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Building simple power supply from theory to working example

A power supply is an essential part of every electronic device. The whole system relies on it. If a power supply fails – the device dies too, and there is a chance that sensitive parts may be damaged. Power supply solutions vary from device to device. They may work using different techniques depending on needs. Tim has described probably the simplest power supply solution, which converts Alternating Current (AC) to Direct Current (DC). The supply circuit consists of well-known parts – transformer, which transforms voltage from 230V AC to 12VAC, follows diode bridge rectifier, smoothing using large caps and regulation with standard 7805 voltage regulator. Such a solution proved itself in many designs. It is simple, cheap, and builds fast. Tim put everything in the short and informative post without overhead information. Following it, you will be able to construct a 5V DC power supply in an hour.

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12V solar charger using LM317

[Alex] decided to build a solar charger for his car battery. He had an 18V solar panel able to provide up to 83mA. You cannot connect the panel directly to the battery because charging voltage cannot exceed the allowed safe limit, and also solar panels may become a load for the battery in a dark time, and this way discharge it. So he ended up with a simple circuit utilizing LM317 and a couple of resistors setting voltage so that battery would be charged at the recommended 13.2V. To prevent back supply, a Schottky was used. Of course, it adds some voltage drop (0.7V worst case). This was taken into account while calculating voltage adjusts resistor divider. As a test [Alex] left a solar charger for three days connected to his battery, and it charged up to 12.35V which is about 75% of capacity. Not bad at all.

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Adding self power down functionality to your devices

The power-down feature is convenient on battery-operated devices. For instance, most of the multimeters already have this feature allowing them to self turn off when there is no activity for some time. Check out this simple solution, which uses a pair of FETs and resistors. It was initially made for the Atmega328 project because the author didn’t want to bother with AVR power-down modes. Instead, he used this simple circuit. It can be used to turn the device on with the switch. This is where the P-FET part plays a role and turn off with N-FET. Turn Off signal wire comes from AVR pin market as 5. While the device is powered, N-FET has to be on with a high gate signal. When the N-FET gate signal goes low device turns itself off. This can be used on any device where possible to get such signal conditions. Or use in microcontroller circuit by adding some delay count after inactivity.

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Avoid smoke with power protection circuit

When designing an electronic device, you want to make sure that it won’t go in smoke under unexpected circumstances. You never know what may go wrong during the device’s lifetime, primarily if it is powered from mains. The small circuit between your battery and device may protect it from mistakes like reverse power polarity. His lists start with a simple series diode, which is cheap but may help protect from reverse polarity. Like any other, it has a downside – voltage drop (0.7V) that may be a pain for low voltage devices.

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Modeling of analog part for DDS3 signal generator

When building an AVR DDS2 signal generator, there were many discussions about signal conditioning in the analog part of the device. The first argument was that LM358 wasn’t the best choice for this purpose. Another one pointed to the sine wave that wasn’t smooth enough. As you can see, there are some dents on it. Other waveforms also are distorted, especially when higher voltages are selected. This asks for a better analog part. Some people suggested replacing LM358 with OPA2134, but it seems to be quite an expensive choice. In my opinion, low noise, a general-purpose op-amp can be great too. I’m going to give a try to Texas Instruments TL074 low noise op-amp. It is low power, high slew rate (13V/us) IC – almost five times faster than LM358 and for the same reasonable price.

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Multivibrator – back to basics

Multivibrator circuit is one of the first projects you start learning electronics. It is a beautiful circuit widely used for educational purposes and even in end projects as waveform generators. Lots of hobbyists grab a microcontroller/Arduino to blink LEDs. But using basic circuits like multivibrator may be cheaper, faster, and even fun. [Ray] decided to go through multivibrator theory and explain its working in detail step by step. The circuit itself consists of two transistors, two capacitors, and four resistors. When powered, the circuit generates a square wave signal that can be used to flash LEDs or clock other circuits. You will get an intuition on what causes multivibrator to develop generate. Formulas allow calculating resistor and capacitor values for a particular frequency. If you are a starter in electronics, build one on a breadboard and do some experiments, why not start with Christmas lights.

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Does Electronics Really Help Us

Electronics is a vast stream. The subject is pervasive in itself. Electronics are the primary source of almost everything that is happening today. The whole working of the items is dependent mainly on the electronics base. In our daily lives, we can see uncountable examples of the number of electronics used around us. From our environment itself, we can see how electronics can find their use in so many work departments. Human beings are slowly becoming addicted to the use of electronics in their lives. They have become almost dependant on the machines for their work. For example, the computer is the most commonly used machine, which is the best illustration of electronics in our lives. People have started being dependent on these machines to a large extent. All the work that was earlier known to be done by the people is now seen as to be done by the various devices and also the computer. Such is the help provided by the electronics to the people in their lives.

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Circuit Diagram

A circuit diagram is also known as an electrical diagram, wiring diagram, elementary diagram, or electronic schematic. It is a simplified conventional symbolic representation of an electrical circuit. It shows the circuit components using easily understood symbols and the power and signal connections between the devices. The components’ arrangement and their interconnections on the diagram do not correspond to their physical locations in the finished device. Unlike a block diagram or layout diagram, a circuit diagram shows the actual wire connections being used. The chart does not in any way represent the physical arrangement of components. Circuit diagrams are used for the design, construction, and maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment.

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Analog Circuit Design

constant_current_LED_driver_circuit

Today’s modern circuit design is a bit of a conglomerate thanks to the availability of sophisticated process technologies that have made bipolar and CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor), power and signal, passive and active components available, all on the same die. From this point on, it is up to the circuit designer’s ingenuity to assemble these components into the analog and/or logic building blocks that are deemed necessary to develop the intended system on a chip.

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