Step 1: Build a basic full-wave bridge rectifier
1. A transformer with a turn ratio of about 6. Connect your transformer to a power strip with an on and off switch for safety.
The voltage from the wall is generally about 120 volts in the United States. This voltage it too large for our ¼ watt resistor to handle, so we will use a transformer to decrease the amplitude of the AC voltage in. We pick a transformer that has an appropriate turn ratio. For transformers, the turn ratio Nprimary /Nsecondary = Vprimary/Vsecondary. Vprimary = 120V and we are shooting for Vsecondary to be about 20V, so our transformer should have a turn ratio of about 6.
2. Four 1N4007 diodes or a bridge rectifier.
Our circuit diagram shows 4 diodes. However, these can also be replaced by a bridge rectifier like the one we used in our circuit in the lab.
How to hook up your bridge rectifier: Connect the legs with the squiggles to the outputs of the transformer, the minus side to ground, and the plus side to the rest of the circuit.
3. A 1/4 Watt 1kΩ resistor.
Important: When building your circuit, make sure that you have the polarities of the diodes correct. ALWAYS TURN YOUR POWER STRIP OFF BEFORE MODIFYING YOUR CIRCUIT.
Your graph of the output voltage should appear to be the absolute value of a sine wave with an amplitude of about 20 volts. This circuit eliminates the negative portions of the voltage. However, the voltage retains a lot of variation. We can add other components to make the voltage less variable.