The Spark Gap Podcast - Episode 3

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Show Synopsis

Karl and Corey discuss the basics of how to power your electronic circuits.
Linear Regulators, LDOs, and Switch Mode Power Supplies are explained.
Traps for new engineers and hobbyist working with power supplies are lamented.

Wallwarts - unregulated outputs

Creepage and Clearance

What is Creepage and Clearance? from Texas Instruments

A look at the dangers of buying cheap phone chargers

Simple calculator to determine the minimum creepage and clearance requirements.

Reverse Polarity DC Jacks

Apparently, polarity is a big issue when using Guitar Pedals. I have found quite a few stories of damaged equipment due to the wrong style of wallwart being used:

One of the 10 ways to destroy an Arduino:

Reverse Polarity Protection Schemes

ATX Power Supply Breakout Board

Power Factor Correction

Most of the post on the Internet are more concerned about saving money on electrical bills by using PFC. I discussed the possibility of damaging other household electronics due to poor PFC. Also, I mentioned adding an inductor to cancel out a capacitor. More typically it is the other way around. Adding capacitors to cancel out an inductive load, such as a Motor.

PDF Documents dealing with PFC and AC Power Line Distortion
Videos about Power Factor Correction

Simple AC to DC Power Supply Video Tutorials

Tutorial: How to build and design an AC to DC Power Adapter / Supply

AC to DC Power Supply - Breadboard to Prototype board.

Diode Tutorial & How to build an AC to DC power supply

Linear Regulator Basics Apps Notes.

Linear Regulator Basics from Texas Instruments

Linear Regulator Basics from Linear Technologies

Famous Linear Regulator Video Tutorials

LM7805 5V Fixed Output Linear Regulator

LM317 Adjustable Output Linear Regulator

LDO Basics and Stability

How to Successfully Apply Low-Dropout Regulators from Analog Technology

The Right LDO for Your Application from Texas Instruments

LDO Regulator Stability Using Ceramic Output Capacitors from Texas Instruments

Dave Jones Comparing Linear to SM Power Supplies

Episode 90

Episode 95

Precision Vref

How to choose a precision voltage reference from Linear.

Large collection of voltage reference circuits from Linear.

An example of using a precision voltage reference in an ADC circuit from Texas Instruments

Switch Mode Power Supplies

Interesting series of 3 SMPS tutorials from “The Post Apocalyptic Inventor”

Charge Pumps

Simplified Charge Pump Theory

DC-DC Conversion Without Inductors i.e. Charge Pumps from Maxim

Properties of the Charge-Pump Voltage Splitter (i.e. buck) from Maxim

Buck Converter

Buck Converter Basics

Buck-Converter Design Demystified

How to Apply DC-to-DC Step-Down (Buck) Regulators Successfully from Analog Devices

Switch Mode Power Supply Topologies: The Buck Converter from Microchip

Placing a Linear Regulator in front of a SMPS

Discussion from Jim Williams about minimizing the residual noise on the Linear Regulator’s output.

Load Regulation and Line Regulation

Understanding the Terms and Definitions of LDO Voltage Regulators from Texas Instruments

Regulated Power Supply Characteristics

Accurately Measuring Line and Load Regulation of DC-DC Converters

Boost Converter

Switch-mode Boost Converter Video Tutorial

Dave Jones trying to find the right boost converter

Buck Boost

Animated Video Tutorial on Buck-Boost converters

Design Calculations for Buck/Boost Converters from TI

SEPIC - DC/DC Converter

Designing DC/DC converters based on SEPIC topology from Texas Instruments

Designing a SEPIC Converter from Texas Instruments

Analyzing the SEPIC Converter

A review of SEPIC Buck Boost DC/DC Converter bought from Ebay