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1 Bob York

ECE 2B Lab #2

Lab 2
Dual -Out put Li near
Pow er Suppl y

Over vi ew
In this lab you will construct a regulated DC power supply to provide a low-ripple adjustable
dual-output voltage in the range 5-12 VDC at 0.2 Amps (maximum) load current from a 120
VAC power outlet. This will be used to provide power to circuits you will construct in later
labs in ECE 2.

Figure 2-1 Photo of the finished product (some components not shown).

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Power supplies are essential components of any microelectronic system. This lab is
intended to provide a basic understanding of the design and operation of linear supplies, and
techniques for construction of hardwired electronic circuit modules. In this lab you will gain
experience with:
Power transformers
Diode bridge rectifiers
Capacitive loading for ripple rejection
Use of IC voltage regulators
Basic soldering techniques
The objective of the lab is not simply to create a working circuit; it is to learn about circuits.
So, as you progress through the lab, try to understand the role of each component, and how
the choice of component value may influence the operation of the circuit. Ask yourself
questions such as: Why is this resistor here? Why was this particular integrated circuit
chosen? How could the system be improved? It is only when you can answer such questions
that you will progress towards designing your own circuits.

Tabl e of Cont ent s
Background information 3
Basics of Linear Power Supply Design 3
Voltage Regulation 4
Pre-lab Preparation 6
Before Coming to the Lab 6
Parts List 6
Full Schematic and Board Layout for Lab #2 7
In-Lab Procedure 8
2.1 AC Power Transformer 8
2.2 Full-Wave Bridge Rectifier 9
2.3 Filtering Capacitors 10
2.4 Adjustable Voltage Regulators 12
LM317 Positive Regulator Circuit 12
LM337 Negative Regulator Circuit 13
2.5 Finishing Touches 14
Optional Enclosure 14

Background information 3
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Bac k gr ound i nf or mat i on
Basics of Linear Power Supply Design
The simplest type of DC power supply is a so-called linear supply, shown schematically in
Figure 2-2.
A transformer is used to step down the AC line voltage to a smaller peak voltage
V , which must be somewhat larger than the ultimately desired DC output. A diode circuit
rectifies the AC signal and a capacitive filter bank is then used to smooth or filter the
rectified sinusoid, producing a waveform with predominant DC component. Under normal
loading conditions there is always some residual periodic variation or ripple in the filtered
signal. If the application requires very low ripple and constant DC output over a wide range
of loading conditions, then active regulation is required to further reduce or eliminate this
residual ripple. Most active regulator circuits will require a certain minimum input-output
voltage differential for proper operation.
Load Regulator Filter Rectifier
To AC line

Figure 2-2 Components of a typical linear power supply
In Lab 1 we discussed diode rectifiers so the transformer and rectifier combination should
be easy to understand. Lets therefore start by focusing on the selection of the shunt
capacitor. Figure 2-3 shows an
unregulated supply with a full-
wave bridge rectifier followed by
a filtering capacitor C and a load
resistance R connected at the
output terminals (thus forming an
RC time constants). By making
the shunt capacitance big enough
we can insure that the time-
constant for discharging the
capacitor through the load is long
compared to the oscillation period, so the output remains approximately constant. In this way
the capacitor effectively filters out the rapidly varying component of the rectified sinusoid
to produce a nearly constant DC voltage.

This is a simple but somewhat bulky and inefficient power-supply. So-called switch-mode or
switching power supplies are more compact and efficient, but a bit more difficult to understand.
Transformer Bridge Rectifier

Figure 2-3 Simple DC supply without active regulation.
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The detailed action of the
filter capacitor and load
resistor combination is shown
in Figure 2-4. As the
rectified sinusoidal waveform
begins to increase the
capacitor charges up and the
voltage across it increases.
On the downward portion of
the rectified waveform the
capacitor discharges into the
load and the voltage across it decreases. The cycle then repeats, resulting in a periodic ripple
of magnitude V A in the output waveform. To minimize this voltage droop, we must
choose a sufficiently large capacitor so that the RC time constant is much greater than the
oscillation period 1/ T f = . Clearly the choice of this capacitor is critically dependent on the
load resistance, or maximum desired load current. As the load resistance goes down, the
required capacitance goes up. Another equivalent way to understand this point is as follows:
during the time period when the rectified sinusoid is low, the load current required to
maintain a constant output voltage must come entirely from the stored charge on the
capacitor. If the load requires a large current, a large amount of charge must be stored,
requiring a large capacitor.
We can quantify these points in a simple way using the governing equation for a capacitor.
During the discharging period the current is related to the capacitance and voltage droop by

/ 2 2 2
V dV V I T
dt T V R f V
= ~ = =
where we assumed that the voltage droop was relatively small so that the derivative could be
approximated. This equation can be used to find the required filtering capacitance for a given
load current and desired voltage droop. Clearly we can never make V A zero with practical
capacitors, and hence there is always some residual voltage droop. That brings us to a
discussion of active regulator circuits.
Voltage Regulation
An active regulator circuit is
inserted between the filtering
capacitor and the load as
shown in Figure 2-5. There
are many different ways of
achieving active regulation;
we describe one simple
scheme, outlined in Figure
2-6. The basic idea is to use feedback to control the amount of current going to the load. In
the figure, a voltage-controlled pass resistor is used to control the current flow (this is
usually realized with a transistor). A differential amplifier (such as an op-amp) compares the
output signal against a reference voltage (provided by a zener diode in this case) and
generates an error signal based on this difference. The action of this negative feedback
loop forces the output to remain constant at some value that is proportional to
V , where the
proportionality factor is set by the resistor divider at the output. If the output goes too high,
Charging Discharging
Figure 2-4 Effect of the filtering capacitor on the rectified
sinusoid under resistive loading conditions.
Transformer Bridge Rectifier
Figure 2-5 Use of active regulators to minimize ripple or droop.
Background information 5
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the series pass resistance is increased; if the output goes too low, the pass resistance is
reduced. These kinds of circuits can operate
very quickly, stabilizing the output even when
the unregulated DC input may fluctuate
Power supplies with very low ripple can be
made using active regulation, but please note
that the conceptual regulator schematic Figure
2-6 leaves out many important details, e.g. the
implementation of the voltage-controlled
resistor, or the biasing of the difference
amplifier. Such details can increase the
complexity of the circuit significantly.
Practical regulator circuits may also include additional functionality such as current limiting,
where the output current is not allowed to exceed a certain threshold, and thermal shutdown
in which case the output is shut off if the temperature of the circuit exceeds a certain
threshold. Designers of regulator circuits may also use more sophisticated circuits to produce
a stable reference voltage. Nowadays it is rare to design your own regulator circuit from
scratch since there are many useful ICs on the market that were designed specifically for this
purpose. You will use two of them in this lab, the LM317 and LM337.
The kind of regulator weve just discussed is simple and easy to use, but is very
inefficient. To operate correctly the input voltage must be substantially higher than the
output voltage. For example, a regulated 5V output might require an unregulated 9V input,
so at a load current of 1A there would be 4Watts dissipated in the regulator circuit. In
addition to being very inefficient (5W out/9W in = 56% in this example), the regulator circuit
will get very hot and require special provisions for heat removal. These kinds of problems
are overcome nowadays using switch-mode power supplies, but these circuits are a bit more
difficult to understand. We will explore a simple type of switching converter in Lab 5.
The final point of discussion concerns making dual DC supplies with both positive and
negative output voltages. This is usually done using a center-tapped transformer, shown in
Figure 2-7, where a third
wire is attached to the
middle of the secondary
winding. If this terminal is
taken as the common
ground point in the
secondary circuit, then the
voltages taken at opposite
ends of the winding will be
positive or negative with
respect to this point. We
can then add separate
positive and negative regulator circuits as shown. Many op-amp circuits have historically
used dual-output power supplies of this type. It is possible to add additional circuitry to force
the outputs to track each other precisely, so that the positive and negative supply voltages
are exactly the same in magnitude; this is often used in precision instrumentation or high-
quality audio applications. We will not construct this type of tracking power supply. Instead,
we will make two independently adjustable positive and negative output voltages.
Voltage-controlled resistor

Figure 2-6 A simple active regulator
(conceptual schematic).
Figure 2-7 Basic dual-supply system using a center-tapped
transformer and two regulators. Note the polarity of the filtering
capacitor in the negative supply circuit in the figure above.
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Pr e-l ab Pr epar at i on
Before Coming to the Lab
Read through the lab experiment to familiarize yourself with the components and assembly
sequence. Before coming to the lab, each lab group should obtain a parts kit from the ECE
Shop. If you have not yet done so, remember to purchase a soldering iron (one for each
group) stand, and roll of solder, as well as small tools (wire cutter/stripper, needle-nose pliers,
screwdriver, etc.). As of 2007 all ECE labs at UCSB use lead-free solder, and this requires a
somewhat more expensive soldering iron than you might find at a local hardware store.
Optional: simulate the regulated supply using Circuit Maker or MultiSim (circuit files
available on the course web site).
Parts List
This kit has a lot of parts. Be sure you have all the parts below and can identify each
component. If you do not have some of the resistors in your kit, please locate the correct
values in the resistor cabinet in the lab.

Qty Description
1 Power Transformer (output 18VCT @1A)
1 In-line 3AG fuse housing, #18 wi re
1 120V 3-prong power cord w/pigtail
2 3AG Fuse, 0.5A 250V
1 SPST Power Switch
4 Sili con Rectifier Di odes, 1N4002 (1A, 100V, DO-41)
1 LM317T 3-terminal Adj . Pos Regulator (TO-220)
1 LM337T 3-terminal Adj . Neg. Regulator (TO-220)
1 Red LED (T1 3/4, 20mA)
1 Green LED (T1 3/4, 20mA)
2 5k trimpot (Bourns 3/8" thumbwheel type)
2 470-Ohm 1/4 Watt resistor
2 1k-Ohm 1/4 Watt resistor
2 10uF 25V electrolytic capaci tor (PC lead)
4 1000uF 35V electrolytic capacitors (PC l ead, 0.197" (5mm) spacing)
1 0.1-Ohm, 0.5 Watt resistor
2 4-40 1/4" machine screw (for transformer)
2 4-40 nuts
2 TO-220 Heatsink (>2W @ 80C)
2 Mounting hardware for TO-220 heatsink
1 Female Header 3-pos 0.1" spacing (tin)
8 Male breakaway headers 0.1" spacing (tin)
1 PC Board (Sunstone BY001)
4 3/8" threaded standoffs (4-40)
8 machine screws 4-40, 3/16" l ong (for standoffs)
To be assembl ed by
ECE Shop w/heat-
shrink tubi ng over
120V connections

Pre-lab Preparation 7
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Full Schematic and Board Layout for Lab #2

Figure 2-8 Complete schematic for ECE 2 Dual-Output Adjustable Regulated Power Supply.

Figure 2-9 PC Board for Lab 2

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I n-Lab Pr oc edur e
Follow the instructions below CAREFULLY. Failure to do so could result in serious damage
to the lab equipment, destruction of parts, and possible injury to you and your lab partner.
Each critical step begins with a check box like the one at the left. When you complete a
step, check the associated box. Follow the instructions below and carefully document
your results for inclusion in your lab report.
2.1 AC Pow er Tr ansf or mer
You will be given a power transformer that is prewired to a 120V AC power cord with an in-
line fuse and power switch, similar to Figure 2-10. All 120V AC connections have been
covered with heat-shrink tubing to protect you from accidentally touching the leads.
Nevertheless, take care when handling these wires; do not yank or twist the connections.
There should already be a fuse in the fuse-holder, and you have extras in your parts kit.
18VCT @ 1A
Earth ground

Figure 2-10 (a) Power transformer with AC power cord and in-line fuse attached; (b) Equivalent
circuit for the assembly.
The transformers for this lab are designed for a 120 VAC input (primary) and an 18VAC
center-tapped output (secondary), and rated for ~1Amp in the secondary. The ECE shop is
always looking for the lowest cost parts so you may not receive the same transformer pictured
in Figure 2-10, and depending on the actual unit the leads may not have the same color
coding. Two possibilities are shown in Figure 2-11.
120 VAC
240 VAC

Black Blue
Blue w/

Figure 2-11 Schematics for two transformers that may be used in this lab.
If the primary has a center-tap (as for the Jameco part shown in Figure 2-10a) then one of
the leads is not needed and will be covered up by the shop (a center-tapped primary allows
the transformer to be used in other countries where wall outlets are at 240V instead of the
Full-Wave Bridge Rectifier 9
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120V U.S. standard). It is important to remember that VAC implies an rms voltage, so
18VAC means something in excess of 18 2 25.5V = peak-peak. Transformers are usually
rated conservatively at the maximum current level, and due to the properties of the magnetic
cores the output voltage may be significantly higher than the spec at low current levels.
First attach the four 3/8 hex standoffs and 3/16
4-40 machine screws (Figure 2-12) to the four
holes on the corners of the PC board. These will
keep the board elevated off the lab bench and
help avoid the possibility of accidentally shorting
some of the solder connections on the backside.
Next, use the 4-40 machine screws and nuts
to securely attach the power transformer
assembly to the circuit board. Attach the green
earth ground to the case of the transformer using
one of these screws.
Now solder the three wires for the secondary into
the appropriate place on the PC board. Do the
center-tap first. If you arent sure which wire is the center-tap, please consult with your
TA. Insert the wire through the hole and bend slightly to hold in place. Remember: a
good solder joint is shiny, with the solder flowing nicely around the wire and solder pad.
A bad joint is a easily identifiable as a dull gray lumpy blob, and occurs when the wire
and copper pad are not sufficiently hot. Trim the excess wire afterwards.
2.2 Ful l -Wave Br i dge Rec t i f i er
A full-wave diode bridge is used to rectify the
AC signal. The diodes must be capable of
sustaining the maximum expected current and
voltage. We will use a 1N400x device rated at
1A and >100V. These devices are usually
packaged as shown in Figure 2-13, with a white
band marking the cathode.
Solder the bridge rectifier (Diodes D1-D4) onto the circuit board. Carefully note the
polarity of the diodes, and trim the excess leads afterwards.
Find the breakaway header pins in your kit as shown in
Figure 2-14. They can be broken off individually with small
pliers and soldered into the various test points on the PC
board. Do this for the test points marked GND, +Rect Out,
and Rect Out (see Figure 2-9). It may help to have a lab
partner hold the pin in place with pliers while soldering.
Check to see if there is a fuse in the fuse-holder. If not, insert
one from your parts kit (you should also have a spare).
Double check your connections and soldering with a TA and
then apply AC power. Using your oscilloscope with the common (black) leads connected
to the circuit GND, record the positive and negative rectified waveforms at the +RectOut
and RectOut test points in your LAB RECORD, taking care to note the peak amplitude
Figure 2-12 PC Board standoffs.
Figure 2-13 Diode symbol and axial-lead
package markings. A 1N4005 is shown here
Figure 2-14 Breakaway
header pins.
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in each case. Also note and record the oscillation period (in milliseconds) and mark on
your graph. You may observe some distortion in the rectified sinusoid.
Note: If at any time your circuit doesnt appear to be
working, first check the fuse! Errors in assembly or
soldering during the lab may lead to a short-circuit which
might blow the fuse. If this happens (and it often does), be
sure to identify and fix the error before replacing the fuse.
2.3 Fi l t er i ng Capac i t or s
The next step is to smooth the rectified waveform to obtain a constant DC voltage. By
adding a sufficiently large shunt capacitance at the output of the bridge rectifier we can insure
that the time-constant for discharging the capacitor through the load is long compared to the
oscillation period. Clearly the loading conditions play a big role in determining the required
size of the filtering capacitor. If the load resistance is small, a large capacitor is needed to
keep the RC time constant sufficiently large.
Another way of thinking about this is that the
capacitor must supply all the current to the load
during the time that the rectified signal is low. If
the load resistance is small it will draw a
significant current, thus requiring a large
capacitor to store the necessary charge.
Large capacitors are usually of the
electrolytic type as shown in Figure 2-15. Recall
from ECE2A that these have a specific
polarization and maximum voltage. Markings
on the case indicate which lead is positive (+) or negative (-), as well as the capacitance
value and maximum voltage. Remember:
Mounting the capacitor backwards or exceeding the maximum
voltage WILL cause the device to explode, sometimes
dramatically and dangerously.
In addition, since large-value capacitors can store a lot of charge they are capable of
delivering an unpleasant electrostatic zap. In this lab we will eventually provide a resistive
discharge path for the capacitors through some LEDs, but as a general precaution:
Avoid touching the leads on a large electrolytic after it has been charged
With the power off, add one of the electrolytic capacitors (C1 and C3) at the outputs of
the bridge rectifier, with a small 0.1 resistor (Rs) in series with C1 as shown in Figure
2-16. Solder the components in place after double-checking the capacitor polarity.
Attach the power resistor decade box as the load impedance on the positive supply output
as shown in Figure 2-16, and adjust to 555,555O. This setting will protect you initially
against accidentally shorting out the supply circuit.
Now turn on the power and record the output voltage with a multimeter. Examine the
output waveform on the oscilloscope. For this large load resistance the output voltage
should be almost perfectly constant. The capacitor charges quickly to this peak value, and
the small load current does not discharge the capacitor significantly.
Long-lead is positive
- sign on package
indicates negative lead
Value and voltage rating
printed on package
Long-lead is positive
- sign on package
indicates negative lead
Value and voltage rating
printed on package

Figure 2-15 Electrolytic capacitor.
Filtering Capacitors 11
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Our objective is to supply at
least 200mA at the maximum
DC voltages. What is the
smallest load resistance that we
can use without exceeding 0.2
A? (Hint: use Ohms law).
Record this value in your
notebook, and set the decade
box to this value and record the
output voltage waveform. You
should see evidence of voltage
droop. It may help to AC couple
the scope input so you can
expand the vertical scale. Record the droopy waveform in your notebook.
Observe and record the voltage waveform across the sense resistor Rs at the test point
marked Charging Transient. You may want to add another of the breakaway header
pins to make it easier to connect to this node. Using a small series resistance is a
common way of measuring or sensing the current flow in a certain path without
significantly perturbing the circuit. From your measurement, calculate the peak current
flowing into the capacitor during the charging period, and record this in your notebook.

Before proceeding, turn off the AC power!!

In order for our voltage regulator to work effectively, the input voltage must stay well
above the maximum desired output DC voltage, so we must keep the voltage droop small.
What is the minimum required capacitance that will maintain <1V ripple under maximum
current (minimum load resistance) conditions? Record this in your notebook, and solder
extra capacitors (C2 & C4 in Figure 2-8) as needed.
Power up and record the output waveforms under maximum current (minimum load
resistance) conditions with the additional capacitors in place. Repeat this step for the
negative supply output as well.

Before proceeding, turn off the AC power!!

Now add the LEDs and associated bias resistors (R3 and R6; see the complete schematic
in Figure 2-8). Be sure to insert them in the correct polarity! The PC should indicate
the orientation of the flat, but if you arent sure about the polarity, ask the TA or review
information in Lab 1. The LEDs here serve a dual purpose: they not only indicate when
the circuit is on and functioning, they also help discharge the large capacitors when the
power is disconnected. When you are finished, turn on the circuit to verify that the LEDs
are functioning, then turn off the power: you will observe that the LEDs continue to stay
light for a brief period while the capacitors are discharging.
18VCT @ 1A

Figure 2-16 Schematic relevant to most of step 2.3; use
the bench decade box for the load resistance
R .
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2.4 Adj ust abl e Vol t age Regul at or s
LM317 Positive Regulator Circuit
We will use two popular voltage regulator ICs the LM317 (positive voltage) and LM337
(negative voltage). Figure 2-17 shows a portion of the data sheet showing a typical
connection for an adjustable positive supply using the LM317. The resistor divider provides
feedback to the IC proportional to the output voltage, so that it can increase or decrease the
current as needed. The chip is designed so that the output voltage is given by

1.25 1 0.0001 2
| |
= + +
\ .
In our circuit we are using
470 for R1; can you see why?
Calculate the range of
V that
you can expect from (2.2) for
the input voltage that you
measured in the previous
The datasheet provides
guidance on selecting the two
capacitors shown in Figure
2-17. The capacitor at the V

terminal is only recommended
if the device is more than 6
inches from the filter capacitors,
and a capacitance at the V

terminal of 1-100F is
recommended (we chose 10F).
Before soldering the LM317
into place, attach it to the
small aluminum heatsink
using the mounting
hardware included in your
kit. If your heatsink has
mounting tabs like the one
shown in Figure 2-18, either
break them off or orient
them upwards away from
the PC board. Note the
insulating gasket is not
critical in this circuit; these are only necessary when it is important to electrically isolate
the metal case of the LM317 (here at V
potential) from the heatsink.
Note: heatsinking of active devices is always critical for the circuit to function properly and
to maintain a long operating lifetime. Since this is an adjustable regulator, the output DC
voltage can be significantly different from the input voltage. This means that there may be a
large voltage drop across the device (
out in
V V ). This voltage drop multiplied by the
maximum load current is the maximum power that must be dissipated. Heatsinks provide

Figure 2-17 Circuit connection for LM317 adjustable
regulator and pin assignments in the TO-220 package.
Figure 2-18 Heatsink and mounting hardware, and photo of
the assembled regulator circuit in place.
Adjustable Voltage Regulators 13
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additional surface area to help remove the waste heat by convection to the surrounding air.
For a given power dissipation, the heatsinks must be designed to keep the device case
temperature below some value specified in the datasheet. The small heatsink we are using is
specified to keep the temperature rise below 80C at power levels less than a few Watts.
With AC power disconnected,
solder the additional regulator
components (C5, R1-R2, and the
LM317) into the positive supply
circuit as shown in Figure 2-19.
Resistor R2 is an adjustable trimmer
potentiometer or trimpot, which
can be adjusted from 0-5kO. You
may also wish to add male header
pins to the test point marked Vout.
Connect the power resistor decade
box to the output terminal to provide
a >100kO load. Power up the
circuit. Using a multimeter to monitor the DC output voltage, adjust R2 and record the
range of DC output voltages obtainable.
Set the output voltage to around +12V and reduce the load resistance to give a current of
0.2A). Now observe the output voltage waveform on the oscilloscope. You should no
longer observe any large droop in the waveform, since the IC regulator is working to
maintain a constant output voltage. Zoom in on the waveform using your oscilloscope
(AC couple the input and expand the scale): you can still see some residual ripple, but it
is very small; nevertheless, in high gain, high sensitivity circuits, such minor supply
irregularities can cause problems. Bigger filter capacitors and more complex voltage
regulation is required to reduce this ripple further.
Now adjust the output voltage to +5V and adjust the load resistance for 0.2A at this new
output voltage. Leave the circuit on for about 5 min., and then touch the heatsink on the
LM317 (if you left off the insulating washer the heatsink will only be at +12V potential
which is harmless). Is it warm?

Before proceeding, turn off the AC power!!

LM337 Negative Regulator Circuit
Repeat the above assembly steps for the negative supply regulator circuit using the
LM337. You may wish to consult the full schematic in Figure 2-8 and the data sheet for
the LM337. Note that the pin assignments for the LM337 is different than the LM317.
Turn on the AC power and verify the correct operation of the negative regulator circuit
with a multimeter. You do not need to repeat the steps involving waveform observations
and loading effects.
Wiper Wiper
Figure 2-19 Positive regulator circuit and the
thumbwheel-type potentiometer used for R2.
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2.5 Fi ni shi ng Touc hes
The last step makes the circuit a little easier for us to use later on:
Your kit should have a 3-terminal female header block
similar to the one shown in Figure 2-20. Solder this into
the designated place on the PC board. Although these
headers are designed to mate with the male header pins
used earlier, they also work really well with the
#22AWG jumper wires that we use with our solderless
breadboards. So this header block allows for very
convenient power connections to the solderless
Finally, demonstrate your working power supply to the
Optional Enclosure
In practical prototyping work it is smart practice to complete a circuit by placing it in an
enclosure of some sort. This protects the circuit and also provides a convenient surface for
attaching indicator lights, output terminals, fuses, switches, buttons, etc. While it is not
necessary for this lab, the shop does sell some suitable enclosures and associated hardware
for this lab.
Congr at ul at i ons!
You have now c ompl et ed Lab 2

Notes on the Report
Important items for inclusion and discussion include (but are not limited to) the following:
Bridge Rectifier: Include plots or sketches of the measured and annotated rectified
waveforms. (simple grids are provided in the powerpoint file Lab 2 pics).
Filter capacitors: Describe the unregulated open-circuit output voltage and the load
resistance for a 0.2A load current. Include plots or sketches of the voltage waveforms
under maximum load current conditions, and discuss the capacitance required to achieve
<1V droop under these conditions. Also include the charging current waveform
measured with the help of the sense resistor Rs.
Regulator circuits: What range of output voltages were you able to realize? What was
the residual output ripple under maximum output conditions (12V @ 0.2A)?

Figure 2-20 Female header
block for output connections.