I am going to show you a small Zener diode voltage regulator circuit with PCB. They use a transistor and Zener diode as main parts.
When I want a fixed DC source circuit or DC voltage regulator, for the normal electronic circuits. For example, preamplifier, digital circuit, etc.
Often I use these simple components in my store. Because they are quick and save money. It is one of the best choices.
Why should we use this circuit
See in the circuit below. Why should we use this circuit?
- The constant output of 12 volts, at a max output current of 1A.
- The input voltage, you can select both AC (12V to 15V) and DC (15V to 18V)
- It’s flexible. Read more below!
Here are a few related posts you might want to read:
Small Zener diode voltage regulator circuit
Because I like to see you grow up. This circuit came from this.
See: Fixed voltage regulator working principle
How it works
If We need to use a micro preamplifier with a power amplifier. Which it uses a supply 12V 0.5A. We can connect the input terminal to a sec of the transformer.
First, the ACV comes to rectifier bridge, D1 through D4, rectifies the AC into pulsating DC.
Second, the capacitor-C1 will smooth that pulsating DC into a steady DC.
Third, this DC flows through resistor-R1 and Zener diodes-ZD1. The R2 reduce a current for ZD1 until it has a constant voltage at VZ, 12V.
While there is 12V at the base of transistor-Q1. Since it is in a common collector. So the voltage of base(VB) equals the voltage of emitter(VE).
But while It is conducting, the electrical current flows through B-E. There is the voltage across B-E, 0.6V. Thus, the VE or output voltage is reduced to 11.4V.
When the load makes the output of voltage changes. But the gain of Q1 will make the VE to be the constant voltage.
How to build it
Highlights of this circuit are so small in size. See in below the copper PCB layout. You need to print it in 300dpi per inch. Then, solder the components on PCB as layout below.
Actual-size of Single-sided Copper PCB layout
Component layout for the PCB
It is easy, I believe you can do.
Why is it flexible?
Many flexible you should build it.
We can change the output of voltage by ZD1 such as 6V, 9V, 10V. Its power is 1W.
What is least Input voltage? We need to increase input voltage by at least 1.25 times of output. For example, If the output is 15V, The input will equal about DC19V (15V x 1.25) or AC15V.
Check out these related circuits, too:
- 5V converter circuit using Zener and transistor
- Variable Zener diode circuit
- 5 volts Lab Power supply for beginner
We change a voltage of C1 (WVDC) to be 2 times of input. For example, the input is 18V, WVDC should be about 35V. The C1 is 470uF 35V Electrolytic capacitor.
However, we not should use the input voltage more than 25V. Because while the circuit is working will too hot. We cannot use the big heatsink. It is not a small size, it doesn’t our concept at the beginning.
Some friends does not clear about AC in. In these circuits, you can use them 2 form. As the image below. It is different the place of the power switch and fuse. You can use both forms.
It is important that you have a voltage transformer rating and the output DC voltage.
You need to use 12V 0.5A DC voltage. You should use the secondary coil of the transformer at least 12V. Because when it is converted into DC. The voltage will be about 17V.
From mathematical formulas:
DCV = 1.4V x ACV
For the output current. You should use a transformer at least 0.5A. But 0.75A current is better.
Also, we want you to see the article below they are related.
Zener Diode Dual rail voltage regulator
The voltages directly available are from a dual-rail +14V/0V/-14V supply at a maximum output current of about 200mA.
Simple dual-rail voltage regulator using Zener diode circuit diagram
When electrical current flow to the Zener diode in the reverse breakdown voltage. Making the voltage across it is the constant—voltage regulator—to a load.
In the circuit above, it is so easy.
There is an unregulated DC power supply here. They consist of step-down transformer T1, a full-wave rectifier bridge(D1 through D4), and a filtering circuit made up of a capacitor-C1, a resistors-R1.
When 220V/120VAC comes to transformer-T1 through the ON-OFF switch-S1 and Fuse-F1 is a overload protection of circuit. The T1 changes 220VAC to about 30VAC (15V+15V).
Then, the rectifier bridge, D1 through D4, rectifies the AC into pulsating DC.
Next, the capacitor-C1 will smooth that pulsating DC into a steady DC. Which it is the unregulated DC voltage of about 43 volts.
The resistor-R1 connects with C1 together in series. They are a so well low filter.
After that, the DC voltage flows through R2 and ZD1. The resistor-R2 limit current for Zener diodes ZD1 and the load.
Now the voltage(VZ) across ZD1 is the constant voltage of about 28 volts.
Perform maintain one’s position voltage. Be stable and use the principle of divide Voltage. But this voltage still single rail supply.
Next, the two 47 ohms resistors, R2 and R3, it is the easiest way to do this. Dual resistors form a voltage divider. They provide a reference voltage at the output of +14V/0V/-14V.
This circuit is not suitable for a high current load. The output current is less than 200mA.
What is more?
See other circuits use Zener Diode Regulators
Even more importantly. What is better this?
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