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I'm using a lab power supply which has a manual here. It has the following block diagram:

enter image description here

From the manual or the block diagram can we infer whether the supply is made up of switch mode or linear type of supply? If it is impossible from the manual or the diagram, can one perform a test to verify this?

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3 Answers 3

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The block labeled "Series Regulator" is a pretty good clue that it is a linear supply. These words imply that a hefty transistor in series with the current flow is used to control the output voltage, and the fact that it is driven by a "Voltage Comparator" suggests linear control to me.

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Its a linear supply. The manual you linked has as image of the unit displaying a 3303s badge. Looking up the datasheet for that model confirms its linear. As others have mentioned the transformer and series regulator also points to this.

For bonus points, feel the weight of the unit. Typically linear supplies with output current ratings like this have pretty hefty transformers so if your arm aches its most likely linear

Datahseet here: Datasheet

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From the sheer size of that unit, it must be linear. A switching supply of that current capacity would be very small.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ hah yeah. My 40A switching supply feels almost hollow for its size while the 20A supply feels like its a block of iron with very visible external heatsinks. They are the same dimensions. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Feb 6, 2020 at 15:59

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