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Simple Pre-Regulator

Introduction
TherewillbemanytimeswhereitisdesirabletousetheP05supplymodulefromahigher
voltagesource.Forexample,ifyouwanttoaddbalancedinputstoapoweramplifier,thenyou
needa+/15Vsupply,buttheamp'ssupplyvoltagewillbemuchtoohighfortheregulatorICs.
Thisprojectisaboutassimpleastheycome,andisverycheaptobuild.Itisdesignedforexactly
thispurposetoreducetheamplifiersupplyvoltagetoasafevalueforregulatorICs.
Description
ThecircuitisshowninFig.1anditisverysimpleindeed.Youwillneedtomakeafewsimple
calculationstodeterminetheresistorvalue,butthisisexplainedbelow.

Figure1PreRegulatorSchematic

Thecircuitshownusesthe24Vzenerdiodes(D1andD2)toregulatetheoutputvoltagetoalittle
under24V.Thisisaperfectlysafeinputvoltageforstandard3terminalregulators,andusing
thiscircuitwillprovideevenbetterregulationandsupplynoiserejectionthennormal.Using
MJE3055and2955transistorswillallowforsupplyvoltagesupto70Vquitesafely,butthey
willneedtobemountedonaheatsink(withinsulatingwashers).
ThepurposeofR5istoisolatethemainpoweramplifiergroundfromthesupply,topreventhum
loops.The10resistorshownwillbefineforthevastmajorityofapplications,butmayneedto
bechanged.Thisisuptoyoutoexperimentwithifnecessary.IsuggestthatR5shouldbe1W.
R2andR4maybe1/4Wor1/2Wresistors,and1Wzenersarerecommended.
TheonlycalculationistodeterminethevalueforR1andR3.First,measurethepoweramp
supplyvoltage(V1).Theresistorvalueiscalculatedtoprovideamaximumzenercurrentof
20mA,andthiswillensuresufficientbasecurrentforthepasstransistorsforupto100mAorso
outputcurrentat15V.
V2=V124(WhereV1isamplifiersupplyvoltage,anda24Vzenerisused)
R1=R3=V2/20(R1andR3valuesareink)
P=V2/R1(PispowerdissipationofR1andR3inmW)
Let'sassumeasupplyvoltageof56Vforanexamplecalculation...
V2=5624=32V
R1=R3=32/20=1.6k(use1.5k)
P=32/1.5=680mW=0.68W(use1W)
ThedissipationinQ1andQ2mayalsobecalculated,butyouneedtoknowthecurrentdrawnby
theexternalcircuits.Forexample,iftheexternalcircuitrydraws50mA,thetransistorpower
dissipationis...
Pt=V2*Iext=32*50=1600mW=1.6W(itwillneedasmallheatsink)
That'sititcouldhardlybesimpler.
Construction
Constructionisnoncritical,andtheresistors,zenerandpowertransistorscanbemountedona
tinypieceofVeroboardorsimilar.Therearenostabilityissues,andyouonlyneedtomakesure
thatthetransistorshaveanadequateheatsink.Mountingtothechassiswillnormallybequite
sufficientevenasteelchassiswillkeepthetemperaturewellwithinlimits.Rememberthatthe
transistorcasesmustbeelectricallyisolatedfromthechassis,andSilPadswillbefineduetothe
lowdissipation.
AsuggestionforassemblyisshowninFigure2(notethatthe10resistorfromthemainsupply
hasnotbeenshown).Thisconstructionmethodwillbequiteacceptableformostapplications.
Theearth(GND)terminalpointshouldideallybeisolatedfromtheheatsinktopreventearth
loops.

Figure2ConstructionSuggestion

Testing
Connecttoasuitablepowersupplyrememberthatthesupplyearth(ground)mustbe
connected!Whenpoweringupforthefirsttime,use100ohmto560ohm"safety"resisorsin
serieswitheachsupplytolimitthecurrentifyouhavemadeamistakeinthewiring.
Thereisverylittlethatcangowrong(otherthanwiringmistakes),soanyfaultyoumayfindis
easilyrectified.

Iqbal uddin Khan


92-321-9207460
Iqbalsound@yahoo.com
http://asia.groups.yahoo.com/group/Engineers_Electronics_Pakistan/