Questions tagged [power-supply]

An electronic device which supplies electrical energy to a load. Can be AC or DC input. Typically DC output.

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268
votes
5answers
349k views

Choosing power supply, how to get the voltage and current ratings?

Power supplies are available in a wide range of voltage and current ratings. If I have a device that has specific voltage and current ratings, how do those relate to the power ratings I need to ...
100
votes
6answers
61k views

My linear voltage regulator is overheating very fast

I'm using a 5 V / 2 A voltage regulator (L78S05) without a heatsink. I'm testing the circuit with a microcontroller (PIC18FXXXX), a few LEDs and a 1 mA piezzo buzzer. The input voltage is aprox. 24 ...
63
votes
7answers
7k views

Why is my circuit so incredibly sensitive to electric fluctuation?

I recently finished building a circuit showcased in a beginner’s electronics book. I have included the picture of my creation below because I think it may become relevant to the question. At the ...
61
votes
11answers
302k views

How can I tell the size of a barrel power connector?

Spring cleaning, and I'm trying to get power supplies for all my devices with missing power supplies. They're all the typical barrel power connector, and I'm having a dickens of a time trying to ...
55
votes
4answers
58k views

Can I replace all electrolytic capacitors with ceramic ones?

I am designing the power supply circuit for a system that needs several supplies, my questions are: Is it possible to replace all electrolytic caps (Mostly 100uF) by ceramic ones? What are the ...
53
votes
4answers
87k views

What's the purpose of two capacitors in parallel?

What's the purpose of the two capacitors in parallel on each side of the regulator in this power supply circuit I've seen similar setups in other similar circuits and can guess that it's related to ...
53
votes
10answers
87k views

Why do many laptops run on 19 volts?

Typically mobile devices that have a mains-powered supply will accept voltage that is multiple of some single battery voltage. For example, 4.5 volts is 1.5 volts (AA primary battery) 3 times and 36 ...
51
votes
13answers
10k views

What kind of components in a computer power supply can explode loudly?

Today I heard a loud bang that tripped the circuit breaker in my server room. It must have been really loud because I could hear it 2 rooms away through 2 heavy doors and it was like a firecracker ...
49
votes
3answers
56k views

What is the ideal way to handle data pins D+ and D- on a USB power adapter to be compatible with fast charging on devices?

I have found that many USB wall chargers use a resistive voltage divider to set the D+ and D- pins to a specific voltage, usually between 2 and 3 volts. Other USB wall chargers short the D+ and D- ...
47
votes
6answers
25k views

Why do we need an isolation transformer to connect an oscilloscope?

My professor always insists that I provide power to an oscilloscope thorough an isolation transformer. What is the necessity of this? What is the risk if I don't connect it?
45
votes
3answers
7k views

What's the reason to make power supplies external?

Many years ago most electronic devices had internal power supplies only - there was a mains voltage cable running into the unit where mains AC would be converted and distributed for consumption. That ...
44
votes
5answers
35k views

Why don't we use wireless electricity today?

I was reading about Nikola Tesla today (via the Oatmeal) and read about the Wardenclyffe Tower which (among other things) was intended to transmit electricity wirelessly. Forgive the naivety of the ...
44
votes
3answers
37k views

When a battery is your power source, what is ground?

For the sake of not incorrectly connecting my power supply and damaging my board I'm going to ask a relatively dumb question. Is ground on my board the negative terminal on my battery? Explicitly ...
39
votes
11answers
143k views

What would happen if I connect two different DC voltage sources in parallel?

I have a computer power supply that I'm hacking together as a bench supply. For this particular model to power on, I need a minimum load across both +5V and +12V. "Easy," I thought, "I'll just ...
38
votes
1answer
2k views

What is / how can I get a student-safe power supply for electronics projects?

What is / how can I get a student-safe power supply for electronics projects? I'm looking for a student-safe power supply for solder less breadboard. I'm developing a course to teach electrical ...
36
votes
3answers
29k views

How is wristwatch with 10 years battery life possible?

Turns out Casio offers a handful of wristwatches with "10 year battery life". The claim is that thanks to "an advanced technology" the battery life in those watches is extended to ten years. Now if ...
35
votes
5answers
15k views

Switch between 5V power supplies?

I'm designing a board that can be powered either by USB or an ATX power supply. They can both be plugged in at the same time, independently. I'd like the ATX to provide 5V if its plugged in, but ...
33
votes
6answers
35k views

Can an audio circuit be powered by a switched-mode power supply?

Most audio circuits a powered with large, heavy transformers and a small ripple after smoothing. SMPS are smaller and more efficient. EMI can be shielded by a metal enclosure and the output filtered ...
32
votes
7answers
7k views

Why don't we use low voltage Power Sources for high wattage applications?

Super nooby question involving Ohm's law, but this has been on mind this morning. Say I have a 60W device, and I want to power it. Usually this calls for a 120V source or something. However, why not ...
29
votes
2answers
14k views

How can I detect a power outage with a microcontroller?

I have the following power supply configuration: AC MAINS -> UPS -> 24V POWER SUPPLY -> 5V VOLTAGE REGULATOR -> PCB (microcontroller). What's the best solution to detect the power outage on the mains ...
28
votes
7answers
6k views

Why is root mean square used when calculating average power, and not simply the average of voltage/current?

$$P = I_{\text{eff}}^2 \times R$$ where \$I_{\text{eff}}\$ is the effective current. For power to be average \$I\$ must be average current, so I am surmising that the effective current is the average ...
28
votes
7answers
32k views

How to find the ESR of a capacitor

I am building a power supply circuit, and the switching regulator (L4963) calls for a low-ESR output capacitor. The capacitor in question is C3 of the evaluation board circuit. What does "low" mean? ...
27
votes
6answers
23k views

How to convert AC to DC

I am designing a circuit that needs to output 5VDC @ 1A. I'm trying to use a wall transformer to step the voltage down to 12VAC. The next step is the diode bridge and ripple capacitor. The ripple ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is this power adapter transformerless?

I saw a battery charger that converts 220V AC to 6V DC without a transformer. Now I am wondering why many (if not all) power adapters are using a transformer, is it about efficiency or about ...
25
votes
12answers
91k views

Is it really OK to supply more current than what the component is rated for?

In this heavily upvoted answer the answerer states that it is okay to supply a component with more current than what it's rated for. The analogy is that (paraphrasing here) "If Johnny wants to eat two ...
25
votes
6answers
31k views

How efficient is a capacitive power supply?

Something like this Falstad sim version of it (I'm tired, I keep making mistakes, so please excuse me for the second time.) Now these are not very safe PSU's, due to the lack of isolation. But in ...
25
votes
1answer
21k views

What to do with third contact in DC barrel plug with only two input contacts

My AC-DC adapter gives output of 12V and GND. I tried to search for suitable DC barrel plugshttp://media.digikey.com/photos/CUI%20Photos/MFG_PJ-037B_tmb.jpg and found that most of them have three ...
24
votes
4answers
8k views

How does Windows know it's on battery power?

Laptop DC-DC regulator boards are somehow able to communicate with Windows to see how much battery power is left, but my research finds nothing. Is there a data connection from the proprietary ...
24
votes
7answers
64k views

Arduino Uno R3: Directly supply regulated 5V to 5V pin?

I'd like to use an Arduino Uno R3 battery powered a datalogger. I want do supply it directly with a Step-Up regulated 5V rechargable battery powersource at power ...
24
votes
4answers
30k views

Considerations in a bench/lab power supply?

I'm looking at adding a low-cost variable power supply to my electronics hobby bench. After years of cobbling together LM317's and LM7805's, it's about time... Considerations: I've found a few ...
22
votes
4answers
20k views

What is the usage of the negative voltages on a PC motherboard?

What is the usage of theses negative voltages? Are they there only for backward compatibility? In nowadays PC power supplies, we have: +12V +5V +3.3V but also: -12V -5V But the current rating of ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Normal capacitor vs. audio capacitor

I'm building a power supply for old Schoeps CMT30F microphones. Standard condenser mic are 48V-powered nowadays, but these are 60s/70s Schoeps mic from RadioFrance/ORTF, customized at that time to be -...
22
votes
6answers
4k views

What are some common/popular/go-to switching voltage regulators? [closed]

So I've used the popular linear regulators (7805, LM317, LD1117, etc), but I'd like to learn more about switching regulators. Are there any "must have" switching regulators out there that are as ...
22
votes
6answers
8k views

Voltage regulator vs. voltage reference

I need a cheap, somewhat accurate (~0.5%) voltage reference for some DACs. At first I was going to use a LDO voltage regulator (a TC1223 specifically) for this, it seems to fit the bill looking at the ...
22
votes
3answers
25k views

How do the tiny AC->USB power supplies work?

The iPhone and Kindle both come with tiny power supplies that take in 120v AC and output around 5V at 0.85 to 1 amp. They seem to be too small and light to have a transformer, and generate very little ...
22
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this transformer-like component, and why is it not really connected?

Recently, a power surge took out a few components in my PC's ATX power supply. While repairing (I hope), one component in the power drew my attention. I'm an electronics engineer, but I'm confused ...
22
votes
3answers
19k views

Should I isolate grounds of an isolated DC/DC converter?

If I use an isolated DC/DC converter, when designing the PCB, should I isolate the ground of the input and the ground of the output as shown below? I've never isolated grounds (except for AGND and ...
21
votes
6answers
25k views

Can the noise of any switching PSU be attenuated if I put linear regulator before the output?

A friend told me that noise of any switching PSU can be attenuated if I put linear regulator before output. Is that true? For example, if I want to power a +-12 V op-amp for an amplifier, I can ...
21
votes
6answers
20k views

Benchtop power supplies: linear vs switching? [closed]

I'm looking into getting a decent benchtop power supply ($150-300) for hobby-level electronic design and testing. I don't want to modify or use a computer ATX supply because I want: Adjustable ...
21
votes
2answers
656 views

Which way does electricity power a circuit?

Working with some circuits this summer, I ran into what everyone eventually does: Current flows from + to - despite the electrons flowing (well, bumping into eachother) from - to +. I understand the ...
20
votes
7answers
60k views

When people talk about a device “drawing” current, what do they mean? Why do devices under load “draw” more current?

In my (extremely rudimentary) understanding, the amount of current flowing in a circuit is determined by a) its resistance, and b) the voltage of the power source (voltage from beginning to end), ...
20
votes
4answers
19k views

How do I select the accompanying components for an optocoupler?

I'm using an optocoupler (MOC3021) to sense the On/Off state of an electrial appliance using a microcontroller ATmega16L. How do i go about doing this? My mains supply specs are 230V, 50Hz. How do I ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is it so problematic to have close to zero standby power consumption?

Each electronic device consumes electric power when it is "idle" unless it has a mechanical switch. I can understand that for example a TV with a remote control needs to "be ready" to receive a ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Difference between 0-18V and -9V - +9V

What is the principle of the difference between a supply which provides 0-18V and +9V and -9V? If I am using a circuit which takes a +/-9V power supply, and instead start powering it with 2 9v ...
19
votes
3answers
73k views

What are the ways to make a dual power supply from a single voltage source?

I have a function generator IC XR2206 from EXAR. It's application circuits uses dual power supply +/-9 volts. How can I make such a 9-0-9 dual supply from a single voltage source like a battery or an ...
19
votes
3answers
14k views

How to limit inrush current?

I'm designing a device powered from USB. The device uses FTDI FT2232 chip for USB connection. Upon a command from a computer FT2232 chip should enable power via a MOSFET switch to rest of the circuit. ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How does this wall-wart switcher work?

UPDATE I've provided a full outcome report in one of the answers below with an updated schematic and description of the operating principles as I've come to understand it. I'm studying switching ...
18
votes
5answers
31k views

Is full wave rectifier better than half wave one?

I am curious if there are practical differences between a DC power supply based on a half wave rectifier or a full wave rectifier. I mean I have a few small DC power supply units which should give ...
18
votes
4answers
17k views

What is “foldback short circuit protection” in a power supply?

I am looking at buying a 24V power supply. Two of the options are these: PSP24-060S 24 VDC 2.5A (60W) power supply PSB24-060-P 24 VDC 2.5A (60W) power supply The first offers "foldback short circuit ...
18
votes
10answers
9k views

Is there a constant power supply?

A voltage source is a device that produces constant voltage, but allows amperage and power to vary, in accordance with the laws of electricity. A current source is a device that produces constant ...