Step down, please.

So as I explained in the last PLC trainer post, I used a voltage divider circuit to step down 24v to 5v to power the white LEDs. There were obvious current issues with that as one LED refused to light up when another one was on. The row of LEDs would also fade as more of them went on at the same time. I swapped out the voltage divider for a voltage regulator.

First, let me disconnect and get the area ready. Bye bye sketchy voltage divider circuit:

IMG_20130803_234457

And a hello to my voltage regulator:

IMG_20130804_000745

In my research on these voltage regulators, people were saying that their input of 12v (seems to be a common voltage for people’s applications) cause it to get significantly hot. Being my paranoid self, I’ve strapped two of these heat sink pieces to increase the surface area, hoping it will be sufficient since I’ll be putting 24v into it. I haven’t had it on long enough for it to get hot yet, but if what people are saying is as drastic as it sounds, I can’t imagine how hot the maximum 35v input must make it.

I’ve also used the LM317 (adjustable voltage regulator) in a school lab (I think that was the hilariously poorly written lab that made everyone burn a resistor, like it actually went poof in a small cloud of smoke). I didn’t think there was a point in using that since there were these (7805C, BTW) that would get me my 5v without any hassle.

Floating wires are a huge no no, but I figured it was alright for this quick picture, and there’s always the emergency stop button. Anyways, the test was a success and I am not on fire:

IMG_20130803_235546The moment of truth will come a little later as I have yet to connect it with the PLC and LEDs. Stay tuned.

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