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AC and DC adapters

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Mike S., Mar 2, 2006.

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  1. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    Could someone please explain the difference between an AC
    adapter/transformer and a DC adapter/transformer. What would they each
    be used for? I'm having a hard time understanding the darn things.
  2. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Mike S."

    ** The former is just an iron core transformer in a plastic box - while
    the latter has additional rectifier /filter components to create a DC
    voltage ( ie just like a battery) from the AC output of the transformer.

    ** A DC adaptor simply replaces a the job normally done by a battery. An
    AC adaptor however, allows the designer of some particular device a much
    wider range of options.

    With an AC adaptor as the supply, a designer can easily generate
    *simultaneous* positive and a negative DC voltages AS WELL AS boost
    the voltage to way more than the AC voltage would suggest.

    Eg .

    From a single 9 volt AC supply, one can easily generate + 12 volts and - 12
    volts, + 24 volts and - 24 volts, + 48 volt and -48 volts simultaneously.

    ......... Phil
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Guest

    Do you mean the things you stick in the wall power outlet, to power
    small appliances?
    AC means alternating current, DC means direct current - you can look
    those up.
    The power supplies, as they are sometimes called, can be of either type.
    Some appliances are happy to run on AC, for example low-voltage lights.
    Other appliances need DC - for example those that can use batteries as well.
    AC power supplies are just transformers that change the higher voltage
    to a lower one.
    DC power supplies have added circuitry, to make the AC to DC conversion,
    called rectification. They might also have filter components to provide
    smoother output, and regulation circuitry to provide more constant
    voltage. More complicated supplies change the line frequency to
    something much higher, before transformation. This results in a smaller
    power supply.
  4. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest


    ** **** off - imbecile.

    ......... Phil
  5. Jordan

    Jordan Guest

    I don't get it, so no thanks!
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