Faders & Sliding Potentiometer

Curtiss-Wright Industrial Division's audio faders and video controllers are the premier choice for excellent sound and vision console manufacturers, and are considered the industry benchmark for quality and reliability. Our range includes both manual and motorised linear motion faders, and T-Bar video controllers.

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Audio Fader: Purpose, Functionality & Application 

Faders are primarily used as a control component to vary volume of sound, light intensity or the gain on an audio or video signal. At Curtiss Wright, we offer a wide selection of audio faders and video controllers that provide excellent sound and vision for any application.  

An audio fader slides along a path in a linear direction varying the amount of resistance and the signal level. Also known as a sliding potentiometer or variable resistor, they’re most commonly found on mixing boards, and they’ve also useful as controllers on synthesizers.  

BENEFITS:  

  • Available in a variety of stroke lengths 
  • Smooth operation 
  • Infinite resolution 
  • Excellent long-term performance 
  • Smooth precise control 
  • Noise-free operation 
  • Compact  
  • Proven durability 

RELATED PRODUCTS: PGF3000 - LINEAR MANUAL FADER, PGF8000 - LINEAR MANUAL FADER, PGFM3200 - LINEAR MOTORISED FADER, PGFM9000 - LINEAR MOTORISED FADER, PGFX3000 - PROFESSIONAL CROSSFADER, PGF5000 - ANALOG T-BAR FADER VIDEO CONTROLLER, PGF5000 - DIGITAL T-BAR FADER VIDEO CONTROLLER


Sliding Potentiometers

What is a slide potentiometer?

Slide potentiometers or slider pots are three-terminal mechanical resistors with a sliding or rotating contact that converts the sensor’s position into a proportional voltage. 

BENEFITS:

  • Smooth slide
  • Long operational life
  • Space-saving
  • Intuitive visual feedback
  • Highly sensitive

Although they have many benefits, the main disadvantage is the long open slot that moves up and down freely along the resistive track. Having this open slot means there is a possibility of contamination from dust, dirt, and even sweat or grease from the operator’s hands. Track contamination can be minimized with slotted felt covers and screens. 

How does a slide potentiometer work?

A sliding potentiometer is also known as a linear resistor with a sliding contact. It has two ends of the resistor that connects across the source voltage. It features a carbon track, and the linear sensor is the resistance element attached to a sliding contact. In turn, the contact is attached to a rod or shaft, which then allows the mechanical mechanism to be measured. 

APPLICATIONS

Slide potentiometers are usually seen in professional-grade audio equipment, including faders, audio tune control consoles, studio mixers, and graphics equalizers, in addition to lighting. Sliding pots feature a small handle that slides either vertically or horizontally to control the contact between the wiper and the resistor, allowing users to see the position of the plastic knob or grip on the setting applied to the sliding movement. 

What are the two types of potentiometers?

There are two main types of a potentiometer, linear potentiometers and rotary potentiometers. There are also Membrane Potentiometers, which can be linear or rotary and are often referred to as “soft pots.” The main difference between rotary and linear potentiometers is that rotary pots operate in a rotational mechanism, and linear has a sliding movement along with the wiper.

Linear potentiometers

Linear potentiometers are also often known as slide potentiometers. The wiper slides along the track sensing the varying voltage linearly with the position of the wiper. 

Benefits:

  • Simple
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive

Disadvantages:

  • Easily contaminated
  • Life expectancy reduced due to vibration.
  • Regular linear motion can cause wear and tear.
Rotary potentiometers

Rotary potentiometers contain a resistor in the shape of an arc or track. It includes a strip of resistive polymer or insulator with a coil of nichrome wire wrapped around it. From there, the wiper slides along the track and senses a voltage that varies the angular position of the wiper. 

 

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