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Constructing the +5 Volt Supply Introduction The +5 volt supply is useful for both analog and digital circuits.

DTL, TTL, and CMOS ICs will all operate nicely from a +5 volt supply. In addition, the +5 volt supply is useful for circuits that use both analog and digital signals in various ways. More importantly for our purposes, the +5 volt supply will be used as the primary reference for regulating all of the other power supplies the we will build. We can do this very easily if we use operational amplifiers as the controlling elements in the power supply circuits. We'll see how this works after completing the basic +5 volt supply. Schematic Diagram

The +5 volt power supply is based on the commercial 7805 voltage regulator IC. This IC contains all the circuitry needed to accept any input voltage from 8 to 18 volts and produce a steady +5 volt output, accurate to within 5% (0.25 volt). It also contains current-limiting circuitry and thermal overload protection, so that the IC won't be damaged in case of excessive load current; it will reduce its output voltage instead. The 1000f capacitor serves as a "reservoir" which maintains a reasonable input voltage to the 7805 throughout the entire cycle of the ac line voltage. The two rectifier diodes keep recharging the reservoir capacitor on alternate half-cycles of the line voltage, and the capacitor is quite capable of sustaining any reasonable load in between charging pulses. The 10f and .01f capacitors serve to help keep the power supply output voltage constant when load conditions change. The electrolytic capacitor smooths out any long-term or low frequency variations. However, at high frequencies this capacitor is not very efficient. Therefore, the .01f is included to bypass high-frequency changes, such as digital IC switching effects, to ground. The LED and its series resistor serve as a pilot light to indicate when the power supply is on. I like to use a miniature LED here, so it will serve that function without being obtrusive or distracting while I'm performing an experiment. I also use this LED to tell me when the reservoir capacitor is completely discharged after power is turned off. Then I know it's safe to remove or install components for the next experiment.

Parts List
To construct and test the +5 volt power supply on your breadboard, you will need the following parts (all available from Radio Shack):

(1) 1K, -watt resistor (brown-black-red). (1) 0.01 f or larger ceramic disc capacitor. (1) 10 f, 35 volt electrolytic capacitor. (1) 1000 f, 35 volt electrolytic capacitor. (2) silicon rectifier diodes. (1) 7805 +5 volt voltage regulator IC. (1) miniature red LED. Black hookup wire. Red hookup wire. Yellow hookup wire.

You will also need your longnose pliers, diagonal cutter, wire stripper, and voltmeter.

Preparing Jumpers
One thing you'll need to do constantly for any experiments on a breadboard socket is to construct and install jumper wires. You'll need a number of different lengths, of course, but two common lengths will be 0.3" and 0.5". These lengths match the spacing between the main component area in the middle and the bus strips along the top and botton of the breadboard socket. The traditional way to create a jumper is to cut a piece of insulated wire from the roll or bundle, and then remove " of insulation from each end. This works fine for longer jumpers (2" or more), but is a problem when you try to remove insulation from the end of a 1" length of wire. You're almost guaranteed to pull off all of the insulation.

One answer is to make the jumper a bit longer and bend it as shown to the right. The added length is enough to let you hold the body of the jumper firmly while removing the " of insulation at each end. This has the added advantage that it is easy to insert and remove the jumper from the breadboard socket, or to move it from place to place during an experiment. Another advantage is that is can be positioned to avoid interference with other components on the breadboard socket. It also has the downside that the breadboard socket can get filled up with loops of jumper wire all over the place, making it more confusing in some cases.

Since the power supply will be on your breadboard socket for some time, it makes sense to build it as neatly and compactly as possible. Therefore, we'll make the jumpers as shown to the right: as short as possible and with ends bent at right angles to just fit where they need to go, wherever we can. We will use looped jumpers only where necessary. To easily make jumpers this way, start by removing about 4 to 5 inches of insulation from the end of a spool of hookup wire with the appropriate color insulation. Throw this away. Then, bend " of wire at the end into a right angle. Now, use the wire stripper to separate the required length of insulation from the main body still on the wire. As a rule of thumb, make this length to the nearest 1/16" that is shorter than the desired length of the jumper. For a 0.3" jumper, for example, you can cut " (0.25") of insulation from the current end and slide this short length of insulation up to the bend. For a 0.5" jumper, make the insulation 7/16" long. This makes it easy to use a standard ruler, marked in sixteenths of an inch, to measure the required length of insulation.

Next, bend the wire again at the end of the cut length of insulation. Finally, cut the wire " from the second bend. This will leave you with a jumper that will fit precisely into place, and will sit snugly on the surface of the breadboard socket.

Constructing the Circuit The +5 volt power supply will go on the left end of your breadboard socket. There should not be any components mounted here when you begin; the analog experiments will be mounted on a separate breadboard socket from the digital experiments, until you have constructed or obtained a comprehensive breadboarding system. As you install each part, an arrow will point to it on the assembly diagram below, and, where necessary, a pictorial will appear to show you how to form the component leads. To help avoid confusion between the colors grey and silver, all component leads will be shown in gold color, even though most of them will actually be silver colored. This merely means that the component leads are solder-coated rather than gold plated; either will work equally well here. Testing the +5 Volt Supply Set your voltmeter to measure voltages up to 20 volts, and connect the black (Common or Ground) lead to the negative lead of the 1000f capacitor. Connect the red lead to the upper end of the 0.3" red jumper wire. Turn on your voltmeter, then turn on power to your transformer and power supply circuit. You should measure a steady +5 volts (+4.75 to +5.25) here, at the power supply output, and the red pilot LED should turn on. If you get these results, move your red voltmeter lead to the positive lead of the 1000f reservoir capacitor. You should see about +17 volts here, possibly higher. If you get the correct results, turn off your power supply and voltmeter, and skip down to the Discussion below. If your results are different, quickly note the results you did obtain; then turn power off and look through the following troubleshooting chart. Output voltage is steady at +5, but LED remains off. LED is reversed. Remove it and re-insert it in the opposite direction. Then try the power supply again. Resistor is the wrong value or connected incorrectly. Make sure it is a 1K resistor (brown-blackred) and is connected fron the lower end of the red jumper to the left (anode) end of the LED. Then try the power supply again. Output voltage rises to +5 volts, but then declines steadily. One or both electrolytic capacitors is reversed. The reversed one will be warm or hot to the touch. If you leave power on too long, it will explode and leave a large mess to be cleaned up. Check and correct capacitor orientation, and then try the power supply again. Output voltage is negative. Your main rectifier diodes are installed backwards. Refer back to the assembly diagram and install them correctly. Output voltage is incorrect.

7805 voltage regulator is installed incorrectly or is defective. Verify correct installation and replace if necessary. Once you are sure that your power supply is working correctly in all respects, turn off power to your circuit and your voltmeter. Then move down to the concluding discussion below.

Discussion The +5 volt power supply is based on the commercial 7805 voltage regulator IC. This simplifies the design and layout of the circuit considerably, because all of the regulating circuitry as well as current limiters and overload protection are built into the IC. As a result, little is needed in the way of support circuitry. We do still need the external capacitors. One thing that is very difficult to achieve in ICs is a capacitor of high capacitance value. Therefore, the electrolytic capacitors must be provided to work with the IC. The disc ceramic capacitor must also be of a higher value than is readily obtainable within an IC, so it, too, must be provided externally. The resistor and the LED pilot light are not necessary for the correct operation of the power supply. However, they do serve to indicate when power is on, and also help to discharge the 1000f reservoir capacitor when power is turned off. The 7805 voltage regulator IC is capable of handling load currents up to an ampere or so. However, the IC will dissipate a fair amount of heat when the load current gets this high. Without a heat sink, the IC will get hot and shut itself down at load currents above about 150 mA. If you add a heat sink for a TO-220 case (available at Radio Shack), this power supply can easily deliver an ampere or more to its load. The placement of the components was carefully selected to allow room for such a heat sink to be installed. You may have to bend the IC over a bit to allow the heat sink to remain clear of all other components and jumpers on the breadboard. The heat sink will not be required for any of the experiments and projects on these pages. When you have finished testing the operation of your +5 volt supply, make sure power to your circuit is turned off.