Showing posts with label Basic Electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Basic Electronics. Show all posts

Variable Voltage Power Supply


Continuing on from our previous article about converting an ATX PSU to a bench power supply, the question has been asked if it is possible to use this ATX PSU to produce different voltage outputs other than the fixed voltage power supply of +5 or +12 volts. Yes we can do that either as a fixed DC output voltage of say +6V or +9V or as a variable output voltage from zero to some maximum value.
With the aid of a small bit of additional circuitry added to the output of the PSU we can have a bench power supply capable of a range of fixed or variable voltages either positive or negative in nature. In fact this is more simple than you may think as the transformer, rectification and smoothing has already been done by the PSU beforehand all we need to do is connect our additional circuit to the +12 volt yellow wire output. But firstly, lets consider a fixed voltage output.

Fixed 9v Power Supply

There are a wide variety of 3-terminal voltage regulators available in a standard TO-220 package with the most popular fixed voltage regulator being the 78.. series positive regulators which range from the very common 7805, +5V regulator to the 7824, +24V regulator. There is also a 79.. series of negative regulators which produce a complementary negative voltage from -5 to -24 volts but in this tutorial we will only use the positive 78.. types.
The fixed 3-terminal regulator is useful in applications were an adjustable output is not required making the output power supply simple, but very flexible as the voltage it outputs is dependant only upon the chosen regulator. They are called 3-terminal voltage regulators because they only have three terminals to connect to and these are the inputcommon andoutput respectively. The input voltage which will be the +12v yellow wire from the PSU is connected between the input and common terminals, with the stabilised voltage taken across the output and common as shown.
Voltage Regulator Circuit

So suppose we want an output voltage of +9 volts from our PSU bench power supply, then all we have to do is connect a +9v voltage regulator to the +12V yellow wire. As the PSU has already done the rectification and smoothing to the +12v output, the only additional components required are a capacitor across the input and another across the output. These capacitors aid in the stability of the regulator and can be anywhere between 100nF and 330nF. The additional 100uF output capacitor helps smooth out the supply giving it a good transient response.
These 78.. series regulators give a maximum output current of about 1.5 amps at fixed voltages of 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24V respectively. But what if we wanted an output voltage of +9V but only had a 7805, +5V regulator?. The +5V output of the 7805 is referenced to the “ground, Gnd” or “0v” terminal. If we increased this pin-2 terminal voltage from 0V to 4V then the output would also rise by an additional 4 volts providing there was sufficient input voltage. Then by placing a small 4 volt (nearest preferred value of 4.3V) Zener diode between pin-2 of the regulator and ground, we can make a 7805 5V regulator produce a +9 volts output voltage as shown.
Increased Output Voltage

So how does it work, the 4.3V Zener diode requires a reverse bias current of around 5mA to maintain an output with the regulator taking about 0.5mA. This total current of 5.5mA is supplied via resistor “R1″ from the output pin-3. So the value of the resistor required for a 7805 regulator will be R = 5V/5.5mA = 910 Ohm. The feedback diode, D1 connected across the input to output terminals is for protection and prevents the regulator from being reverse biased when the input supply voltage is switched OFF while the output supply remains ON or active for a short period of time due to a large inductive load such as a solenoid or motor.
Then we can use 3-terminal voltage regulators and a suitable Zener diode to produce a variety of fixed output voltages from our previous bench power supply ranging from +5V up to +12V. But we can improve on this design by replacing the fixed voltage regulator with a variable voltage regulator such as the LM317T.

Variable Voltage Power Supply

The LM317T is an adjustable 3-terminal positive voltage regulator capable of supplying 1.5 amps with an output voltage range of 1.25 to 30 volts just by using the ratio of two resistances, one of a fixed value and the other variable used to set the output voltage to the desired level with an input voltage of between 3 and 40 volts. The LM317 device also has built in current limiting and thermal shutdown which makes it short-circuit proof, ideal for our homemade bench power supply.
The output voltage of the LM317T is determined by ratio of the two feedback resistors R1 andR2 which form a potential divider network across the output terminal as shown below.
Adjustable Regulator

The voltage across the feedback resistor R1 is a constant 1.25V reference voltage, Vrefproduced between the Output and Adjustment terminal. The adjustment terminal current is a constant current of 100uA. Since the reference voltage across resistor R1 is constant, a constant current i will flow through the other resistor R2, resulting in an output voltage of:

Then whatever current flows through resistor R1 also flows through resistor R2 (ignoring the very small adjustment terminal current), with the sum of the voltage drops across R1 and R2being equal to the output voltage, Vout. The input voltage, Vin must be at least 2.5V greater than the required output voltage. Also, the LM317T has very good load regulation providing that the minimum load current is greater than 10mA. So to maintain a constant reference voltage of 1.25V, the minimum value of feedback resistor R1 needs to be 1.25V/10mA = 120 Ohm and this value can range anywhere from 120 ohms to 1,000 ohms with typical values ofR1 being 220 or 240 ohms for good stability.
If we know the value of the required output voltage, Vout and the feedback resistor R1 is say 240 ohms, then we can calculate the value of resistor R2 from the above equation. For example, our original output voltage of 9V would give a resistive value for R2 of: R1.((Vout/1.25)-1) = 240.((9/1.25)-1) = 1,488 Ohms or 1,500 ohms to the nearest preferred value, or 1k5.
Of course in practice, resistors R1 and R2 would normally be replaced by a potentiometer so as to produce a variable voltage power supply, or by several switched preset resistances if several fixed output voltages are required. But in order to reduce the math’s required in calculating the value of resistor R2 everytime we want a particular voltage we can use resistance tables as shown below which give the regulators output voltage for different ratios of R1 and R2 using E24 resistance values.
Ratio of Resistances R1 to R2
Resistor R1 Value
By changing resistor R2 for a 2k ohm potentiometer we can control the output voltage range of our PSU bench power supply from about 1.25 volts to a maximum output voltage of 10.75 (12-1.25) volts. Then our final modified variable power supply circuit is shown below.
Variable Voltage Power Supply

We can improve on our basic voltage regulator circuit by connecting an Ammeter and a Voltmeter to the output terminals. These instruments will give a visual indication of both the current and voltage output from the regulator. A fast-acting fuse can also be incorporated if desired in the design to provide additional short circuit protection as shown.

Disadvantages of the LM317T

One of the main disadvantages of using the LM317T to regulate a voltage is that as much as 2.5 volts is dropped or lost as heat in the regulator. So for example, if the required output voltage is to be +9 volts, then the input voltage will need to be as much as 12 volts or more if the output voltage is to remain stable under maximum load conditions. This voltage drop across the regulator is called “dropout”. Also due to this dropout voltage some form of heatsinking is required.
Fortunately low dropout variable voltage regulators are available such as the National Semiconductor LM2941T Low Dropout variable voltage regulator which has a low dropout voltage of just 0.9 volts at maximum load. This low dropout comes at a cost as this device is only capable of delivering 1.0 amp with a variable voltage output from 5 to 20 volts. However, we can use this device to give an output voltage of about 11.1V, just a little lower than the input voltage.
So to summarise, our bench power supply that we made from an old PC power supply unit in the previous article can be converted to a variable voltage power supply by using a LM317T to regulate the voltage. By connecting the input of this device across the +12V yellow output wire of the PSU we can have both fixed +5V, +12V and a variable output voltage reanging from about 2 to 10 volts at a maximum output current of 1.5A, enjoy



A relay is usually an electromechanical device that is actuated by an electrical current. The current flowing in one circuit causes the opening or closing of another circuit.
Relays are the devices that detect conditions in circuits and cause the contacts to be ON or OFF to CLOSE or OPEN the circuit as required with suitable arrangements.


 Bluetooth is a specification (IEEE 802.15.1) for the use of low-power radio communications to link phones, computers and other network devices over short distances without wires. The name Bluetooth is borrowed from Harald Bluetooth, a king in Denmark more than 1,000 years ago.

Bluetooth technology was designed primarily to support simple wireless networking of personal consumer devices and peripherals, including cell phones, PDAs, and wireless headsets. Wireless signals transmitted with Bluetooth cover short distances, typically up to 30 feet (10 meters). Bluetooth devices generally communicate at less than 1 Mbps.
Bluetooth networks feature a dynamic topology called a piconet or PAN. Piconets contain a minimum of two and a maximum of eight Bluetooth peer devices. Devices communicate using protocols that are part of the Bluetooth Specification. Definitions for multiple versions of the Bluetooth specification exist including versions 1.1, 1.2 and 2.0.
Although the Bluetooth standard utilizes the same 2.4 Ghz range as 802.11b and 802.11g, Bluetooth technology is not a suitable Wi-Fi replacement. Compared to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth networking is much slower, a bit more limited in range, and supports many fewer devices.
Concerns with Bluetooth technology include security and interoperability with other networking 

Radio Communication

Sound and radio waves are different phenomena. Sound consists of pressure variations in matter, such as air or water. Sound will not travel through a vacuum. Radio waves, like visible light, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays, are electromagnetic waves that do travel through a vacuum. When
you turn on a radio you hear sounds because the transmitter at the radio station has converted the sound waves into electromagnetic waves, which are then encoded onto an electromagnetic wave in the radio frequency range (generally in the range of 500-1600 kHz for AM stations, or 86-107 MHz for FM stations). Radio electromagnetic waves are used because they can travel very large distances through the atmosphere without being greatly attenuated due to scattering or absorption. Your radio receives the radio waves, decodes this information, and uses a speaker to change it back into a sound wave. An animated illustration of this process is given below (mouse-over the images for animations).
  • A sound wave is produced with a frequency of 5 Hz - 20 kHz.                                                                                                    
  • The sound wave is equivalent to a pressure wave traveling through the air.

  • A microphone converts the sound wave into an electrical signal.

  •    The electrical wave traveling through the microphone wire is analogous to the original sound wave. 
  • The electrical wave is used to encode or modulate a high-frequency "carrier" radio wave. The carrier wave itself does not include any of the sound information until it has been modulated.
  • The carrier wave can either be amplitude modulated by the electrical signal, or frequency modulated.
  • The signal is transmitted by a radio broadcast tower.
  • Your radio contains an antennato detect the transmitted signal, a tuner to pick out the desired frequency, a demodulator to extract the original sound wave from the transmitted signal, and an amplifier which sends the signal to the speakers. The speakers convert the electrical signal into physical vibrations (sound).

Class B amplifier-Working

Unlike the Class A amplifier mode of operation above that uses a single transistor for its output power stage, the Class B Amplifier uses two complimentary transistors (an NPN and a PNP) for each half of the
output waveform. One transistor conducts for one-half of the signal waveform while the other conducts for the other or opposite half of the signal waveform. This means that each transistor spends half of its time in the active region and half its time in the cut-off region thereby amplifying only 50% of the input signal.

Class B operation has no direct DC bias voltage like the class A amplifier, but instead the transistor only conducts when the input signal is greater than the base-emitter voltage and for silicon devices is about 0.7v. Therefore, at zero input there is zero output. This then results in only half the input signal being presented at the amplifiers output giving a greater amount of amplifier efficiency as shown below.

Class B- Circuit Diagram

In a class B amplifier, no DC current is used to bias the transistors, so for the output transistors to start to conduct each half of the waveform, both positive and negative, they need the base-emitter voltage Vbe to be greater than the 0.7v required for a bipolar transistor to start conducting. Then the lower part of the output waveform which is below this 0.7v window will not be reproduced accurately resulting in a distorted area of the output waveform as one transistor turns "OFF" waiting for the other to turn back "ON". The result is that there is a small part of the output waveform at the zero voltage cross over point which will be distorted. This type of distortion is called Crossover Distortion

Class AB amplifier-Worrking

The Class AB Amplifier is a compromise between the Class A and the Class B configurations above. While Class AB operation still uses two complementary transistors in its output stage a very small biasing voltage is applied to the Base of the transistor to bias it close to the Cut-off region when no input signal is
An input signal will cause the transistor to operate as normal in its Active region thereby eliminating any crossover distortion which is present in class B configurations. A small Collector current will flow when there is no input signal but it is much less than that for the Class A amplifier configuration. This means then that the transistor will be "ON" for more than half a cycle of the waveform. This type of amplifier configuration improves both the efficiency and linearity of the amplifier circuit compared to a pure Class A configuration.

Class AB- Circuit Diagram

Class AB Output Waveform

The class of operation for an amplifier is very important and is based on the amount of transistor bias required for operation as well as the amplitude required for the input signal. Amplifier classification takes into account the portion of the input signal in which the transistor conducts as well as determining both the efficiency and the amount of power that the switching transistor both consumes and dissipates in the form of wasted heat.

Class C amplifier - Working

In class C operation, collector current flows for less than one half cycle of the input signal.

The class C operation is achieved by reverse biasing the emitter-base junction,
which sets the dc operating point below cutoff and allows only the portion of the input signal that

overcomes the reverse bias to cause collector current flow. if an input signal amplitude is increased to the point that the transistor goes into saturation and cutoff, it is then called an OVERDRIVEN amplifier. 

During the positive period of the input signal (On stage)During the positiv period of the input signal the transistor will conduct (On-state). You can imagin that the transistor is a switch which connects the emitter with the collector. 
What will happend now is that the current I1 (red) flow through the coil and then into the transistor and down to ground. A magnetic field builds up in the coil depending on the magnitude of the current. At the same time the voltage over the capacitor discharge through the resistor making another current flow I2 (blue) also through the transistor. The I2 current passes the resistor (antenna) which radiate the energy.

During the negative period of the input signal (Off stage)
During the negativ period of the input signal the transistor will not conduct (Off-state). You can imagin that the transistor is an open switch. No current can pass through the collector to the emitter. 
The magnetic filed which was build upp in the coil will now collaps and generate a current I1 (red) which will flow through the capacitor and into the resistor (antenna).

Why all Digital Electronics Circuits use DC and Not AC?

The question will be little confusing.
But the answer is simple.


In Digital Electronics, Gates are the basic Elements.
Actually this Gates are made up of Transistors.

NAND gate using Transistors

Transistors are working as a Switch in Digital Electronics.

Transistor as a Switch

ie, When control signal is present, Transistor is ON, otherwise Transistor is OFF.

Now, What is this Control Signal?

That is the Signal Applied to the Base of the Transistor.

The Switch must be ON till the control signal is present and the Switch must be OFF till the control signal is absent. 

Switch with Control Terminal

Now consider applying AC signal as the control signal to the Base of the Transistor.

The AC signal will vary from Positive peak to Negative peak going through the 0V.

So how can we keep the Transistor ON and OFF as per our requirement?
It is not possible.

Now consider DC. It is Direct current and it is constant in value.
So if we apply DC to the Base of the Transistor as a control signal, we can keep the Transistor ON of OFF as per our wish.

That is In digital Electronics, We need only HIGH signal and LOW signal, not the intermediate values. 
Hence we cannot use AC in Digital.

Now consider Transistor working as an AMPLIFIER.
Here also, the transistor is working in DC (Power supply of the Transistor is DC), but the input is an AC signal.

Transistor as an Amplifier

Thus Amplification of AC signal is just an application of the Transistor and that doesn't mean that the Transistor is working in AC.

Why cant we power the Transistor with AC?
We can apply AC as a Power supply to the Transistor.
But the transistor will not give the desired operation.

Biasing of Transistor (a) NPN  (b) PNP

Because, for acting as a Switch or Amplifier, the transistor should be biased.
In order to keep the transistor in constant Biasing conditions, we need Constant current. ie DC.

If we apply AC as a power supply to the transistor, the Biasing conditions of the Transistor will be varying in each cycle of the AC signal.

Hence the transistor will not work properly.
This is the reason why we convert the AC signals into DC using Rectifiers in the Power supply section of the Electronic Devices.

(We can apply the same principle to MOSFET also.
MOSFET are used as switches in Digital Electronics as Switches.
Working principle of MOSFET is same as that of the Transistor.
However, MOSFET is a Voltage controlled Device, but Transistor is a Current controlled Device.)