Power Supplies


household battery for PC hobbyist power supply     No matter what project you embark on in the world of PC automation and robotics you will need some form of electrical power. Although very often considered as an afterthought to the more exciting design choices in the project it forms one of the key components in any design. A power supply can be as simple as a battery or as complex as a fully variable, regulated DC source with current limiting, auto load sensing and adjustment. Whatever the project , the power supply is much more than just a convenient on/off switch. PC power suppy choice comparison ATXThe wrong choice of power supply can make the electronics project useless. Take , for example, the use of an unregulated DC mains adaptor to power a hi-fi amplifier. Although it would deliver the correct voltage and sufficient current , the inherent ripple variations in voltage would be amplified and would end up perhaps even louder than the music coming from the speakers.
bench power supply with auto load compensation and current limiting     Power supplies can also be dangerous. 240v and even 120v AC sources can kill if not treated with caution. The golden rule is "safety first". If you are not sure then seek advice from a qualified person. Even the humble battery can carry it's own dangers. I remember once tossing a 9v battery (the small rectangular PP3 type) into a toolbox only to find smoke appearing about 10 minutes later. It had fallen on top of some wire wool which had shorted out the terminals and the maximum current from the battery was flowing through the very fine strands of wire causing them to glow red hot !
    In this section we will try to present a summary of the wide range of power supplies available and the considerations needed in making your project choices. We will not delve too deeply into the world of power supply design but we will present some hobbyist circuit techniques that can be used to construct simple, useful and cost effective power supplies for everyday use.


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