# Using a potentiometer to constrain voltage between -9 and 9V

1. May 21, 2013

I am stumped on a problem I have been working on. I am told to build a circuit that will have an output voltage between -9 and 9V.

We are given two 12 V batteries as power sources, and a choice between 3 potentiometers with values of 10k ohm, 20k ohm, and 50k ohm. We are allowed to use any resistor within the range of 10 ohms to 100Mohms.

How the heck to I use the potentiometer to get a negative voltage? I used voltage division to get a resistor value for a positive 9 volts. I'm stumped

2. May 21, 2013

### davenn

hi there
welcome to PF

if you connect the 2 12V batteries in series, then you can produce a -12V, 0V and +12V rails

now figure out how you will drop it to + and - 9V :)

Dave

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3. May 21, 2013

so I need to add my potentiometer and resistor. If I put them in series and leave R as a variable setting it equal to 9V, I can solve for the resistance? I chose the 10k pot first, and I calculated using voltage division, the resistance to be 3333.33 ohms. Does this sound right?

4. May 21, 2013

### vk6kro

No, you would need two resistors with a pot between them. You are almost right though.

This is to get the positive and negative 9 volts relative to the centre point of the two batteries.

5. May 21, 2013