Voltage Dividers

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Contributors: jimblom
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Introduction

A voltage divider is a simple circuit which turns a large voltage into a smaller one. Using just two series resistors and an input voltage, we can create an output voltage that is a fraction of the input. Voltage dividers are one of the most fundamental circuits in electronics. If learning Ohm's law was like being introduced to the ABC's, learning about voltage dividers would be like learning how to spell cat.

These are examples of potentiometers - variable resistors which can be used to create an adjustable voltage divider. We'll learn more about these soon.

Thumb Joystick

Thumb Joystick

COM-09032
$3.95
5
Trimpot 10K Ohm with Knob

Trimpot 10K Ohm with Knob

COM-09806
$0.95
6
Rotary Potentiometer - Linear (10k ohm)

Rotary Potentiometer - Linear (10k ohm)

COM-09288
$0.95
Slide Pot - Small (10k Linear Taper)

Slide Pot - Small (10k Linear Taper)

COM-11620
$1.95

Covered in this Tutorial

  • What a voltage divider circuit looks like.
  • How the output voltage depends on the input voltage and divider resistors.
  • How voltage dividers behave in the real-world.
  • Real-life voltage divider applications.

Suggested Reading

This tutorial builds on basic electronics knowledge. If you haven't already, consider reading these tutorials: