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# Potentiometer QuizSeptember 1962 Popular Electronics

 September 1962 Popular Electronics Table of Contents Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Popular Electronics, published October 1954 - April 1985. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.

Here is yet another of Robert Balin's many electronics-related quizzes which he created for Popular Electronics magazine (see big list of others at bottom of page). This Potentiometer Quiz showed up in the September 1962 issue. Since the basics of potentiometers have not changed since the first variable resistor was created, it is still a useful challenge for today - and tomorrow. The unique aspect of this quiz is that the potentiometer is connected in series and/or parallel with other fixed resistors in a manner where the output voltage is not necessarily a linear function of where the wiper arm lies along the pot. A DC source (battery) is used, and there are no reactive or nonlinear elements, so that simplifies things considerably. Still, it might take some head scratching to arrive at the correct conclusion for some of them. Assume the output waveform is linear along the abscissa as the potentiometer is adjusted through its resistance range. All resistances have the same value, so assign whatever makes it easiest for you.

Potentiometer Quiz

By Robert P. Balin

When the potentiometer wiper arm is moved from point "1" to point "2" in each of the circuits above (1 through 8), the output voltage, "E," varies as shown by one of the curves below (A through H). See if you can match them up. All resistors and linear potentiometers (some with center taps) are of the same resistance value. The correct answers appear on page 104.

See answers below.

Quizzes from vintage electronics magazines such as Popular Electronics, Electronics-World, QST, Radio-Electronics, and Radio News were published over the years - some really simple and others not so simple. Robert P. Balin created most of the quizzes for Popular Electronics. This is a listing of all I have posted thus far.

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RF Cafe Quiz #21: Wireless Standards Knowledge RF Cafe Quiz #20: Famous First Names RF Cafe Quiz #19: Basic Circuit Theory RF Cafe Quiz #18: Archaic Scientific Words & Definitions RF Cafe Quiz #17: Inventors & Their Inventions RF Cafe Quiz #16: Antennas RF Cafe Quiz #15: Numerical Constants RF Cafe Quiz #14: Oscillators RF Cafe Quiz #13: General Knowledge RF Cafe Quiz #12: Electronics Corporations Headquarters RF Cafe Quiz #11: Famous Inventors & Scientists RF Cafe Quiz #10: A Sampling of RF & Wireless Topics RF Cafe Quiz #9: A Smorgasbord of RF Topics RF Cafe Quiz #8: Hallmark Decades in Electronics RF Cafe Quiz #7: Radar Fundamentals RF Cafe Quiz #6: Wireless Communications Fundamentals RF Cafe Quiz #5: Company Logo Recognition RF Cafe Quiz #4: General RF Topics RF Cafe Quiz #3: General RF/Microwave Topics RF Cafe Quiz #2: General RF Topics RF Cafe Quiz #1: General RF Knowledge Vacuum Tube Quiz, February 1961 Popular Electronics Kool-Keeping Kwiz, June 1970 Popular Electronics Find the Brightest Bulb Quiz, April 1960 Popular Electronics Where Do the Scientists Belong? - Feb 19, 1949 Saturday Evening Post Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes Quiz on AC Circuit Theory, December 1970 Popular Electronics Magnetic Phenomena Quiz, February 1962 Popular Electronics Electronics Geography Quiz, April 1970 Popular Electronics Electronic Menu Quiz, August 1963 Popular Electronics Electronic Noise Quiz, August 1962 Popular Electronics Electronic Current Quiz, October 1963 Popular Electronics Electronic Inventors Quiz, November 1963 Popular Electronics Resistor Function Quiz, January 1962 Popular Electronics Electronic Measurement Quiz, January 1963 Popular Electronics Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes Electronic Coupling Quiz, August 1973 Popular Electronics Electronics Analogy Quiz, August 1960 Popular Electronics Audio Quiz, April 1955 Popular Electronics Electronic Unit Quiz, May 1962 Popular Electronics Capacitor Circuit Quiz, June 1968 Popular Electronics Vintage Electronics Magazine Quizzes Can You Name These Strange Electronic Effects? - August 1962 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - September 1961 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - September 1962 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - October 1961 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - November 1961 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - March 1964 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - April 1962 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - May 1962 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - June 1962 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - April 1967 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - March 1967 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - December 1964 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - January 1967 Radio-Electronics Wanted: 50,000 Engineers - January 1953 Popular Mechanics What's Your EQ? - August 1964 Radio-Electronics Voltage Quiz - December 1961 Popular Electronics What is It? -  June 1941 Popular Science What Do You Know About Resistors? - April 1974 Popular Electronics What's Your EQ? - September 1963 Radio-Electronics Potentiometer Quiz - September 1962 Popular Electronics Mathematical Bafflers - March 1965 Mechanix Illustrated Op Amp Quiz - October 1968 Popular Electronics Electronic "A" Quiz - April 1968 Popular Electronics What's Your EQ? - May 1961 Radio-Electronics Popular Science Question Bee - February 1939 Popular Science What is It? - A Question Bee in Photographs - June 1941 Popular Science What's Your EQ? - June 1961 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - June 1964 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - May 1964 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - August 1963 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - May 1963 Radio-Electronics Bridge Function Quiz - September 1969 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - March 1963 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - February 1967 Radio-Electronics Circuit Quiz - June 1966 Radio-Electronics What's Your EQ? - June 1966 Radio-Electronics Electronics Mathematics Quiz - June 1969 Popular Electronics Brightest Light Quiz - April 1964 Popular Electronics What's Your EQ? - April 1963 Radio-Electronics Electronics "B" Quiz - July 1969 Popular Electronics Ohm's Law Quiz - March 1969 Popular Electronics Antenna Quiz - November 1962 Electronics World Color Code Quiz - November 1967 Popular Electronics CapaciQuiz - August 1961 Popular Electronics Transformer Winding Quiz - December 1964 Popular Electronics Audiophile Quiz - November 1957 Radio-electronics Capacitor Function Quiz - March 1962 Popular Electronics Greek Alphabet Quiz - December 1963 Popular Electronics Circuit Designer's Name Quiz - July 1968 Popular Electronics Sawtooth Sticklers Quiz - November 1960 Radio-Electronics Elementary Radio Quiz - December 1947 Radio-Craft Hi-Fi Quiz - October 1955 Radio & Television News Electronics Physics Quiz - March 1974 Popular Electronics A Baffling Quiz - January 1968 Popular Electronics Electronics IQ Quiz - May 1967 Popular Electronics Plug and Jack Quiz - December 1967 Popular Electronics Electronic Switching Quiz - October 1967 Popular Electronics Electronic Angle Quiz - September 1967 Popular Electronics International Electronics Quiz - July 1967 Popular Electronics FM Radio Quiz - April 1950 Radio & Television News  Bridge Circuit Quiz -December 1966 Popular Electronics Diode Function Quiz - August 1965 Popular Electronics Diagram Quiz, August 1966 Popular Electronics Quist Quiz - November 1953 QST TV Trouble Quiz, July 1966 Popular Electronics Electronics History Quiz, December 1965 Popular Electronics Scope-Trace Quiz, March 1965 Popular Electronics Electronic Circuit Analogy Quiz, April 1973 Test Your Knowledge of Semiconductors, August 1972 Popular Electronics Ganged Switching Quiz, April 1972 Popular Electronics Lamp Brightness Quiz, January 1969 Popular Electronics Lissajous Pattern Quiz, September 1963 Popular Electronics Electronic Quizoo, October 1962 Popular Electronics Electronic Photo Album Quiz, March 1963 Popular Electronics Electronic Alphabet Quiz, May 1963 Popular Electronics Quiz: Resistive? 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Potentiometer Quiz Answers

Many experimenters can intuitively come up with the correct answers to this quiz by examining each circuit, visually moving the potentiometer wiper arm, and estimating the output voltage, "E." In a sense, they plot the curves. You can do the same thing either by setting up the circuit on your workbench and measuring the voltage out as the wiper arm is rotated, or by mathematically computing the output voltage.

The computations and plotting of the curve for each problem can be easily done by drawing equivalent circuits for different positions of the potentiometer's wiper arm. In most cases, only five positions are needed. They are for wiper arm settings of zero (at point "1"), 1/4 turn, 1/2 turn, 3/4 turn and a full turn (at point "2"). Remember that all of the resistors and linear potentiometers have equal resistance value, and that a potentiometer set at 1/4 turn will have one-quarter of its resistance between terminal 1 and the wiper arm and the remainder between the wiper arm and terminal 2. Potentiometers with center taps are just like the others except that the center tap permits connection to the mid-point of the potentiometer's resistance, which occurs at 1/2 turn of the wiper arm.

If you have a good sixth sense, or your computations are correct, you will agree with the answers given below.

1-D       3-B       5-F       7-E

2-G       4-C       6-H       8-A

Posted October 5, 2023