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I am looking for a particular type of spring-loaded knob, similar to the thumb wheel you would find on an old Blackberry - but I cannot seem to find an appropriate name to track one down.

I'd like to be able to turn the knob clockwise or counterclockwise to generate a voltage proportional to the angular displacement, then as soon as you release the knob it would be restored back to its "home" position.

I suppose I could approximate one by attaching a torsional spring to a potentiometer, but I figured this has to already exist.

Thanks.

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Very often it is just a simple potentiometer. The spring loading is done in the front panel knob, and that is more often than not a custom designed part.

There are "sprung shaft potentiometers" available, but they are wildly expensive.

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The same sort of thing is used on tape and film machines to move the medium back and forth for editing, variously called "shuttle knob" or "jog dial".

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