Where can I find a digital potentiometer?

I need a digital potentiometer for an upcoming arduino project. does anyone know where I could salvage one?

sort by: active | newest | oldest

Yea I can feel you anything from overseas through Banggood or Amazon has been like that since XMas. Instead of 7 to 20 days you get it in 2 to 3 months.

If you want to salvage try anything with remote control volume but you will spend a lot of time looking up the ICs.

See my Instructables on Reverse engineering.



If you are from the US or Canada, Mouser Electronics, I checked there website and they have loads some as little as $0.75. I live in Canada and when I order from them and Purloator or FedX I get it the next day and when I snail mail I get my order in about a week.


You're very unlikely to find one in anything identifiable. They are only a couple of bucks each

yeah I bought one but I didn't look at the shipping and it arrives in a couple months. I want to order another but not very many people have it in stock. As I said I'm new to ICs and I can't figure out how close this chip is.


iceng1 month ago

As a beginner electronic tinkerer, save yourself some future grief and ground yourself to your electronic work area because an IC (Integrated Circuit) is easily damaged by a tiny static discharge, when it removed them from a PCB (Printed Circuit Board)..

Simply sitting down can build up enough static charge in your body that touching an IC by the pins will surge electricity through the CMOS insulated gate semiconductor inside the plastic body..

Could you elaborate a little on this thing you call, "digital potentiomenter"

Is it an input device, or an output device?

This "digital potentiometer",


is an output device. I mean it is like a digitally programmable resistor. It's output is how much resistance it offers through, I guess, two output terminals, or maybe between one output terminal and ground.

If it is that kind, you can probably just build your own with an analog switch IC, and some resistors. Or maybe just using the Arduino's GPIO pins, plus some resistors. It kind of depends on how much resolution, how many steps, you want the output resistance to have.

You might also be using that word, "digital potentiometer", to mean an input device, like a rotary encoder, a wheel or knob, turned by the user, with some digital outputs, usually two, in quadrature. The old style computer mice, the kind with a big rubber coated steel ball, used two of these style incremental rotary encoders.


You might also be using the word "digital potentiometer", to mean regular potentiometer, but the word got, like, promoted to "digital" just because the word "digital" sounds impressive.


Regular potentiometers can be found on all kinds of old junk, pretty much everything electronic that has knobs on it. Sometimes tiny screwdriver-sized potentiometers, intended for factory circuit adjustments, can be found on the circuit boards of old electronic junk also.

sorry, I mean a programmable resistor like this http://datasheet.octopart.com/AD5206BRU10-Analog-D...

I'm fairly new to electronics so I thought it would be easier to find one instead of building one.

Why don't you simply ask Analog Devices, for two free samples of the AD5206 for an article you are going to publish on instructables..

Note !.. All manufactures of semiconductors like to advertise their components (they are in the business of selling them).. So they maintain a separate sample stock and a department to distribute them to new product designers and writers.. It does help, if you are a published author..

Wow! That AD5206 has three terminals, just like an ordinary potentiometer.

I have to admit that gives you a lot of freedom regarding where you can stick it in a circuit. Like, anywhere you could put an ordinary pot.

Unfortunately, I do not know what kind of salvaged junk would contain an IC like this.

By the way, there are other tricks for making a programmable resistor.

Also, these tricks tend to be easier if one side of the programmable resistor is tied to the low, or high, side of the supply.

For example a MOSFET can be used as a voltage programmable resistor


and you could create the voltage using PWM.

Also if you have a bunch, say N, 3-state (high, low, or high-impedance) switches, you can make a N-bit digital controlled resistor...maybe. Actually, after thinking about it a little, I have have to admit I don't know how to do this. Or rather I do not know how to choose the values for the N resistors, which I was imagining to be all in parallel, and connected to ground through N switches that were either closed or open (high-impedance).

Like, for example for 3-bits, I do not see how (or if it is possible) I could get 8, evenly spaced, different resistances, for the 8 different bit permutations,{000,001,010,011,100,101,110,111}. But, I dunno, maybe there is a way to do it?

rickharris1 month ago

Most radios that use an encoder as an input selector, hifi the same - The clue is to look for something that is digitally controlled, usually where the volume knob is controlling an encoder, you can tell this because the vol or tuning knob clicks as it turns and has no stop point.