Connect with us

Transformers and regulators

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Abstract Dissonance, Feb 12, 2006.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Since I could not get the dual split power supply voltages I needed from one
    of my transformers I decided to use two "smaller" ones but with higher
    voltage in series to get a larger voltage to work with.

    Basicaly I had only [email protected] and switched to using two [email protected] in
    series to give me +-40 volts to work with. Basicaly I combined them so that
    I have like one large transformer that gives me [email protected] I figure for now
    I don't need that much power but I do need atleast +-30 volts to play around
    with(as most of my projects will be small circuits). Later on I can worry
    about making a better PSU but for now I just want to get something done.

    Anyways, after hooking up the transformers in "series" on the secondary side
    and "parallel" on the primary and putting them through a bridge rectifier
    and through two caps I end up measuring about +-60V at about
    115Vrms(Actually about 56V).

    Now I ended up with a new issue ;/ The voltage regulators I plan on using
    all are rated at max 40V input cts.(they will be variable regulators too,
    not that it matters much).

    So I have ~20V's(depending on the mains voltage of around 105-125Vrms) to do
    something with. I don't think that I can put those extra volts across the
    regulators? ;/ Ofcourse with a load the voltage will drop but can the
    regulators handle it?(I only have about 5 regulators of that type so I can't
    really blow them up to find out). If the max voltage is to prevent some
    type of heading issue then I think it might be ok since I have adaquate
    cooling(although maybe not).

    Although I guess I could reconfigure the secondary transformers in series to
    lose that 20V

    ------ VoA

    --- CTA

    ----- |
    ----- |

    --- CTB

    ------ VoB

    Thats my configuratio now with with CT's not connected...

    but I guess I could do

    ------ VoA

    --- CTA

    ----- |
    ----- |

    --- VoB

    ------ CTB

    which should drop some of the voltage(~20V)?

    This will make it unsymmetric though and I'll have something like -40 +60 ;/

    I tried to figure out how to connect the transformers in a way so that I
    have +-40V but I can't seem to get it to work with a common ground. i.e., if
    I act like I'm building two seperate power supplies I can easily get +40 on
    one and -40 on the other but then when I try to hook up the grounds I end up
    getting shorts. If I use a full wave rectifier then that cuts my voltage
    down to 20V or so which isn't acceptable(I need ~40V).

    So my main question is if its acceptable to put a higher voltage into the
    regulator than it says on the datasheet when there is no load? Cause last
    time I posted about something like this you guys said that the transformer
    gives more output voltage than normal at no load conditions cause it will
    drop anyways. So can I expect a all those "extra" volts to drop enough not
    to cause problems?

    Also, I'm a little confused on how to figure this stuff out. If, say, my
    transformer has a turns ratio of N and an input voltage in rms of VPrms then
    the output voltage would be VPrms/N but when I go through the bridge
    rectification process I get sqrt(2)*VPrms/N for my peak output. When I
    filter that I get ~ sqrt(2)*VPrms/N.

    So say for VPrms = 115VAC with N = 2.875 which corresponds do a 115VAC to
    40VAC step down transformer(?) I have a DC voltage on my filters of about
    57VDC. So if I really wanted 40VDC comming out of my filters to use in my
    regulators I should have gotten a "smaller" transformer? Or get a regulator
    that can handle it but I have several such as the LM317/LM337, 78XX/79XX,
    LM2931 and they all have max about 40VDC input. (which means that my 40VAC
    transformer is to much for them?)

    (so my 25.2VAC transformer will give me about 35VDC which is atleast under
    what I need(so I can regulate to betwee 1.25n and 32VDC which is better than
    burning up my regulator... but unfortunately I only have 1 of those
    transformers so I can't get - polarity without having to cut those values in
    1/2... which is not acceptable).

    Ultimately I guess what you guys are going to say is get the right
    components. Unfortunately at the moment I can't and need to work with what
    I've got. I know I have to compromise but I think I have to have +-40VDC and
    atleast 100mA(which should keep me busy for a while until I can get the
    right parts for the job).

    Thanks for any help,
  2. I guess what I'm saying is it seems a little misleading when you see the
    transformers secondary voltage as something like V VCT since it represents
    VACrms and if you use in DC then your output voltage after your bridge and
    filter won't be V but V*sqrt(2)(assuming basic full wave bridge rectifier
    and stuff).

    So in reality for 40VDC I need ~ 28VAC on the secondary? (So next time I
    order some parts I can look for that).

    (and what I mean by misleading is not if you know but if you don't know you
    might get confused that you would get that on the output and wind up with
    something larger than you expect. Not that its really misleading so don't
    get on my case about "Well, it not misleading to me." i.e., when I brought
    the transformers and I saw 40VCT I didn't think of it has AC but DC for some
    stupid reason(probably since this is my first excursion into electronics and
    I don't have much experience... probably not a good enough excuse for some
    of you guys though).. sure, my fault, I know.).

  3. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Hi, Jon. First off, here are a couple of resources that could probably
    help you better understand the whole transformer-rectifier-filter

    For the first link, also read the following sections to see types of
    transformer-rectifier-filter configurations. The second link is a
    4-page appnote from Signal transformer on these issues. I would guess
    you might want to print that out and keep it in your reference binder
    -- it's that good. These will answer your questions on this post.

    A power supply is one of those essentials you have to have on the
    bench. It might be better to just cobble something together that will
    work for you, and spend your time learning about electronics rather
    than just getting ready to learn about electronics.This is starting to
    look like a chicken-and-egg problem.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd look at Surplus Sales of Nebraska

    and just get a couple of open frame linear power supplies, bolt them to
    the bottom of your bench, and be done with it.

    Linear open frames are almost always based on the venerable LM723, and
    have excellent line and load regulation, and remarkably low ripple.
    They're pretty much bulletproof as long as you don't connect their
    output to line voltage or connect two differing output voltages

    Here's the plan. Buy

    (PS) 10656X Linear open frame triple power supply [email protected], +/-12V to
    [email protected] $35
    (PS) IHB28-1 Linear open frame power supply [email protected] $25

    set the current limit on the 5V supply to 3A, the current limit on the
    +/-12V supplies to 1A, and the current limit on the 28VDC supply to
    1/3A. Now bolt them to the bottom of your workbench. Hook them up
    like this (view in fixed font or M$ Notepad)

    | .---------.
    | | |
    | | +senseo-------------.
    | | | A1 ___ B1 | +5V
    | SW1 | +out o--o-|_R_|-o--o---------------------------o
    | L1 _/ | +5V |
    | o-o/ o--. | |
    | | | | -out o-------------o---------------------------o
    | 120VAC| | | | | COM1
    | | o | -senseo-------------'
    | | ( | |
    | | ) | ------|
    | | o | |
    | | | | +senseo-------------.
    | | | | | A2 ___ B2 | +12V
    | | | | +out o--o-|_R_|-o--o---------------------------o
    | | '--oL1 |
    | | | +12V |
    | | | -out o-------------o---------------------------o
    | | | | | COM2
    | | | -senseo-------------o
    | o--o--)-----oL2 | |
    | L2 | | | ------| |
    | | | | | |
    | | | | +senseo-------------o
    | | | | | |
    | | | | +out o-------------'
    | | | | -12V |
    | | | | | B3 ___ A3 -12V
    | | o | -out o--o-|_R_|-o--o---------------------------o
    | | ( | | | _____
    | | ) | -senseo-------------' | | 1.2-24V
    | | o | | .---o-|LM317|--o---o------o
    | | | '---------' | +| |_____| | +|
    | | | | --- | .-. ---
    | | | .---------. | --- | 120| | ---
    | | | | | | | | | | |
    | | | | +senseo-------------o-' === | '-' ===
    | | | | | A4 ___ B4 | COM3 | | COM3
    | | | | +out o--o-|_R_|-o--' '-----o
    | | '-----oL1 +28V | |
    | | | | .-. .---o
    | | | -out o-------------. .--->| |2.5K |COM3
    | | | | | | | | |
    | '--------oL2 -senseo-------------o----. | '-' |
    | | | | | | |
    | '---------' '-----o-----o------'
    | COM3
    (created by AACircuit v1.28.6 beta 04/19/05

    using lamp zip cord to connect to a terminal box on your bench
    (2-conductor 18AWG, one for out and one for sense). Wire it up inside
    the box, with four 0.1 ohm 1% resistors
    (RWF) RW67-.1-1, 5 watts, $1.25 ea. and a set of 5-way binding posts.
    Now you can hook up the A/Bs for each resistor to a 4PDT
    break-before-make rotary switch, and have the output go to a pair of
    binding posts where you can connect your voltmeter to measure current
    (1mV = 10mA). This will be accurate to within 1% plus the accuracy of
    your meter, up to the resolution of your meter. The cool thing about
    these open frame linears is that they have remote sense, which means
    you can put a current-sense resistor in series (up to about 1/2V
    burden) without worrying about voltage drop.

    The LM317CK (use the metal TO-3 package here) can also be mounted in
    this terminal box, with the caps and the 2.5K pot. This will give you
    a 1.2-to-24VDC variable supply, which is current-limited by the open
    frame linear to 1/3A. Make sure to use a heat sink that can dissipate
    10 watts.

    Use a motor-rated AC switch to turn things on and off, and don't forget
    the fuses. 3AG 4A for the big one, 3AG 1A for the small one.

    There. You're done, and thanks to the miracle of surplus, you can
    learn about electronics with an acceptable bench power supply without
    having paid an arm and a leg. You've got good LM723-based [email protected],
    +/-12V or +/-15V (your choice) at 1A, and a variable 1.2-to-24V at 3A,
    for less than $100.

    Good luck
  4. Thanks for taking the time out to write this. I'll look into it and see what
    I can do. At the momement though I'm more interested in building a simple
    linear power suppy to use and to learn in the process of building it.
    Ofcourse my main issue is not having the proper components but sometimes you
    don't always have what you need and have to fudge it. When I go to buy a
    good PS I'll keep what you said in mind.

  5. The Canadian transformer manufacturer Hammond has a Transformer
    Selection Guide at that you
    may find useful.

    It details the relation between expected DC voltage and current
    outputs and transformer rating for various rectifier configurations.

    Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
    peterbb4 (at)
    new newsgroup users info :
    GPS and NMEA info:
    Vancouver Power Squadron:
  6. I think you're confusing things somewhat by talking about the primary
    voltage and turns ratio here. I do know that the secondary voltage is
    determined by the turns ratio, but power transformers are always
    specified by the input and output voltage - I've never seen them
    specified by turns ratio. AC voltages are always specified as RMS
    Volts (unless otherwise stated).
    If you want 40 VDC peak, then the AC peak voltage must be about 40.7
    volts for a full-wave rectifier, or 41.4 volts for a bridge (allowing
    0.7 volts drop in each diode). The required AC RMS voltage will then
    be 0.7 x 40.7 = 28.5

    Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
    peterbb4 (at)
    new newsgroup users info :
    GPS and NMEA info:
    Vancouver Power Squadron:
  7. Oops - with a full-wave rectifier, you are only using half the
    secondary at a time, so you'll need 57 Vrms, Center-tapped. If you
    want to get +/- 40 VDC from a single transformer, you'll also need 57
    volts rms, CT, since you are effectively using two full-wave
    rectifiers (although they are often drawn as a bridge.)

    Peter Bennett, VE7CEI
    peterbb4 (at)
    new newsgroup users info :
    GPS and NMEA info:
    Vancouver Power Squadron:
  8. Guest

    The reason that you have such a great loss in voltage using two
    seperate transformers is possibbly due to the AC waves are not in sync.
    If you are combining two wave forms you possibly have positve and
    negative ac voltage which are canceling each other out. In my opinion
    you should try to rectify each transformer seperatly, then connect them
    in series.
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