiometers have a wider range of resistance, while others have longer physical distances to turn.

The resistance range determines the voltage range our output can take, while the physical distance limits how we can use it and is more important when designing user interfaces. We will use a tiny, plastic potentiometer with a 10k ohm resistance today. The “10k” indicates the expected resistance range and is recognizable to resistor buyers. Potentiometers are Arduino’s ‘bread and butter’ and are easy to get in starting kits.

What is Arduino Potentiometer?

What’s an Arduino Potentiometer? Learn how to utilize the potentiometer, a useful component. Often used in circuits to control music volume, light brightness, and more. Three-connection potentiometers have a schematic symbol to the right. A 3-terminal potentiometer is a manually adjustable variable resistor. The third terminal connects to a wiper that glides along a resistive element. Potentiometer resistance depends on wiper position. Wipers have little resistance when fully spun in one direction. Turning the other way increases resistance, and there are several stages in between.

Arduino Potentiometer Benefits

The wiper moves through the resistor, continuously adjusting the potentiometer’s voltage output. With the potentiometer and LEDs, you can replicate real-world lighting. When used with a microcontroller like Arduino, pots can control any program function, such LED brightness. The key benefit of utilizing an Arduino potentiometer is that the outputs may be changed to any voltage within the voltage range, which has 1024 step values. Arduino boards give a standard voltage range of 0 to 5 volts. This range’s lowness ensures high analog control. The Arduino can monitor voltage levels and report them to the serial monitor if it has analog inputs.

This makes it easier for experimenters to see output voltage levels in real time instead of only reading data from the digital monitor. Complex, interactive visual displays are possible. As the Arduino continuously monitors the potentiometer voltage, a user interface display on the computer screen might show the voltage being turned up and down, almost like a virtual simulation. A simple linear code controls voltage levels, limiting the observed voltage range to certain values based on instructions. Arduino’s code detects voltage and outputs to the serial monitor with precise commands for certain voltage ranges.

This potentiometer is waterproof and mounted via. According to its design, the pot’s resistance and Arduino pin voltage change depending on the user’s finger pressure on the LED window. This functionality can be used again to construct more interactive user display programs by dynamically responding to the microcontroller’s output voltage as the potentiometer window pressure is adjusted.


Potentiometers are simple electrical components that modify voltage and other circuit parameters by varying resistance. It’s a knob or dial for manual electronic circuit adjustments.

There are many types of potentiometers, or “pots”. The most common are rotary potentiometers, which have a resistive element and a wiper that glides over it when the shaft is rotated. As the wiper moves, it taps into different resistor components, changing resistance. This resistance variation causes an output voltage that is higher, lower, or in between the input voltages.

Rotary potentiometers are popular for Arduino applications because they allow interactive parameter control. Volume knobs, dimmer switches, and thermostats contain potentiometers without your awareness.

Arduino Potentiometer Connection

Potentiometers feature three pins: power (5V or 3.3V), ground, and the wiper pin for variable output. The potentiometer’s position is determined by the Arduino’s analog input reading the wiper pin’s voltage.

Your Arduino script may read the wiper pin voltage as you crank the potentiometer to alter parameters like:

Speed: Adjust a motor or servo with the potentiometer.

LED brightness: Potentiometer-controlled LED fade.

Adjust the potentiometer to calibrate sensor sensitivity.

Potentiometers enable interactive projects. Arduino can effortlessly alter parameters based on user input by reading a potentiometer. Add potentiometers to your next Arduino project for a twist!

How Potentiometers Work

Arduino analog inputs can be made with potentiometers. They have a resistive strip with two connections and a sliding wiper. The wiper taps into different resistance levels to adjust the level.

Range of Resistance

Choose a potentiometer with the right resistance range. For low-current, high-impedance circuits, 100k ohm pots are better than 5k. A 10k ohm potentiometer works well for most Arduino designs.

Linear vs. Log

You must choose linear or logarithmic taper pots. Resistance is proportional to wiper position in linear pots. Logarithmic pots increase resistance faster along the range margins, providing finer adjustments. Log pots are excellent for volume controls and other extreme precision applications.

Making an Arduino Connection

A potentiometer on an Arduino requires three wires: one to each outer terminal and one to the middle wiper. The wiper uses the resistance difference between the outer two wires, which offer the whole range. You may then use analogRead() to measure the wiper’s voltage, which ranges from 0 to 1023 depending on pot position.

Applications and Examples

Potentiometers are useful in Arduino projects. They can control motor speed, LED brightness, sensor tuning, oscillator frequency, and audio signals. They make adding analog control and manual input to digital circuits straightforward.

Knowing how potentiometers function and their essential specs can help you add custom levels and twists to Arduino projects quickly. Use these simple but adaptable parts to unleash your creativity!

Potentiometer types

We have several potentiometer alternatives for Arduino applications. The most common potentiometers are linear, logarithmic, and rotary. Explore the differences—each has useful uses.

Linear Potentoids

Linear or slider potentiometers increase or decrease resistance in a straight line. They’re ideal for smoothing adjustments like reducing lights or volume. For some uses, linear pots are simple but imprecise.

Log Potentiometers

Log potentiometers increase resistance logarithmically, so resistance changes more dramatically before leveling out. In audio mixing boards, they provide finer control over a wide range of values. Logarithmic curves improve large-scale sensitivity. Since resistance does not change linearly, they are harder to code.

Potentiometers rotate

Clockwise rotary or dial potentiometers increase resistance. Volume, brightness, and motor speed are often controlled with them because they’re adaptable. Rotary pots provide strong, tactile circuit control but only turn 270 degrees. Some applications may require less precision.

Your potentiometer choice relies on your needs and use scenario. Try different options to get the sensitivity and control you desire in your Arduino project. Potentiometers can make your creation interactive with enough experimentation.

Potentiometer and Arduino

Simple knobs like potentiometers produce analog output based on rotation angle. Your Arduino can read the analog value of a potentiometer and control a dimmer switch or servo motor.

Read Potentiometer Value

Arduino potentiometers must be connected to analog input pins A0–A5. These pins can read the potentiometer voltage and convert it to a number between 0 and 1023, where 0 is 0 volts and 1023 is 5 volts.

To get the potentiometer’s numeric value from the analog pin, use analogRead() in Arduino. As an example:

Int potValue = analogRead(A0);

This stores the potentiometer value in potValue, which you may use to control other components.

Controlling Outputs

Potentiometers are often used with Arduino to control LED brightness. Connect an LED to a PWM-capable digital pin and use potValue to adjust brightness and PWM level. As an example:

potValue/4, analogWrite(9);

Based on potValue, this dims or brightens the LED by writing a PWM value from 0 to 255 to pin 9.

Another example is potentiometer-controlled servo motor position. You may map the potentiometer’s 0 to 1023 input range to the servo’s 0 to 180 degree range and select the servo angle using potValue.

Arduino analog input and control with potentiometers is versatile. Use a potentiometer knob to gently control LEDs, motors, audio signals, and more with some basic programming. Try twisting and see what you can make!

Arduino potentiometer examples

Arduinos can read potentiometers and transform their positions into voltage values for device control. Using a potentiometer to dim an LED is straightforward. Connect one end of the potentiometer to power, one to ground, and the middle pin to an Arduino analog input. Read the analog value and transfer it to LED brightness.

Volume Control

Small speakers can be volume controlled with potentiometers. Connect the speaker to a digital pin and regulate volume via PWM. Read the potentiometer and translate its value to the PWM signal duty cycle to alter volume. Making a knob-and-dial interactive project is easy with this.

Control Servo

Servo motor position control is another popular potentiometer usage. Read the potentiometer’s value from an analog input. Then map that value to servo motion. While turning the potentiometer, the servo moves accordingly. This lets you make motor and mechanism-controlling knobs, sliders, and dials.


Use many potentiometers for intricate tasks. An audio system may have one volume, bass, and treble control. Or let several control several servo motors. Endless possibilities. Potentiometers are basic but flexible Arduino input devices. You may develop Arduino-based interactive controls, dials, and knobs by reading their analog values and translating them to outputs.

Have you tried Arduino potentiometer projects? What interactive controls did you make? Please ask me anything else regarding using potentiometers in Arduino projects!


That’s it—a potentiometer can provide interactive twists and turns to your next Arduino project. Changing resistance on the fly opens up unlimited possibilities. You have the information you need to use potentiometers with Arduino. Pick up a potentiometer or two next time you’re buying components and get creative. Feel free to experiment. That’s half the Arduino pleasure! If you get stuck, the community will gladly assist. This article should have inspired you to use potentiometers to make your projects more interactive. Your imagination is the limit. Start twisting a potentiometer outside!

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