- LVPS -



In this activity you build a low voltage power supply (LVPS) that you will use through out Hands-On-Physics. This power supply has three main components, a transformer, a rectifier, and a voltage control. The electronic components needed to built this LVPS are pictured on the next page.
The first part of this circuit, the transformer, reduces the voltage coming from the outlet. However, it still produces an alternating current, not a direct current. The bridge rectifier flips the negative voltage to positive, so the voltage waveform goes from a sine wave, to the absolute (rectified) value of a sine wave.

Figure C5a
Sine wave

Figure C5b
Full-wave rectified

The capacitors smooth out the peaks and valleys to produce a steadier voltage. The voltage regulator chops off the parts above the voltage you want, which is why there is a heat sink attached to it. The potentiometer lets you control the output of the voltage regulator.

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