4 TO 18 VOLT, 500 MILLIAMPERE D.C. POWER SUPPLY

DESCRIPTION:  This is a simple, general-purpose power supply intended for laboratory applications that require both a positive and negative voltage. The circuit uses commonly-available integrated circuit regulators that provide integral thermal overload protection as well as safe-area limiting. These devices also provide regulation characteristics which are better than standard, fixed-voltage, three terminal regulators such as types 7812 and 7912. The circuit features independent controls for each polarity output, as opposed to a "tracking" type supply, in which the positive and negative outputs are simultaneously adjusted with one control. Optionally, the load may be connected exclusive of the "OUTPUT COMMON" terminal to furnish a single output up to 36 volts.

The 500 milliampere output current specification is based on worst-case conditions of minimum voltage settings (4 volts) and maximum load. Under these conditions, power dissipation, expressed by the formula Pd = Vin-Vout(Iload), will be about 11 watts per regulator, whereas the maximum allowable dissipation for each regulator is 15 watts. For this calculation, Vin is given as:  (transformer RMS secondary voltage @ 1 ampere x 0.707) - Vdiode, which yields approximately 21.5 volts. Under more typical conditions, with the outputs set at 12 volts, the voltage differential across each regulator will be considerably less. For these conditions, the allowable current may be increased to 1 ampere without difficulty.

The output specification of 4 to 18 volts is typical, and subject to component tolerances that include the reference voltage and adjustment terminal current tolerances of the VR1 and VR2 regulators. Because of these tolerances, the minimum and maximum output voltages may vary several per cent. For that reason, the nominal 4 to 18 volt range was selected to guarantee the most commonly-required minimum of 5, and maximum of 15 volts.

For applications requiring fixed voltages, RV1, R3, and R5 may be replaced with an appropriate fixed-value resistors for the POSITIVE OUTPUT, and RV2, R4, and R6 may be replaced for the NEGATIVE OUTPUT. With the potentiometers connected as shown in the schematic, the magnitude of the output voltages increase with clockwise rotation. The output voltages are given as:

The transformer indicated in the Parts Table has two separate primary windings for 117 volts each. In the schematic, they are shown connected in series for applications using 220 to 240 volt mains. For applications using 110 to 120 volt (North American) mains, the primary windings should be connected in parallel, instead.

CONSTRUCTION CONSIDERATIONS:  Note that VR1, the National Semiconductor LM317T/NOPB positive voltage regulator, has a metal mounting tab which is connected to its center "OUTPUT" pin. To allow optimal heat removal from the device, VR1 is mounted directly to a radiator without an insulating kit. This causes the radiator to be electrically connected to the device's OUTPUT pin. Accordingly, VR1's radiator must be isolated from all other conductors, including any grounded chassis or enclosure.

Similarly, VR2, the National Semiconductor LM337T/NOPB negative voltage regulator, has a metal mounting tab connected to its center "INPUT" pin. VR2 is mounted to a separate radiator, and that radiator will be connected to the device's INPUT pin. Accordingly, VR2's radiator must also be isolated from all other conductors, including VR1's radiator.

The most important consideration for radiator selection is thermal resistance (Rth). The Aavid Thermalloy type 530002B02500G radiator indicated in the Parts Table was chosen for its low thermal resistance of 2.6C/W. Given the junction-to-case thermal resistance of 4C/W for VR1 and VR2, the 2.6C/W thermal resistance of the radiators, and an ambient temperature of 25C, the predicted junction temperature per regulator, under worst-case conditions (4 volts at 500 milliamperes), is expressed as: Iout(Vin-Vout)(Rth radiator + Rth junction-to-case) + Tambient. Solving this equation yields a per-regulator junction temperature of about 83C. The maximum allowable junction temperature for the regulators is 125C, so the predicted value is well within safe operating limits.

The 530002B02500G radiator dimensions are 2.5"H x 1.65"W x 1"D. They are intended for vertical mounting to a printed circuit board (PCB), facilitated with two solderable pins at their bases, resulting in a footprint of 1.65" x 1". They are furnished with a mounting hole for the regulator.

If PCB construction is impractical, ABL type 345AB1000B vertical-fin extrusion radiators may be used instead. These radiators are more massive (1.46"H x 4.73"W x 3.94"D) than the PCB types, but have the advantage of lower thermal resistance (Rth = 1.0C/W). They may be mounted in either of two orientations, resulting in a footprint of either 4.73" x 3.94" (regulator horizontal) or 1.46" x 4.73" (regulator vertical). The 345AB1000B will require insulated mounting hardware for attachment to a chassis, which may be facilitated with any suitable combination of Nylon screws, washers, and, (for the regulator-vertical orientation), right-angle metal brackets. The ABL units are furnished without holes, so they will require drilling for both the regulators and mounting hardware.

To minimize the thermal resistance between the voltage regulators and the radiators, thermally-conductive compound, such as Wakefield-Vette type 126-2 (or similar) should be applied between the regulators' mounting surfaces and the radiators. The regulators should be attached to the radiators with 6-32 hardware, including a heavy split-ring lockwasher. To allow proper air flow, the radiators should not be enclosed; however, they should be protected from accidental contact with conductors. A perforated metal cage may be used for this purpose.

To ensure good regulation, 150 ohm resistors R1 and R2 should be connected directly to the terminals of their respective regulators. The wires connecting the 4700 microfarad filter capacitors to the regulators should be of a heavy gauge (18 AWG or thicker) and kept to a length of six inches or less. Likewise, the path from the transformer's secondary center tap to the OUTPUT COMMON should consist of heavy-gauge conductors. The wiring from the regulator outputs to the output terminals should also be of a heavy gauge. For printed-circuit construction, the tracks for these connections should be as wide as practical.

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DANGER !

THIS CIRCUIT USES HIGH, POTENTIALLY LETHAL VOLTAGES. APPROPRIATE INSULATION AND SHIELDING MUST BE PROVIDED TO PREVENT CONTACT WITH THE HIGH VOLTAGES PRESENT IN THIS CIRCUIT.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONSTRUCT OR OPERATE THIS CIRCUIT UNLESS YOU ARE THOROUGHLY EXPERIENCED WITH THE CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS PERTAINING TO HIGH VOLTAGE.

DO NOT OPERATE THIS CIRCUIT WITHOUT THE RECOMMENDED FUSE, AS DOING SO WILL INCREASE THE RISK OF FIRE.

ONLY USE A TRANSFORMER THAT IS APPROVED BY YOUR LOCAL SAFETY AGENCY.

DO NOT OPERATE THIS CIRCUIT WITHOUT THE RECOMMENDED RADIATORS. THE VOLTAGE REGULATORS WILL BECOME HOT ENOUGH TO CAUSE SEVERE BURNS UNLESS PROPERLY SECURED TO THE RECOMMENDED RADIATORS.

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Link to Supplier: http://www.farnell.com/

PARTS TABLE

ITEM

DESCRIPTION

VALUE

MANUFACTURER

MANUFACTURER PART NUMBER

SUPPLIER

SUPPLIER CATALOG NUMBER

QTY

BR1 BRIDGE RECTIFIER ASSEMBLY 3A, 400V VISHAY KBPC104 FARNELL 2291162 1
C1, 2 ALUMINUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR 4700uF, 40V VISHAY BC COMPONENTS 222202190063 FARNELL 1187042 1
C3, 4 TANTALUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR 10uF, 35V AVX TAP106M035CCS-LF FARNELL 1100496 2
C5, 6 TANTALUM ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITOR 1uF, 35V AVX TAP105M035CCS-LF FARNELL 1100489 2
CR1, 2, 3, 4 RECTIFIER 1A, 400V MULTICOMP 1N4004 FARNELL 9565027 4
F1 FUSE 500mA, 250V, 5 X 20mm LITTELFUSE 0213.500MXP FARNELL 9922237 1
R1, 2 RESISTOR 150 OHM, 1%, 0.75W WELWYN MFR5 150R 1% FARNELL 9497420 2
R3, 4 RESISTOR 330 OHM, 1%, 0.75W WELWYN MFR5 330R 1% FARNELL 9497650 2
R5, 6 RESISTOR 10.5k OHM, 1%, 0.25W WELWYN MF50 2K FARNELL 9340157 2
RV1, 2 POTENTIOMETER 2K OHM, 5% 2W, 10 TURN BOURNS 3590S-2-202L FARNELL 2113058 2
SW1 SWITCH SPST ARCOLECTRIC C1700HOAAC FARNELL 140625 1
T1 TRANSFORMER, TOROIDAL PRI: 117V OR 234V RMS, 50 TO 60HZ. SEC: 2 X 18V RMS @1.39A HAMMOND

1182J18

FARNELL 2546978 1
VR1 INTEGRATED CIRCUIT POSITIVE VARIABLE VOLTAGE REGULATOR, TO-220 PACKAGE NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION LM317T/NOPB FARNELL 1469090 1
VR2 INTEGRATED CIRCUIT NEGATIVE VARIABLE VOLTAGE REGULATOR, TO-220 PACKAGE NATIONAL SEMICONDUCTOR CORPORATION LM337T/NOPB FARNELL 1327895 1

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HOLDER FOR F1

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BULGIN FX0462 FARNELL 9630198 1

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RADIATOR FOR VR1, VR2 VERTICAL FINS, Rth=2.6C/W AAVID THERMALLOY 530002B02500G FARNELL 2295719 2

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ALTERNATIVE RADIATOR FOR VR1, VR2 VERTICAL FINS, Rth=1.0C/W ABL 345AB1000B FARNELL 150016 2

Note:  Only major items are indicated in the Table. Items such as wire, terminals, circuit board, enclosure, and fasteners are not shown.

March 23, 1998

Text updates:
August 26, 2003
August 12, 2012

Parts list updates:
July 1, 2007 for RoHS compliance
August 12, 2012 for availability
September 2, 2017 for availability and RoHS compliance

Text and images 1998, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2017 by Arthur Harrison


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