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Potentiometer link to linear actuator (update)

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Hello All

My project is a trailer braking system for a car towed trailer. I want to control the trailer brakes from the brake pedal of the towing vehicle i.e. car or jeep). To do this i was thinking of using a linear potentiometer connected to the brake pedal, this would then send a signal to a linear actuator to control the master cylinder (piston that forces hydraulic fluid to wheel brakes). The further the piston moves the more pressure in the system thus a greater braking force.
The movement of the piston is controlled by the movement of the brake pedal

What i need to know if is, if it is possible to link a linear ( or rotary) potentiometer to a linear actuator ( servo or stepper)
(the position of the actuator is controlled by the position of the potentiometer)

Are the other methods to achieve this?
Looking forward to you thoughts,



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No, I don't think that would be a problem.  What's the input on the actuator?  If it's just voltage for instance, it's just "plug'n play", more or less. :)  As long as both parts, both the controller (potentiometer) and the actuator, are linear, you just need some way of converting the resistance/voltage from the potentiometer to whatever input the actuator has.

By the way, I would under no circumstances call you an idiot for dealing with electronics as a mechanical engineer.  I'm an electronics engineer myself, so I wouldn't want people calling me an idiot just for using a torque wrench. ;D

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What are you trying to accomplish with this design? How much resolution do you need?
Sometimes things are possible but not the best way to go about it. Why not describe your project and let several members of this forum kick out their ideas.


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  • 3 years later...


Is anybody to help me?I am a newcomer to this forum and have a question and need guidance :

I need a driver to run an on/off actuator as proportional actuator.I made some experiments and found that core of both
actuators(consisting of thermal wax and spring)is the same and the difference in them is electronic driver(the on/off
actuator doen't have electronic driver,but proportional actuator has it),I need this electronic driver-its circuit
or description about its performance-

Looking forward to hearing you,

Many thanks in advance,


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