Regulator Circuit

The special characteristic of this regulator is that the output voltage can be adjusted down to 0 V. The regulation is pr

ovided by an integrated regulator Type LM317. As is normal in supplies that can be adjusted to 0 V, this IC is used in conjunction with a zener diode. This diode provides a reference voltage that is equal, but of opposite sign, to the reference voltage (U,) of the regulator, as shown in Fig. 74-1 (a). Potential divider R1/R2 enables the output voltage to be adjusted. In this circuit, the negative reference voltage is derived in a different manner: from the regulator with the aid of an op amp (Fig. 74-1 (b)). The op amp is connected as a differential amplifier that measures the voltage across Rl and inverts this voltage to Ur. An additional advantage of this method is that at low-output voltages, a change in the reference voltage has less effect on the output voltage than the circuit in Fig. 74-1 (a). The prototype, constructed as shown in Fig. 74-1 (c), gave very satisfactory results. The op amp need not meet any special requirements: a 741 works fine, although an LF356 gives a slightly better performance. The negative supply for the op amp can be obtained with the aid of a center-tapped mains transformer.

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