# Linear output voltage using a potentiometer

I would like to use a linear 10K potentiometer to have a variable voltage output between 0 and 5V using a 5V input. The idea is to have the output voltage increase in a linear way as I'm turning the knob.

• If it's turned 0% I need 0V output.
• If it's turned 100% open I need 5V output.
• As I'm turning, I need to have a linear voltage output

If I hook up the left pin of the potentiometer to a 5V power supply and the middle pin to GND via an LED (to avoid a short when there is zero ohm between the 2 pins), I noticed that the output voltage is not linear.

I get high accuracy in the low range (0-2V) and it takes about a 70% turn to reach 2V, leaving only 30% to cover the remaining 5V.

So if I have 10 imaginary positions on my pot, the voltage doesn't jump with 0,5V on each position.

Can something like this be achieved with a 5V power supply ? And if not, what would be the simplest way to do it ?

• You cannot completely "avoid a short" by inserting a LED. It will happen when the output voltage reaches 2 V. To avoid it, you have to connect a resistor in series to the LED. Dec 19, 2019 at 22:13