Connect with us

Reduce Voltage?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by mopar, Apr 30, 2005.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. mopar

    mopar Guest

    I am working on a home surveillance system and I need to do a DC
    voltage reduction. I have a supply that is 12v DC @ 80 ma and need to
    reduce the voltage to a max of 9v @ 80 & 120 ma (variable load).
    As I understand I can do this with a resistor? If so, what size and
    should it be in parallel or in series between the supply and device?
  2. Actually you can't do that at all. You have 12V @ 80mA available. That means
    that you have P = V*I = 960mW available. If you need 9V @ 120mA, then that
    means that you need 1080mW, which is more power than you have available.

    If you can live with 9V @ 80 mA output, or if you can come up with 12V @ 120
    mA input, then you can use a three-terminal voltage regulator, for example a

    Hook it up like the datasheet shows in the figure at the bottom left of p.
    5. Connect pin 1 to +12V (the positive wire of your +12V supply), connect
    pin 2 to ground (the negative wire of your +12V supply), and you will get
    +9V between pin 3 and pin 2.

    The datasheet shows some capacitors at the input and output; it might work
    without them but it would be better if you put them in. The values are not
    critical; anything over 0.1uF will do for either cap.

    You can buy the 7809 from Digikey (, but it is very
    common so you can probably find it locally too. Get it in the TO-220F
    package (see the picture on the first page of the datasheet).

    A resistor would drop the voltage, but the voltage drop would depend on the
    current, so the voltage at the load would depend on how much current the
    load was drawing. That probably isn't what you want, though it might still

  3. mopar said
    You're asking the resistor to drop the excess voltage at the current
    of interest. That makes the resistor between (12V-9V)/80mA =~38 OHMS
    to (12V-9V)/120mA = ~25 OHMS. The power rating should be (12V-9V)*
    120mA=360mW. It's placed in series with the load.

    That being said, that is a poor way to drop the voltage. It ignores
    things such as surge current which may yield an excessive voltage
    drop under transient loads. A better idea might be to series several
    diodes (12V-9V)/0.6V= ~5 diodes.

    Note you're going to violate the current rating of your 12V PS. I'd
    pick up a cheap 9V PS from Rat-Shack or something. They're dirt

Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day