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'[EE] Led "Regulation"'
2008\07\16@204826 by Forrest W Christian

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face
I seem to quite often need to run a "voltage present" LED on a very wide
range of voltages...  For instance, in one case the input voltage can
run from 5 to 60VDC, or more.

I need to power this LED from the power source, but need to regulate the
current so that the LED is pretty much constant output across the
voltage range.

I'm aware of the standard schematic using a PNP, a Zener, and a couple
of resistors, but would prefer something with lower part count.

I'm also aware of the LM317HV, but the cost there is prohibitive (I
would need the HV becuase of the higher voltage range input).

Of course there's always the option of putting a regular voltage
regulator and resistor in, but again, that gets somewhat costly.

I'm hoping I can find something just marginally more expensive than
putting a current limiting resistor in place.   Is there some magic
circuit I've missed...

-forrest

2008\07\16@210637 by Marcel Birthelmer

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Forrest,
what about a basic current mirror circuit? a few resistors and two
transistors should do nicely. Maybe one even exists as an integrated
package?
- Marcel

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Forrest W Christian <spam_OUTforrestcTakeThisOuTspamimach.com>
wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\16@211504 by Richard Prosser

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Forrest

You're looking for some simple sort of constant current controller?

How about a small light bulb?  :-)

Otherwise you _might_  be able to find a PTC resistor that works as-is
or in combination with a standard resistor.

One problem is going to be heat. At 10mA & a 5V supply, you're going
to drop about 3.8V across the "controller" & dissipate 38mW (R=380ohm)
. At 60V, the dissipation is ~0.6 watt. (R=5k8). Any active component
dissipating this much is probably going to want a heatsink of some
kind unless there is good airflow.

Another alternative would be to use a simple switcher (eg the "Black
regulator") But at increased cost & component count.

Richard P


2008/7/17 Forrest W Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam@spam@imach.com>:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\16@212813 by Marcel Duchamp

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JFET, I suppose...
http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~dmh/ptialcd/csink/csink.htm

You need to find one with
a) high enough voltage rating
b) adequate current spec (Idss)
c) sufficient power dissipation
c) cost
d) etc.

Forrest W Christian wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\07\16@214322 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>I seem to quite often need to run a "voltage present" LED
>on a very wide
> range of voltages...  For instance, in one case the input
> voltage can
> run from 5 to 60VDC, or more.

> I'm hoping I can find something just marginally more
> expensive than
> putting a current limiting resistor in place.   Is there
> some magic
> circuit I've missed...

Here is Richard Prosser's version of "my" G.S.R.* switching
regulator.
D8 may not be needed.
Despite apparent high parts count it can be very small and
cheap.

       http://others.servebeer.com/misc/gsr_rp.gif

Roman Black's "Black Regulator" is perhaps slightly cheaper.
While it has poorer regulation it may well be adequate for
your needs.

I have had a version of this operating  from 12V to 200 V
in.

Here is an independently developed version which is
essentially identical.

       http://sound.westhost.com//appnotes/an006.htm

A simple change to a constant current output drive (suited
to LED use) is seen here

       http://sound.westhost.com//appnotes/an003.htm

If a P Channel MOSFET is used for the high side switch
remember to zener clamp the gate to avoid death at higher
Vin's.

This is a "hysteretic converter". Operation as shown is
marvellously chaotic. Operating frequency and PWM ratio
varies vastly, which allows it to achieve the vast max:min
Vinput ratios that it does. Hysteresis DOS exist despite
some refusing to believe it. Clue: Ripple on output cap is
an essential part of the operation. Adding a series RC
(location left to the student) will provide extra and more
normal hysteresis and a more determinate waveform. MAY help
efficiency somewhat.

For an IC solution a MC34063 would be cheap and goodish.
Vinmax = 40V so a cheap external transistor probably
required for drive.



       Russell


GSR = God's Switching Regulator.
Story offlist on request.














2008\07\17@001317 by Enki

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       Attached is a similar circuit I found on the net.

       It seems to have a lower quiescent current without load.

       Mark Jordan


On 17 Jul 2008 at 13:39, Apptech wrote:

> Here is Richard Prosser's version of "my" G.S.R.* switching
> regulator.
> D8 may not be needed.
> Despite apparent high parts count it can be very small and
> cheap.
>
>         http://others.servebeer.com/misc/gsr_rp.gif
>


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2008\07\17@011402 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
GSR simulacrum.

Enki said:
> Attached is a similar circuit I found on the net.
> It seems to have a lower quiescent current without load.

I'm not sure how you would determine that, but you may be
correct.
I see that that circuit (or an exact facsimile) appears here

       http://www.techlib.com/electronics/regulators.html

The main difference from that and the GSR is the addition of
formal hysteresis for the 'comparator" by using a 10 r
emitter resistor and 10k feedback from the top (hot side) of
the inductor. May well be a good idea. I've been using a
similar arrangement of late to add mild hysteresis / Schmitt
trigger action to other circuits with good results. In this
case it would probably markedly tidy up the chaotic
switching action but may not improve measured performance.
Note that they specifically note the 40 mV pp output ripple.
Ripple here is an essential requirement with the original
design. The added feedback resistors as above would make
this less important.

Apart from that the circuit should have very similar
characteristics and it's not obvious that it's low current
operation would be much different. Component values vary
with design requirements.

Before the Olin-Savant starts throwing wet or dead fish at
the Extralytic capacitors, I note that they note that this
is a brand name for a low loss electrolytic capacitor.


       Russell McMahon


2008\07\17@043610 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I'm hoping I can find something just marginally more expensive than
>putting a current limiting resistor in place.   Is there some magic
>circuit I've missed...

I would be tempted to use Russells transistor switcher, which has a wide
voltage range input. In view of the limited current output it may be
possible to tailor it to use less components than the 'generic' version he
has published here in the past.

2008\07\17@045439 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM, Apptech <apptechspamKILLspamparadise.net.nz> wrote:
> I'm not sure how you would determine that, but you may be
> correct.
> I see that that circuit (or an exact facsimile) appears here
>
>        http://www.techlib.com/electronics/regulators.html
>

This is basically the circuit I saw for a pre-1992 SICK
photoelectric sensor design (universal AC/DC input,
typically 20V-253V AC or DC). I am not so sure if they
are still producing the sensor. Later I saw a better
design from SICK which uses a P-MOS in place of the
PNP transistor. I think they are still producing the
new sensor.

SICK (http://www.sick.de) is one of the leading
photoelectric sensor manufacturer. I believe they
are Number 1 in  the market.

Xiaofan

2008\07\17@050220 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 8:50 AM, Forrest W Christian <.....forrestcKILLspamspam.....imach.com> wrote:
>
> I'm aware of the standard schematic using a PNP, a Zener, and a couple
> of resistors, but would prefer something with lower part count.
>
> I'm also aware of the LM317HV, but the cost there is prohibitive (I
> would need the HV becuase of the higher voltage range input).
>

How about Supertex product? They may have something for you.
But I am not so sure about the pricing.
http://www.supertex.com

Xiaofan

2008\07\17@051322 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 4:54 PM, Xiaofan Chen <EraseMExiaofancspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 1:13 PM, Apptech <apptechspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz> wrote:
>> I'm not sure how you would determine that, but you may be
>> correct.
>> I see that that circuit (or an exact facsimile) appears here
>>
>>        www.techlib.com/electronics/regulators.html
>>
>
> This is basically the circuit I saw for a pre-1992 SICK
> photoelectric sensor design (universal AC/DC input,
> typically 20V-253V AC or DC). I am not so sure if they
> are still producing the sensor.

The SICK design adds a PNP transistor, a zener
and a resistor to form a current source to drive
either one of the bottom two NPN transistors.

The main problem with this type of circuits
is conducted/radiated emission. Efficiency is
also quite low in the high end of the input voltage
due to the very low duty ratio.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2008\07\17@081608 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> The SICK design adds a PNP transistor, a zener
> and a resistor to form a current source to drive
> either one of the bottom two NPN transistors.

> The main problem with this type of circuits
> is conducted/radiated emission. Efficiency is
> also quite low in the high end of the input voltage
> due to the very low duty ratio.

I'd love to see the SICK cct if available.

On my 12V-200V version the efficiency at 200 Vin / 12Vout
was not much over 50%.
BUT that's 'rather better' [tm] that the 12/200 = 6% you'd
get with a linear regulator.
eg for 1 Watt out my cct would dissipate 1 Watt of heat. A
linear regulator would dissipate about 188/12 =~ 16 Watts of
heat.

Emission is my circuit is much relieved by the horrendously
chaotic nature of the switching - well on the way to white
noise. Adding more formal resistive hysteresis as they do
would make emissions worse.




       Russell

2008\07\17@083437 by Rolf

face picon face
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Hi Forrest,

How about a current limiting circuit (borrowed from 'the art of
electronics') which I am still reading....

It seems like it will do what you want, but, instead of a Zener and PNP,
it is a PNP and a PMOSFET. May not help with the part count.

Still, I have re-drawn the schematic and it should supply 7mA to the LED
at any line voltage the PMOS can handle....

Basically, the 100R resistor, with the 0.7Vbe voltage on the PNP will
set a current limit of 7mA.

Any variances in the current will be due to the Vbe changes over temp.
Using a MPSA92 as a 'typical' PNP transistor it gives a range of 0.5V
through 0.8V for Vbe over -55 to 125 degrees, which would correlate to 5
through 8mA through the LED over the entire temp range.

Obviously, there is probably something I have missed, but, I would love
to know what because it would be a good learning exercise for me....

Rolf



Forrest W Christian wrote:
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2008\07\17@084412 by olin piclist

face picon face
Forrest W Christian wrote:
> I seem to quite often need to run a "voltage present" LED on a very
> wide range of voltages...  For instance, in one case the input
> voltage can run from 5 to 60VDC, or more.

Do you have some other more regulated power voltage available?  If so, sense
the 5-60V but then run the LED off the regulated rail.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\18@091427 by Tom Wehn

picon face
If you can tolerate the voltage drop and the current is less than a few amps
why not install a 2 or 3 Volt Zener in the line and add a resistor and LED
in series with it? 2 added parts and even a power Zener is under $.25.

2008\07\18@103807 by Antonio L. Benci

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The attached diagram is a cct that I have used for many "Constant LED
Current" applications with Vin from 5V to 24V. Your mileage may vary.

Antonio Benci

Rolf wrote:
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2008\07\18@104441 by Tom Wehn

picon face
OK I reread this and I could have been clearer. The series resistor and LED
are in parallel with the Zener. Sorry for the ambiguity.

-----Original Message-----


If you can tolerate the voltage drop and the current is less than a few amps
why not install a 2 or 3 Volt Zener in the line and add a resistor and LED
in series with it? 2 added parts and even a power Zener is under $.25.

2008\07\18@112339 by olin piclist

face picon face
Antonio L. Benci wrote:
> The attached diagram is a cct that I have used for many "Constant LED
> Current" applications with Vin from 5V to 24V.

So now we've got 3 terminal zener diodes to add to the managerie of odd
components, along with the positive electrons, negative resistors, and NPN
and PNP FETs?


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2008\07\18@114843 by Joe Bento

face
flavicon
face
The advantage is the voltage can be set from about 2 - 36 volts.  The
datasheet calls it programmable, yet the voltage is set by a resistive
voltage divider not unlike linear 3-terminal regulators.  These little
beasties actually make a nifty audio amp as well, directly driving an 8
ohm speaker or headset.

Joe



Olin Lathrop wrote:
> So now we've got 3 terminal zener diodes to add to the managerie of odd
> components, along with the positive electrons, negative resistors, and NPN
> and PNP FETs?
>
>
> ********************************************************************
> Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
> (978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.
>  

2008\07\18@120813 by Dr Skip

picon face
Got a circuit? While I can understand the principal of the thing, I'm having
trouble getting my mind around more creative uses for it... :(

Joe Bento wrote:
> The advantage is the voltage can be set from about 2 - 36 volts.  The
> datasheet calls it programmable, yet the voltage is set by a resistive
> voltage divider not unlike linear 3-terminal regulators.  These little
> beasties actually make a nifty audio amp as well, directly driving an 8
> ohm speaker or headset.
>
> Joe
>

2008\07\18@123218 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
> So now we've got 3 terminal zener diodes to add to the managerie of odd
> components, along with the positive electrons, negative resistors, and NPN
> and PNP FETs?

Well, the TL431 is quite a venerable component, and somewhat more
multisource obtainable than the other bits you mention, including the
Signetics memory chip.

2008\07\18@123219 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
3 terminal zener TL431: <www.fairchildsemi.com/ds/TL/TL431A.pdf>
negative resistor:
<electronicdesign.com/Articles/Print.cfm?ArticleID=1507>
I suppose you could say an NPN FET is an N-channel IGBT.
Positive "electron" = hole (that's stretching a bit more)

Yes, I know you're being facetious but there's truth in things that seem
obviously false.
-
Martin


Olin Lathrop wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\07\18@125905 by John Coppens

flavicon
face
On Fri, 18 Jul 2008 12:07:53 -0400
Dr Skip <KILLspamdrskipKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

> Got a circuit? While I can understand the principal of the thing, I'm
> having trouble getting my mind around more creative uses for it... :(

http://www.ednasia.com/article-2921-hiddenapplicationsforthethreeterminalshuntregulator-Asia.html

John

2008\07\18@162056 by Robert Rolf

picon face


Antonio L. Benci wrote:

> The attached diagram is a cct that I have used for many "Constant LED
> Current" applications with Vin from 5V to 24V. Your mileage may vary.
>
Seems rather inefficient to use a SHUNT regulator.
Wouldn't it be simpler to use a FET in constant current mode?
1 R, 1 FET, 1 LED.
R

2008\07\18@171724 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
A quick google brings up this FET constant current source primer:

http://www.qsl.net/n4xy/PDFs/Semiconductor_Application_Notes/Vishay-Silcnx_FET_CC_Lim_AN103.pdf

-Adam

On 7/18/08, Robert Rolf <RemoveMERobert.RolfTakeThisOuTspamualberta.ca> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\07\18@211120 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> So now we've got 3 terminal zener diodes to add to the
> managerie of odd
> components, along with the positive electrons, negative
> resistors, and NPN
> and PNP FETs?

Sure have !!!

That sort of symbol is oft use for the TL431 and other shunt
regulators device.
And that is indeed close to what the TL431 can be
considered - a programmable "zener".



           Russell

2008\07\18@211125 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> Antonio L. Benci wrote:
>> The attached diagram is a cct that I have used for many
>> "Constant LED
>> Current" applications with Vin from 5V to 24V. Your
>> mileage may vary.

> Seems rather inefficient to use a SHUNT regulator.
> Wouldn't it be simpler to use a FET in constant current
> mode?
> 1 R, 1 FET, 1 LED.

Simpler, perhaps a little.
Cheaper, probably not.
Efficiency is not liable to usually matter much in this
application.
But the FET solution will be less accurate and less
repeatable and less flexible.

The TL431 is fully programmable for voltage across its
specified range, with various accuracy versions available
(typically 0.5%, 1%, 2% AFAIR). It is cheap and very
available.


       Russell

2008\07\18@211125 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> negative resistor:

> <http://electronicdesign.com/Articles/Print.cfm?ArticleID=1507>

We used to use Philips negative resistors to reduce the
losses on long telephone lines many years ago. Fiendishly
difficult to adjust well. Brand name for such wavers just
out of reach of recall

Negistor perhaps.

Needless to say these were multi component parts
implementing a negative resistance function. Actually
"negative impedance".



       Russell






2008\07\19@060558 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> So now we've got 3 terminal zener diodes to add to the
>> managerie of odd
>> components, along with the positive electrons, negative
>> resistors, and NPN
>> and PNP FETs?

Interestingly if not surprisingly, that's the symbol that TI
use for this product in this data sheet - page 10.

       http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tl431a.pdf

This brought the TL432 to my notice - I hadn't been a ware
of it before. it appears to be a mechanically mirrored
version of the TL431 (!).


       Russell


2008\07\19@084857 by Antonio L. Benci

flavicon
picon face
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Never thought that my little cct would provoke such a lengthy debate. No
bias intended but I agree with Russells' comments. The whole cct costs
less than $1.20 (AUS) to build (obviously labour is not included). We
buy the TL431 in the hundreds, and blow them up in the hundreds (I
should clarify, the students do). And with a minor mod, will function on
AC voltages just as well ;)

Antonio Benci.

{Quote hidden}

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