There is an application note from ON-semiconductors which provides a few diagrams to use a well known MC34063 switching regulator as LED driver. it's around the idea of setting the 1.25v feedback value using the voltage drop of a series, current sense resistor :
further, it suggests using a transistor to "shift levels"(as it says) so the current sense resistor doesn't have to be that big to provide 1.25v drop; now it needs a voltage drop of about 0.65v, and less power is wasted in the resistor:
- how this transistor provides 0.6v (1.25-0.65) so the resistor is less burdened? does it have anything to do with base-emitter voltage drop ?
- there are many adjustable regulators with the same feedback setup (e.g. LM2596 or the linear LM317). does this idea (either the one with the transistor or the one without) work on them too?
- does it work on the same MC34063 configured as step up? to drive LEDs from a single cell lithium ion battery for example?
- can we use another component to provide more drop so the power dissipation of current sense resistor is decreased even further?