Universal DC Power Supply

I didn't realize till the other day that I have never shown a circuit for a standard power supply. Shown below is a supply that will use any of the LM78XX series of voltage regulators. The transformer in the circuit will vary depending on which regulator you use.

Universal DC Power Supply Circuit Diagram:

Power Supply Circuit Diagram

For voltages from 5 to 12 use a transformer with output of 18vac. With voltages from 15 to 24 use a transformer of 30vac. The first capacitor in the circuit may need to vary if you are supplying more current to the load. Typically it will be 2000uf for every amp of current. link

Micropower Voltage Regulator

This circuit was developed to power an AVR microcontroller from a 12 V lead-acid battery. The regulator itself draws only 14 µA. Of course, there are dedicated ICs, for example from Linear Technology or Maxim, which can be used, but these can be very hard to get hold of and are frequently only available in SMD packages these days. These difficulties are simply and quickly avoided using this discrete circuit.

Micropower Voltage Regulator Circuit diagram:

Regulator Circuit diagram

The series regulator component is the widely-available type BS170 FET. When power is applied it is driven on via R1. When the output voltage reaches 5.1 V, T2 starts to conduct and limits any further rise in the output voltage by pulling down the voltage on the gate of T1. The output voltage can be calculated as follows:

UOUT = (ULED + UBE) × (R4 + R2) / R4

where we can set ULED at 1.6 V and UBE at 0.5 V. The temperature coefficients of ULED and UBE can also be incorporated into the formula. The circuit is so simple that of course someone has thought of it before. The author’s efforts have turned up an example in a collection of reference circuits dating from 1967: the example is very similar to this circuit, although it used germanium transistors and of course there was no FET. The voltage reference was a Zener diode, and the circuit was designed for currents of up to 10 A. Perhaps our readers will be able to find even earlier examples of two-transistor regulators using this principle? link

Simple 12V to 120V Inverter

This is the Simple 12V to 120V Inverter Circuit Diagram. This Simple 12V to 120V Inverter Circuit Diagram should solve that problem. It takes 12 VDC and steps it up to 120 VAC. The wattage depends on which tansistors you use for Q1 and Q2, as well as how "big" a transformer you use for T1. The inverter can be constructed to supply anywhere from 1 to 1000 (1 KW) watts.

Simple 12V to 120V Inverter Circuit Diagram:

Inverter Circuit Diagram

Parts List: 
Substitutions - Total Qty.- Description
C1, C2             2                 68 uf, 25 V Tantalum Capacitor   
R1, R2             2                 10 Ohm, 5 Watt Resistor   
R3, R4             2                180 Ohm, 1 Watt Resistor   
D1, D2             2                HEP 154 Silicon Diode   
Q1, Q2             2                2N3055 NPN Transistor (see "Notes")   
T1                 1               24V, Center Tapped Transformer (see "Notes")   
MISC               1               Wire, Case, Receptical (For Output)

Source link

USB 5V to 12V DC-DC Step-Up Converter using LT1618

This is a 5V to 12V DC-DC step-up (boost) converter circuitry that is especially ideal for the USB powered applications. First of all a USB port has two current supply modes. Before detecting the connected device, it supplies maximum 100mA to the load. After recognizing the device, it increases the output current up to 500mA. In this circuit, controller (LT1618) also provides two input current modes. 100mA and 500mA input modes can be selected by the user.


Output currents are limited due to the increased potential difference at the output. When the demand of the load increases, output voltage will start to decrease. For example, if the circuit operates in the 100 mA input mode, when the load is 35 mA, the output voltage will be kept at 12V. But if the load increases to 50 mA, output voltage will reduce to 8V to maintain the constant 100 mA input current. Link

Maximite Stepper Motor Interface

This simple circuit and program listing allows the Maximite microcomputer (SILICON CHIP, March-May 2011) to control a stepper motor. It could be expanded to allow for the control of multiple motors, with four of the Maximite’s external I/O pins used to control each motor with identical driver circuits. A ULN2003 Darlington transistor array (IC1) switches current through the stepper motor’s two windings in either direction. When one of the four Maximite output pins (8, 12, 16 & 20, corresponding to I/Os 19, 17, 15 & 13) goes high, the corresponding output pin on IC1 goes low, sinking current through a motor winding. Conversely, when these pins are high, the corresponding Darlington transistor is off and so no current flows through that portion of the winding.

Maximite Stepper Motor Interface Circuit Diagram: 

The centre tap of each motor winding is connected to a current source comprising PNP Darlington transistor Q1 and some resistors. The maximum current is determined by the resistive divider driving its high-impedance base, setting the base voltage to around 9.1V when it is fully on. By adding Q1’s base-emitter voltage (1.4V at 0.5A, as per the data sheet) we can determine that there will be around 1.5V across the 3.3O resistor (12V - 10.5V), resulting in a current of 1.5V ÷ 3.3O = ~450mA. Transistor Q1 must be fitted with a medium-sized flag heatsink (Jaycar HH8504, Altronics H0637) or larger to handle its maximum dissipation of (10.5V - 4.9V) x 450mA = 2.5W.

When one of the Darlington transistors switches off and current flow through the corresponding motor winding ceases, the inductive winding generates a back-EMF current which causes the voltage across that winding to spike. IC1 has internal “free-wheeling” diodes from each output to the COM pin, which is connected to the +12V supply. The back-EMF current flows back into the power supply and the voltage spikes are clamped at about 12.7V, so that the Darlington transistors do not suffer collector reverse breakdown, which might damage them.

A 470µF capacitor provides supply bypassing for the motor while a 47kO pull-up resistor and toggle switch/pushbutton S1 drives input pin 9 of the Maximite, allowing manual control of the motor direction. Table 1 shows the sequence in which the output pins are driven to turn the motor forward; the steps are run backwards for reverse operation. The delay between the steps determines the speed at which the motor rotates. The source code of the sample program is available for download from the SILICON CHIP website (maximite_stepper_motor.bas). Source Link

Petrol/Diesel Level Sensor

This sensor is particularly suitable for use in small spaces, such as the petrol tank of a  motorbike. It has the advantage of not having any moving parts, unlike a conventional sensor with a float and float arm that make it difficult to fit in a tank.

The sensor circuit is made from standard, inexpensive components and can be put together for little money.

Petrol/Diesel Level Sensor Circuit diagram:

Sensor Circuit diagram
The operating principle is  based on  measuring  the forward volt-ages of two identical diodes (check this  first by measuring  them).  The forward voltage of a diode decreases with increasing junction temperature. lf a resistor is placed close to one of the two diodes, it will be heated slightly if it extends above the surface of the  petrol. For best results,the other diode (used for reference) should be located at the same level. lf the diodes are covered by the petrol in the tank, the heating resistor will not have any effect because it will be cooled by the petrol. An opamp compares the voltage across the two diodes, with a slightly smaller current passing through the reference diode.

When the petrol level drops, the output of the opamp goes high and the output transistor switches on. This causes a sense resistor to be connected in parallel with the sensor output. Several sensor circuits can be used together, each with its own switched sense resistor connected in parallel with the output, and the resulting output  signal can be used to drive a meter or the like.

Using this approach, the author built a petrol tank' sensors trip' tank consisting of five PCBs, each fitted with two sensor circuits. With this sensor strip installed at an angle in the tank, a resolution of approximately 1.5 litre per sensor is possible. Many tanks have an electrical fitting near the bottom for connection to a lamp on the instrument panel that indicates the reserve level. The sensor strip can be used in its place. You will have to experiment a bit with the values of the sense resistors, but do not use values lower than around'100 O. It is also important to fit the diodes and heater resistor in a little tube with a small opening at the bottom so that splashing petrol does not cool the heater resistor, since this would result in false readings.

The circuit should be powered from a regulated supply voltage of 5 to 6 V to prevent the heating resistors from becoming too hot. After testing everything to be sure that it works properly, it's a good idea to coat the circuit board with epoxy glue to provide better protection against the petrol.

Tip: you can use the well-known 1M3914 to build a LED display with ten LEDs, which can serve as a level indicator. Several examples of suitable circuits can be found in back issues of Elektor.

Note: this sensor circuit is not suitable for use in conductive liquids.

Simple Fog Lamp Sensor

For several years now, a rear fog lamp has been mandatory for trailers and caravans in order to improve visibility under foggy conditions. When this fog lamp is switched on, the fog lamp of the pulling vehicle must be switched of to avoid irritating reflections. For this purpose, a mechanical switch is now built into the 13-way female connector in order to switch of the fog lamp of the pulling vehicle and switch on the fog lamp of the trailer or caravan. For anyone who uses a 7-way connector, this switching can also be implemented electronically with the aid of the circuit illustrated here.

Fog Lamp Sensor Circuit Diagram:

Sensor Circuit Diagram
Here a type P521 optocoupler detects whether the fog lamp of the caravan or trailer is connected. If the fog lamp is switched on in the car, a current flows through the caravan fog lamp via diodes D1 and D2. This causes the LED in the optocoupler to light up, with the result that the photo-transistor conducts and energies the relay via transistor T1. The relay switches of the fog lamp of the car. For anyone who’s not all thumbs, this small circuit can easily be built on a small piece of perforated circuit board and then fitted somewhere close to the rear lamp fitting of the pulling vehicle. Link