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Slide 2

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What is a potential divider?
Potential dividers can be used to split the voltage of a circuit.
They are widely used in electronic circuits for setting and adjusting
voltages - e.g. in radios, games and toys.
They are used when the voltage requirement of a component
is lower than the total voltage input of a circuit, so using
resistors, a smaller chunk of voltage is `sectioned off' as
output for the component.
EG. In a laptop, the battery pack supplies 14V, however different circuits within the
laptop only need a 8V and 6V supply. So, the supplies for the circuits are sectioned
off from the total input, as shown in the diagram below.
R 6V
Input of 1
14V
R 8V
2…read more

Slide 3

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Current
In a potential divider, the current is ALWAYS the same, so:
V1 = V 2 = V 3
R1 R2 R3
R1 R2 R3
V1 V2 V3…read more

Slide 4

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How to calculate output
Output, V0, is the potential difference (voltage) that
is being `sectioned off' from the total input voltage
in the circuit.
It can be calculate using: V0 = R1 x Vin
V0 = R x Vin R1+R2+R3
RT Vin
Where: V0 = Voltage output
R = Output resistor
RT = Total resistance
Vin = Voltage input (battery) R1 R2 R3
V0…read more

Slide 5

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Potentiometers
Potentiometers are used for volume and balance control on sound systems.
Look at the diagram shown below. This is a volume
potentiometer. The input voltage (Vin) is the voltage between
terminals A and B.
The material highlighted in yellow is resistive wire. As the control
knob (highlighted in blue) is turned, the length of the resistive wire
between the terminals A and C is changed, thus changing the
resistance, this alters the output voltage (V0).
As the knob moves from A
towards B, the output
voltage increases. When
B the moving knob is in
C contact with A, volume is
zero; when it is in contact
with B, volume is at its
A maximum.…read more

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