[sdiy] Vernier Dials Question

Peter Grenader petergrenader at mksound.com
Sat Aug 10 08:45:05 CEST 2002

Sure you can use them....but they cost a FORTUNE and are overkill for some
applications - in my humble opinion.

Verniers behave simularily to highly accurate mutli-turn trimmers.
Depending on the type, it may take 10 full rotations of the knob to get the
equivalent of one turn of a standard pot (rail to rail).  Some are geared so
that the knob portion (the part you grab and turn) rotate at a different
rate physically to the outer indicator wheel (like the Putneys/Synthis did).
Some have little window indicators on top (much like the date window on an
old mechanical watch) which indicate what turn you are on.  Some have three
digital mechanical displays above the knob in which to indicate your
positition. In any event, you are normally paying about 20 to 30 times as
much for a vernier than a standard pot.

Now you can appreciate why they may be overkill in certain applications.  A
ten turn level offset for a VCA would be frustrating (to me, anyway).

Yet for filter and oscialltor freq they can be way cool.  Rids you of the
need of a fine tune pot, that's for sure.

I believe ( i may be wrong here) there is no such thing as a log vernier -
they are all linear by nature - yes?

I have heard horror stories about when (if) they get dirty - cleaning them
with the wrong solvent or using somehting like WD-40 will goop them up so
they are hard to operate.

hope this helps,


on 8/10/02 12:11 AM, prototek at prototek at optonline.net wrote:

> I love the look of those old school Vernier Dials. I'm not familiar with
> their exact nature, but I would really like to use them as knobs. Is this
> possible to do on 1/4" pots? Is it as easy as using a standard "minimoog"
> style knob, or are there other things involved?
> Thanks,
> John

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