Sometimes the simplest hacks can be the most useful or ingenious, and such is the case with [Keri Szafir]’s method of ensuring that potentiometers used in audio devices are matched. If you consider a typical stereo amplifier for a moment, you’ll see two amplifiers in one box with a single volume control. Two channels, one knob? Volume knobs are ganged stereo potentiometers.
All potentiometers are not created equal, and particularly in the cheaper devices they may not have a consistently matched resistance across both pots and across their travel. This messes up the stereo balance, so naturally it’s worth selecting a part with good matching. [Keri] selects them not with his golden ears, but by wiring both pots together as a Wheatstone bridge. A meter between the two wipers would detect any current due to a mismatch.
A Wheatstone bridge is one of those handy circuits that has plenty of uses in both AC and DC measurements. We probably see them most often in a strain gauge.