Automatic Switch For Voltage Converters

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

New applications for DC voltage converters, such as the workhorse` LT1070, arise every day. These converters can be adapted to nearly every imaginable ratio of input and output voltages. However, all of these circuits and devices have the same shortcoming, which is that they lack an on/off switch. Especially when they are used as a source of 6-V /

Automatic Switch For Voltage Converters
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12-V power for a car radio, this is highly impractical. The circuit described here adds automatic load detection to the converter. For use in a car, the additional circuitry must be small and fit into a compact enclosure together with the converter. Since the battery voltage and ambient temperature vary over wide ranges, a simple form of load detection must be used. Besides this, the voltage drop across the load sensing circuitry must naturally be as small as possible. This can be achieved by using ultra-modern` SiGe technology. The 6 V from the battery and the 12 V from the converter are combined in the MB R2545 dual diode. Consequently, a voltage of at least 6 V is always applied to the radio (for memory retention). If the radio is switched on, it draws a current from the 6-V battery, which may be around 100 mA. This current produces a voltage across R1. If this voltage is 75 mV or greater, the AC128 germanium transistor starts conducting and charges electrolytic capacitor C1, which is connected to the gate of the BUZ10. The MOSFET energises RE1 and thus connects the supply voltage to the converter. As a result, 12-V power is connected to the radio. The resulting increased current causes the voltage drop across R1 to increase, which is undesirable, so a 10-A Schottky diode is connected in parallel. The total voltage drop is thus approximately 0. 6 V. The RC network connected to the BUZ10 ensures that the transistor...

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