Linear Voltage Regulators

A Linear Voltage Regulator ensures the output voltage from the circuit is maintained at a specific voltage.

The device acts as a variable resistor, continuously adjusting to maintain a constant output voltage. The regulated voltage must be lower than the input voltage. Simple voltage regulator contains a Zener Diode and a resistor but more complicated versions include elements like a voltage reference and error amplifiers.

A more specific type of regulator are Low Dropout Voltage Regulators (LDO) which can regulate voltage even when the power supply voltage is very close to the supply voltage.


How to choose linear voltage regulator ICs?


The primary feature in choosing a regulator is usually the Output voltage as the main purpose of one is to regulate the voltage to a specific value such as 3.3V. Its accuracy to this voltage across temperature and load current is another consideration as is its maximum load. The dropout voltage value will be particularly important with battery applications.


How to test a linear voltage regulator?


  1. Set your multimeter to the voltage setting
  2. Check the datasheet to determine which pins are the ground, input and output.
  3. Attach the red wire to the input and the black wire to the ground, the multimeter should give a reading higher than the regulators' output value. If not then there is a power supply issue.
  4. Attach the red to the ground and the black wire the output, the multimeter should then give the regulators' output value (plus minus its accuracy). If not then the regulator is likely to be faulty.

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Description Price Output Voltage Maximum Output Current Package Type Output Type Mounting Type Minimum Input Voltage Maximum Input Voltage Pin Count Power Rating Minimum Operating Temperature Maximum Operating Temperature Number of Outputs Polarity Accuracy
RS Stock No. 100-0719
Mfr. Part No.LM338T/NOPB
$3.841
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1.2 → 32 V 5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 25W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 460-900
Mfr. Part No.LM338T/NOPB
$3.32
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1.2 → 32 V 5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 25W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 102-5717
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ/NOPB
$0.436
Each (On a Reel of 1800)
units
5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 6.7 V 35 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 535-9975
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ/NOPB
$1.04
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 6.7 V 35 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 102-5703
Mfr. Part No.LM317HVT/NOPB
$3.30
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1.2 → 57 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 60 V 3 20W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 535-9054
Mfr. Part No.LM317HVT/NOPB
$4.17
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1.2 → 57 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 60 V 3 20W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 533-8209
Mfr. Part No.LM317T/NOPB
$3.40
Each
units
1.2 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 100-5905
Mfr. Part No.LM317T/NOPB
$2.87
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
1.2 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 663-3237
Mfr. Part No.LM323K STEEL/NOPB
$178.69
Each
units
5 V 3A TO-3 Fixed Through Hole 7.5 V 20 V 3 30W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 922-2969
Mfr. Part No.LM323K STEEL/NOPB
$112.477
Each (In a Tray of 50)
units
5 V 3A TO-3 Fixed Through Hole 7.5 V 20 V 3 30W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 168-4874
Mfr. Part No.UA78L05ACLP
$0.271
Each (In a Box of 1000)
units
5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 7 V 20 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 661-6812
Mfr. Part No.UA78L05ACLPR
$0.559
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 7 V 20 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 810-295
Mfr. Part No.UA78L05ACLP
$0.74
Each
units
5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 7 V 20 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 121-9159
Mfr. Part No.LM317DCY
$0.91
Each (In a Tube of 80)
units
1.25 → 37 V 1.5A SOT-223 Adjustable Surface Mount 4.2 V 40 V 3+Tab - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 661-6128
Mfr. Part No.LM317DCY
$1.12
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1.25 → 37 V 1.5A SOT-223 Adjustable Surface Mount 4.2 V 40 V 3+Tab - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 661-3627
Mfr. Part No.LM317DCYR
$0.932
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1.25 → 37 V 1.5A SOT-223 Adjustable Surface Mount 4.2 V 40 V 3+Tab - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 460-893
Mfr. Part No.LM340T-12/NOPB
$3.09
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
12 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole 14.6 V 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±2%
RS Stock No. 100-0718
Mfr. Part No.LM340T-12/NOPB
$2.62
Each (In a Tube of 45)
units
12 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole 14.6 V 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±2%
RS Stock No. 661-6733
Mfr. Part No.UA78M33CDCY
$1.04
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
3.3 V 500mA SOT-223 Fixed Surface Mount 5.3 V 25 V 3+Tab - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 922-3520
Mfr. Part No.UA78M33CDCY
$0.377
Each (In a Tube of 80)
units
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