Voltage divider circuit fragment

Voltage dividers take the voltage across them (often directly from the power supply) and output a fraction of that voltage as a signal.

Fixed resistor voltage divider demonstration for beginner learning electronics video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

Trimpot trimmer potentiometer component voltage divider basics for beginner learning electronics video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

Resistor voltage dividers demonstrated for beginner learning electronics video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

Some common ways to make a voltage divider:

  • Series fixed resistors
  • potentiometer/trimmer potentiometer (trimpot) – 3 terminal component that has a fixed resistance path and a slider that outputs any point across that resistive path.
  • fixed and variable resistor – manually controlled variable resistor, light dependent resistor (photoresistor), thermister etc. can be used.
  • Semiconductor – Typically used as a voltage release valve. Commonly a reverse biased Zener diode ::This is actually a voltage regulator technique that is much less dependent on source voltage:: 

Some examples to test out:

  • The node between 2 equal value resistors connected to the power supply will output 1/2 the power supply voltage.
  • 3 equal value series resistors will be able to output 1/3 power source voltage at the node closer to DC ground (0V reference point), and 2/3 power source voltage at the node closer to Psource voltage. 

555 timer internal voltage divider explained with demonstration for beginner learning electronics Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

555 timer light dependent resistor LDR voltage divider high low LED beginner learning electronics video below. Click here to watch directly on YouTube!

The voltage divider does not act anywhere close to a perfect voltage source. In fact, electrically it acts like (equivalent to) the voltage it outputs in series with a resistors. The video below shows how a 10V power supply being divided to 5 volts with equal value 10KΩ resistors acts like it is a 5V supply with 5KΩ resistance in series with it. Click here to watch directly on youTube Electronics voltage divider Thevenin equivalent voltage and series resistance demonstration .


 

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