I'm working on a variable power supply board. It will take 9-35VDC input and output either 3.3V, 5V or an adjustable output that's jumper-selected. If I hook the outputs of all 3 regulators together will that cause problems? Only one regulator will have input power at a time (via the previous jumper).
The large majority of regulators will either be damaged and/or will load the output supply if you connect the outputs directly.
As you say you are using a jumper to power only one regulator at a time you could instead place the jumper in the regulator output circuits. This will mean that all 3 regulators are always powered, but the standby current is usually small compared to load current.
If output jumpers are unacceptable you could place an N-Channel MOSFET in the output of each regulator. Source to load, Drain to regulator output, gate to regulator input. When the regulator is powered the MOSFET is switched on. The MOSFET Vgs_th (turn on voltage) needs to be comfortably LESS than the regulator voltage drop in use. The MOSFET Rdson (on resistance) needs to be low enough to only drop minimal voltage when on at full current. eg a 50 milliohm RdsonFET will drop 50 mV at 1 amp.
Use of Schottky diodes on the outputs as Masterleous suggested WILL work BUT the diodes will typically drop 0.3 to 0.6V and the drop will vary with load. Most Schottky diodes at 1A or so are closer to 0.5V+ than 0.3V so this drop is significant and leads to a variability of outp[ut with load. My series MOSFET concept above does the same thing but the MOSFET acts as a "super diode" with very little voltage drop.
Schottky diode voltage drop:
I frequently see Schottky diode forward voltage drops being quoted as "about 0.3 Volts". This CAN be the case, but it's not usual. To get low forward drop you have to design for it. This usually involves operating the diode close to it's maximum reverse voltage ratings and / or using it at far below its peak rated current. Boty these effects are demonstrated in the table below.
The 1N581x series diodes are 1 amp continuous use Schottkky diodes withy reverse voltage ratings of
At 1A the worst case Vf rating at 25C for each of these is typically 0.45V , 0.55V, 0.60V
BUT I see these diodes or the equivalent SSxx series used in portable lights and solar powered equipment where they may be used in the output of a boost converter providing eg 3V to drive an LED.
Energy losses are 13% and 17% so 1N5819 dissipates (17/13-1)x 100 =~ 30% more energy.
In many cases this degree of difference is not important or even trivial.
Some voltage regulators don't like having Vout>Vin, so it's probably not a good idea to tie them together
Why not use a single adjustable regulator and use the jumpers to select the resistor ratio? This would work with adjustable linear or switchmode regulators
Try to use a Schotkey diodes after every regulator and than short them, than there will be no problem for you circuit, otherwise in other case regulator may got damage.
Connect Diode Anode to regulator output and Cathode may be short to other diodes cathodes.