Power Regulators

Power regulators are necessary for every project when you have to power up your devices. Although most of the RF systems require supplies with low noise, there are many other applications which can be just fine with a noisy supply. Most of the time switching regulators are used along with LDOs to have benefits of both parties. While switching regulators provide high power conversion efficieny, they are much more noisy. Generally speaking, LDOs provide less efficieny but they filter the noise perfectly. LDOs power conversion efficieny peaks at a specific input level. One can use switching regulators to provide input at that level. This way, the advantages of both types of regulators can be utilised.

Breadboard Power Regulator

It would be necessary to use switching regulators in most of my future projects. Therefore, I’ve decided to build one for myself. I’ve decided to use LTC3622 because of its high current output capability and dual output. I’ve also realised the need of a breadboard power regulator. Something like that would come in handy for many prototypes, especially for undergraduate projects going around at lab. I’ve designed a general purpose board to provide a level of flexibility. It is possible to change resistance values and get the desired voltage output from the regulator. I’ve placed 2×5 headers on both sides to be able to place the board on top of a breadboard. My final board looks like this.

Breadboard Power Regulator

Thou I feel like the design could have been improved by adding some extra features. If I was to ever reproduce this board again, I’m planning to add some LEDs to indicate power, and some jumper to be able to select 5V or 3.3V for each sides. Thou, the current output of the system will drop this way. As it’s 1A for each channel and if you use same voltages on both sides, then you are limiting yourself to 1A instead of 2A. Moreover, I’ve also considered adding a potentiometer slot for both sides. This way, it would be very much possible to adjust the output voltage on the flight.

Conclusion

To sum it up, I hope this breadboard power regulator to come in handy for some fast prototyping in the near future. Even if not for some PhD level research, it will be good for undergraduate projects. Other commercially available breadboard power regulators provide less than 700mA. Therefore, people would presumably prefer our breadboard power regulator for their high power applications.

Categories: Hardware

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