Bourns Trimpot® Trimming Potentiometers

In this FAQ we are going to look at Bourns line of trimmer potentiometers - Trimpot

Frequently Used Terminology

  • Absolute Minimum Resistance - Resistance between the wiper terminal (at center) and each end terminal to provide minimum value.
  • Adjustability - Design for the lowest value for a more precise resistance adjustment.
  • Temperature Coefficient - The resistance change factor per degree Celsius of temperature change a lower value means a more stable trimmer operation.
  • Shock and Vibration - The device’s ability to effectively operate in and withstand extreme environments.
  • Load Life - The number of hours at which the device will dissipate a specified level of rated power under operating conditions within a noted variation.

Why would I use an analog component?
An important resource in helping to fine-tune digital elements includes using trimming potentiometers (trimmers) that adjust, regulate, or control circuit drift. Trimmers can enhance an application’s functionality by ensuring it is calibrated as precisely as possible. Fine-tuning of the output of a circuit with a trimmer is a perfect example of how analog technology is needed in digital design.

trimmer_cutaway
Cutaway view of a trimmer taken from Bourns

What does a trimmer do?
Trimmers “trim” the value of resistance, managing the adjustment, tuning, and calibration of the circuitry. They are part of the circuit design, used for adjustments to be made to offset and correct the variation of the other components. Trimmers allow this adjustment of a circuit, so each of the components’ attributes are fully utilized.

How does a trimmer work?
A trimmer is an electromechanical device that acts as a variable resistor. It has three terminals that are connected to a resistive element and a movable wiper. As the position of the wiper is changed mechanically, the resistance value between the wiper and either one of the terminals connected to the element changes in a defined ratio.

You can see more frequently asked questions on Bourns FAQ Page!