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