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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

8. The Voltage Regulator



This is a very useful component, and can be used safely to ensure that the voltage you’re delivering to your 3.3 V (3V3) project (for example) will not be exceeded.  There are different versions available for different voltages.

A very useful device is the MCP1702 3.3 V Regulator, and here is a cheap way of using it to get up to 250 mA at 3.3 V from an input anywhere between 3.85 V and 13.2 V (http://www.core.st/projects/AVR32_Starter_Kit/3_3_V_power_cheap.html):

The TO-92 describes the overall shape (packaging) of the component. 

Alternatively, for a 3 V output up to 100 mA, from a 3.2 V to 20 V input, using an LE30CZ 3V Regulator:



Note the different values of capacitor used for smoothing the input and output voltages, and the different pin-out configuration.

Lesson to be learned - for all components - refer to the data sheet, which is normally freely available on the web.  These can be long and technical, but at least you should be able to find the correct connections to make.

There are many ways, using many different components, of making cheap and simple regulated power supplies.

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