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Hi i am new to the forum and this is my first question so fell free to help me with formatting.

I am working on a project that involves controlling RGB LED strips from a Arduino. I have as my power supply a 18.5V 6.5A power-brick. I need to have a regulator to generate 12V at at least 6A. Any suggestions on components or premade boards? I am open to DIY solutions.

Thanks in advance.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You are talking about 6 amps and over 6Volts of voltage drop. That's close to 40Watts of waste heat. You probably ought to look into buck converters, or just purchase as 12V 6A power brick. \$\endgroup\$ – JRE Oct 18 '16 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ As JRE pointed out, you can't --and must not-- use a linear regulator. An SMPS is the best option. But designing a 12V buck converter needs a lot of work due to high complexity and component count. So the best option is to buy a 12V power supply. I'm sure you can find in Digikey or Mouser. \$\endgroup\$ – Rohat Kılıç Oct 18 '16 at 9:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ You haven't told us anything about the LED strips you want to drive. Just because your power supply is rated at 6.5 Amps doesn't mean you need to have a 6 amp converter to drive your load(s) if they require a lower current. Describe these LED strips, how many you will use in your project, and provide as many specs as you can for them, preferably a data sheet link. \$\endgroup\$ – FiddyOhm Oct 18 '16 at 11:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RohatKılıç "... you can't ... use a linear regulator ..." - Huh? Sure you can, you just need to dissipate ~40W of heat. There are better approaches, but that doesn't mean he can't. \$\endgroup\$ – marcelm Oct 18 '16 at 15:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @marcelm Of course I know and everyone does :) You are right but in that comment I meant "Practically you can't because of excessive amount of heat". There's also a recommendation ("mustn't" in dashes). Dissipation of nearly 40W of heat can be practically nearly impossible for an amateur DIYer. \$\endgroup\$ – Rohat Kılıç Oct 18 '16 at 16:01
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If you google "12V 6A buck regulator" and select the image tab you will find designs like this: -

enter image description here

And, of course, different key words produce different results. Searching on that page also comes up with pre-made solutions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wow! Thanks for the quick reply! Pointed me in the right direction. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Wilson Oct 18 '16 at 9:44

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