Every electronic gadget primarily needs a D.C, power supply to energize it. It also forms the basic requirement for any constructional project. consequently there is a need to obtain multiple voltage values for cost reduction, convenience and compact arrangement for all the above applications
The required D.C. power supply is usually obtained by means of a transformer. It is also possible to have transformerless power supplies. Though the elimination of the transformer makes the circuit compact, economical and simple, also facilitating quick assembly and built in short circuit protection, certain drawbacks creep in. These power supplies are useful only for low current applications.
Here is a Vintage Tek Power Supply - You can notice it had moving coil voltmeters and ammeters and analog potentiometers for settings.
Special safety precautions ? are to be followed while using them. Physical contact should be strictly avoided, since the output terminals are not isolated from A.C. mains supply.
This obviously necessitates the use of a transformer. By suitable modification it is possible to obtain multiple/ fractional dual voltages from a transformer. Different not-so obvious voltage values can also be obtained from the transformer by rectification circuits. The output so obtained from a transformer secondary is unregulated. For good load regulation, the internal impedance of any power supply should be as low as possible. The regulation can be improved either by resistor zener method or series regulator method.
However, the three-terminal regulators greatly simplify the power regulation problem. These regulators need no external components. They employ internal current limiting and thermal shutdown which make them tough. For simplicity, compactness, convenience and accuracy the use of three terminal regulators is ideal. These IC voltage regulators are freely available in various ranges both positive and negative. A functional schematic of a three terminal regulator is shown in the datasheet. It can be seen that the device is a complete regulator, with built-in reference, error amplifier, series pass transistor and protection circuits. The protection circuits include current limiting, safe area protection to limit dissipation in the series pass transistor and thermal shut down to limit temperature.
Low power IC voltage regulators of the 78L series used in our measuring instrument are now so cheap that they represent an economic alternative to simple zener-npn stabilisers. In addition they offer the advantages of better regulation, current limiting/short circuit protection at 1000 mA and thermal shunt down in the event of excessive power dissipation. In fact, virtually the only way in which these regulators can be damaged is by incorrect polarity or by an excessive input voltage. Regulators in the 78L series upto the 8v type will withstand input voltages upto about 35v, whilst the 24v type will withstand 40v. Normally, of course, the regulators would not be operated with such a large input-output differential as this would lead to excess power dissipation. All the regulators in the 78L series will deliver a maximum current of 1000mA provided the input-output voltage differential does not exceed 7v. Otherwise excessive power dissipation will result, causing thermal
Power Supplies Section
Two transformers have been used to step down the voltage from 230-250v a.c. mains input. One of the transformers produces an output of 6-0-6v at the secondary terminals. This output is fed to a full wave rectifier and a capacitive filter. The filtered output is fed to IC6 which is a 3 pin voltage regulator which gives a regulated output of + 5v. This is used to activate the DPM circuit. It is also fed to the temperature network as a precision voltage reference source.
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