Measuring ohms of a potentiometer

John's picture

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Joined: May 08, 2020

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Measuring ohms of a potentiometer
February 19, 2021 - 6:12am

I have a potentiometer that says its 200K ohms. When I set my multi meter to 200K ohms and turn the adjustment up or down on the pot, the best I can get is a value of roughly 50. I assume that is just 50 ohms. What am I missing here?

Olivia Williams's picture

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Joined: Feb 27, 2020

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The total resistance in ohms should be written on the side or bottom. Set your ohmmeter to a setting higher than the total resistance of the potentiometer. For example, if your potentiometer is rated at 1,000 ohms, set your ohmmeter to 10,000 ohms. Look at your potentiometer.

John S's picture

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Joined: Feb 20, 2021

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Thanks for the response. According to the markings on the pot, it is rated for 200,000 ohms. I set my ohmmeter at the 2,000,000 setting and I still get only 50. The pot has 3 leads of course and I'm assuming I should use the probes across any 2. Of course 2 of the leads give nearly zero but I would assume that either one of those 2 with the 3rd should give me the correct reading....?

Sourav Gupta's picture

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Joined: Feb 12, 2018

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A pot having three pin the middle one generally connects with rotor. Thus measuring first and third without the rotor pin should give actual resistance. Then choose the rotor point and any of other two would give you the value at what position the pot is set.

John S's picture

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Joined: Feb 20, 2021

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Thanks for your response.