# Using a variable tension generator?

hey everyone !

i want to use a variable tension generator to try out some diy eurorack stuff ! the thing i'm using to do this is that
is that possible to have at the same time +12 and -12 (and gnd of course)

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You’d need two of them. Connect +V from one supply to ground, -V from the other to ground, and connect the two grounds together and to ground on your module. The remaining - terminal is -12 V, the remaining + terminal is +12 V. Or at least that’s how it usually works with these power supplies — if the + and - outputs float and the ground connects to mains ground. Check before proceeding.

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(While “electric tension” isn’t unheard of in English, it’s usually called “voltage”, unlike in a lot of other languages that use some variant of “pulling force”.)

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In this particular instance, English speakers would probably refer to that as a “variable power supply”.

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…I just realized, that voltage in Finnish, “jännite”, means literally tension. I’ve never realized it when talking about electricity, even when talking about piezoelectrics where tension effects the voltage.

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Yeah - it took me a little while to figure out that “tension” is french for voltage. I was all like, why are we stressing out, it’s not like we’re playing with mains voltages?!

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You’re not alone! I know Dutch, German, and Italian have similar words, and probably many more languages.

Actually, ‘tension’ makes more sense. ‘Volt’ is the unit, not the physical quantity. Calling it ‘voltage’ is like calling distance ‘meterage’, or time ‘secondage’. Calling current ‘Amperage’ follows the same flawed logic. I’m not aware of any appropriate English word for voltage. (Electrical) potential comes close, but not quite, as voltage is actually a potential difference.

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We could go for EMF : - Electromotive force - Wikipedia

Or the real EMF

Language is irrelevant if like me you still regard electronic engineering as backwards physics!

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Technical journals and dictionaries exhibit no uniformity regarding use of the terms electromotive force, potential difference, and voltage. Electromotive force is sometimes deprecated, and sometimes considered to be a synonym for one of the other terms. The three terms relate to different aspects of electrical phenomenona, and it is useful to draw distinctions among them and define each in a precise way.

Chester H. Page, “Electromotive force, potential difference, and voltage”, American Journal of Physics 45, 978-980 (1977) `https://aapt.scitation.org/doi/pdf/10.1119/1.10862`

(The article itself unfortunately is paywalled.)

And of course calling it a “power supply” was silly in the first place. Most power supplies don’t even have a power display. But “voltage supply” would be wrong too, or at least the one I have can supply either voltage or current.

Yeah “voltage supply” would be odd too, the voltage doesn’t go anywhere. “Potential difference- or current-controlled electric energy supply”… guess that doesn’t sell well (:

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yeah, i’m french you discovered the secret

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Back to first principals and double integrals everyone: Maxwell's equations - Wikipedia

Yeah, we have forum members from all over the place, and a small collection of giveaways (e.g. “K7” and now “tension” for french, “poti” for germans, … )

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Ach aye we dae the noo like…

you can use this sort of cheap circuit to have +/-12v from 15v DC; I use it with an AC/DC adapter like a bench-test power supply connected directly on power’s rails of my breadboard with dupont’s cables, and it work good !

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