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In this small project I will show you how to make a simple adjustable constant current load. Such a gadget is useful if you want to measure the capacity of chinese Li-Ion batteries. Or you can test how stable your power supply is with a certain load. Let's get started !

Step 1: Watch the Video!

The video gives you all the information you need to build a constant current load. But I will present you some extra help in the following steps

Step 2: Order Your Parts!

Here is the small list of parts that you will need:

Ebay:

1x Vero board: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x 1Ω / 5W resistor: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x LM358: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

2x PCB terminals: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x IRLZ44N N-channel MOSFET: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

1x 500k potentiometer: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?...

Amazon.com:

1x Vero board: http://amzn.to/1OeN41p

1x 1Ω / 5W resistor:http://amzn.to/1FFJNEk

1x LM358: http://amzn.to/1OeMz7o

2x PCB terminals:http://amzn.to/1CuBQgM

1x IRLZ44N N-channel MOSFET: http://amzn.to/1H8jr1l

1x 500k potentiometer: http://amzn.to/1FFJxoT

Amazon.de:

1x Vero board: http://amzn.to/1yZ4k1J

1x 1Ω / 5W resistor:http://amzn.to/1yZ4u9x

1x LM358: http://amzn.to/1GtRhNH

2x PCB terminals:http://amzn.to/1GtRU9R

1x IRLZ44N N-channel MOSFET: -

1x 500k potentiometer: http://amzn.to/1yZ4Vkb

Step 3: Build the Circuit!

Here you can find the schematic for the build and the board design that I created. Make sure to interrupt the copper traces underneath the LM358.

Step 4: Success!

Now you should be able to build your own constant current load.
Feel free to check out my Youtube channel for more awesome projects:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab

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Where does the ground go in the schematic?
<p>To GND?</p>
Awesome!
Do you have an idea where does the ground go in schematics?
I made it.<br>I used IRFZ44 with 12v.<br>it works good enough.<br>but the max current is 2.5amps.<br>Thanks a lot.<br>
<p>How can I increase the discharging current?</p>
<p>You can increase the discharging current by increasing the supply voltage and using a MOSFET with a lower Gate-threshold voltage (Vgs).</p><p>But remember, more discharge current = more heat = more danger! BE CAREFUL!!</p>
A,B,C Stand for -<br>A = ALWAYS<br>B = BE<br>C = CAREFUL<br>
<p>I found this circuit on an article. It is said it can be used to have a continuous discharging current of 70 A! Is it possible in your opinion?</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>No way don't touch it.</p>
It might be possible, but, I don't think you should discharge a battery at 70A ?
<p>It depends on the capacity of the battery you are dealing with</p>
<p>I think I wired up everything correctly but the circuit only draws a maximum of 20ma. What could be wrong with my circuit?</p>
<p>I've got the same problem! It doesn't draw more than 178mA for me; everything wired up fine though. :s</p>
I noticed that my MOSFETs are conducting even if nothing is connected to the gate. Sometimes if I apply 5V to the Gate I can toggle the MOSFETs but that's pretty much random. Do your MOSFETs have the same problem?<br>
<p>you may need a pulldown resistor if you have an open collector on your op amp. otherwise you will get readings all over because the gate is floating.</p>
<p>pull-up*</p>
Mosfets often conduct when nothing is connected, but it shouldn't when the gate is connected to ground. Mine work fine: open when gate is connected to ground and closed when it's connected to VCC (5V in this case).
<p>I manaaged to fix the problem. The output of the LM358 was not high enough with 5V on the input. Just increase the voltage delivered to the LM358. According to the data sheet everything up to 32V is safe. http://bit.ly/1G0N8fW</p>
<p>Great instructions made for an easy build. </p><p>Still working out how to set different currents for different voltages. Is there an equation for how to set if to get different currents. I know the video said 1V = 1 Amp. I guess that means 0.5V = 500ma. If I decrease the value of the pot can I get finer adjustments? </p><p>Seems easy to draw a lot of current by accident with the 500k pot. Set it too high once and the resistor started to glow orange. Cut the power quick and it seems everything survived my mistake.</p>
<p>The equation is in the video: I = Vin / R.</p><p>I = Current</p><p>Vin = Voltage from potentiometer</p><p>R = Resistance of load resistor (R1)</p><p>If you increase R to say 10 ohms, then at 1 volt you'd have a current of only 100mA (1/10 = 0.1). If the maximum voltage is 5v, then the most current for this resistance would be 500 mA.</p><p>If you know the maximum current you want to achieve, then use this formula to choose the value for R: R = Vin / I.</p><p>So if you want a 1A maximum load, then R would be 5 ohms (5v / 1A = 5ohms).</p>
<p>hi sir great scott...may i have a question? since the op amp LM358 have 2 comparator...can i use them both??</p><p>2pcs. IRFZ44N, 2pcs. 500k potencio meter, 2pcs 1ohm resistor but 1pcs LM358....</p><p>thanks for your time to reply...</p>
<p>I tried going through datasheets of both IRLZ44n and IRF510. they seem similar. can i replace the IRLZ44n with IRF510?</p>
<p>It will work, but it will get very hot since it has a high drain-to-source resistance. It will also cause some voltage drop, so the amount of current calculated by the op amp might not be equal to actual current flow, so use an ammeter to measure the current flow (I might be wrong about it)</p>
<p>Nice build! However, I don't think the circuit is supposed to oscillate. Any of the ready-made constant current circuits of the same design dont do that. Have you used any decoupling capacitors in your Circuit? This might help your circuit. Not trying to be critical, I just noticed this tho. ;-) Thanks, nice vid!</p>
<p>It will always oscillate in such a configuration. If you can even call this a proper oscillation. A capacitor does not change the properties of the OpAmp. </p>
<p>Based on your instructable I've created a 6 channel load: <a href="http://carforge.net/?p=83" rel="nofollow">http://carforge.net/?p=83</a></p><p>Thanks for your input! :)</p>
<p>New Link: https://www.carforge.net/49-2/</p>
<p>Hi! What can you do with 6 channels? Do you use it to discharge 6 cells at the same time or do you connect the channels in parallel in order to have an higher discharging current? </p><p>Please let me know! :)</p>
<p>I use the 6 channels to discharge 6 cells at the same time</p>
<p>Awesome. Thanks for sharing. </p>
<p>I've created a manual today... Can also be found on our website.</p>
<p>I want to find the capacity of 18650 cell. In my circuit i use the other comparator of the LM358 with another IRLZ44N to monitor the voltage of the battery and disconnect it from the constant current load when it reaches 3,0v.</p><p>What do you think about it?</p>
could you please tell me how can I use this circuit as current limiter.
<p>I've been reading the comments and some people are asking about the different between the IRLZ44N and the IRFZ44N.</p><p>I was only able to find the IRFZ44N at my local electronics store, some said it works, others said it doesn't.</p><p>But there was no definitive answer about the difference of those 2.</p><p>Can anyone please help?</p>
<p>IRFZ needs a higher gate voltage to turn on. If you want to power the circuit with 12V it does not make a big difference. But If you want to use 5V and below I would recommend the IRLZ because it requires a lower gate voltage. </p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>If I understand, the mosfet heats up because of the low gate voltage ?</p><p>I have 2ohm resistors, so if I have 3v as vref I'll pull 1,5 amps ?</p><p>I have all the pieces to make a arduino charger / discharger, just not the heatsinks for the mosfets, so I don't know if it's essential.</p><p>Very good video as usual ;D thanks</p>
<p>YOu can try it, but keep an eye on the MOSFET temp, if you can touch it it is safe.</p>
<p>Nice! It works! Thank you a lot. </p>
<p>Thanks a lot GreatScott i will make this load soon but i think i will use the second lm358 amp and another mosfet to stop the discharge and maybe a stopwatch !</p>
<p>Used the extra op-amp on the LM358 for temperature controlled fan (white, dial potentiometer sets threshold temperature). Thermistor visible on top left corner (it's not pasted on top of the mosfet yet--I need to get some epoxy or silicone or something).</p>
<p>Hi, in one of you videos, you removes a jumper wire and mountet a display.</p><p>Do you have at like to that dispaly and can you tell what jumper wire you removed ??</p>
<p>And I ment link to a display</p>
<p>Can I use IRF630 N-MOSFET instead of IRLZ44N?</p>
really helpful for finding the actual ratting of the cheap Chinese battery also easy diagram thanks...
<p>Thanks, works really well. More photos on my google drive: goo. gl/NPm5DV</p>
Thanks for schematics. Works perfect !
<p>Hi is it possible to use a lm393 instead of the lm358?</p>
<p>Hello, is it possible to make this constant current load/discharger but without the op amp? If it is possible can someone please explain how? Thank You</p>
<p>Can someone tell me if I can use a 10W 5Ohm resistor instead of a 1Ohm</p>

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