Hello Instructables Community!

Before we get started, let me tell you a little about this kit.  I have a digital DC-DC power suppy that I use daily.  However, it cost a bunch of money that I didn't want to spend and it is limited to an output current of 500mA. This supply has a current limit of 1.5A, as that is what the LM317 IC is designed to output.  I decided that while I'll stick with my current power supply, there may be people out there who are looking for a simple and practical solution for their Arduino projects and such.   I hope you all enjoy this instructable!  If you have any questions, I'll do my very best to help!  I'm also going to offer hardware kits for this project, so read on to find out where they can be found!

This circuit is made to work with a wall transformer or a battery.  You can use either.  There is no on-board AC-DC rectification, so don't apply 120VAC to the input by mistake!  The power supply for the digital voltage display should be kept under 18v.  If you're going to use a wall wart AC-Dc transformer, I suggest a 12v-14v @ 1A transformer.   You can use a 9v battery if you'd like =)  We will talk more about that in a while.

When you feed DC voltage to the input terminal block, it acts to supply power to the digital voltage display, as well as the variable DC voltage LM317 regulator circuit.  The LM317 is the key behind this device.  The LM317 is a 3-pin chip that acts to offer a variable DC voltage based on the resistance of the on-board variable resistor.  The voltage at the output terminal block is variable and is displayed for you on the 4-digit 0-20VDC digital display.   Please note that this design has limitations.  Mainly that the output is not protected from shorts.  If you short your output pins together for a short time, the circuit will likely be okay.  However, this can cause permanent damage to the LM317, in which case you'd need to replace it.  Be very careful not to short the output pins.  If you can get your hands on a fuse, you can easily protect your supply.  Place the fuse in series with the positive lead on the input DC line of the device.  Otherwise, be careful.  As well, this supply does not read out load current.  On top of that, the kit does not come with banana wires.  The neat thing about this project is that you can customize it to your liking.  We do sell parts and a kit for this project in our hobby electronic stores that can be found here: http://www.electroniclessons.com  and http://www.engineeringshock.com

Here is a video that gives you a demonstration:

This video is for our new kit that is based on this instructable:

Step 1: What You'll Need!


1x 0-20VDC Digital Voltage Display Module
1x LM317 Voltage Regulator IC
1x On/Off Switch (Included in http://www.engineeringshock.com kit, but not seen in image)
2x Terminal Blocks
1x Heat Sink for LM317
1x 5k Ohm Variable Resistor
2x 200 Ohm Resistor
2x 100uf Electrolytic Capacitors (Rated for 20v or higher)
2x 0.1uf  Ceramic Capacitors (Rated for 20v or higher)
1x 7cm-9cm PCB
1x DC Power Source (Battery of Wall Transformer) - Not included in http://www.engineeringshock.com kit.


1) Soldering Iron
2)  Lead Solder
3) A Hand Drill
4) A Drill Bit (I used 1/16)
5) About two hours of time, give or take.  This is based on your electronic background, and soldering experience.
6) A Multimeter to troubleshoot, in case you have any problems along the way =)

<p>Funny the things that appear when you type in LM317 on Google. Thanks a million for the how to, I have several home built power supply's, but I am getting old and forgetful. Here this afternoon I found a package of 10 LM317's and sort of forgot why I ordered them awhile ago. This gave me several ideas. I had planned on building a power supply out of an old AT computer power supply laying in the back room, and using one of these to make a variable output on the supply in addition to the standard 12v and 5V as well as the wonderful 3.3V. However since that time, I have been tearing down old laptop batteries and reviving the 18650's to use in portable power supplies (we do a lot of camping now in our old age!) This will make a nice build for using 3 18650's in a small box for an adjustable to use. I already have some built with some of the cheap DC-DC power converters available on Ebay, some boost, some buck and they work OK but it would be nice to have one that I built the whole thing by hand instead of relying on the junk you get from over there. (well some of it is junk, I have found some very nice items from over there as well, from Banggood and a few other good sellers on ebay, just have to be careful who you order from.)</p>
<p>where can i get the display at?</p>
<p>my only question is where did you get the display from?</p>
<p>also how many pins does it have and how aare they hooked up?</p>
<p>I built it!! Keeps blowing the LM317 after using it a few times. Going to try the circuit with a couple of diodes to protect the IC.</p>
<p>Thats very strange schematics file...</p><p>First - You have to use LM317T in such connection, but in picture we have LM7805. Thats wrong 7805 - doesn't have any adjustments (with resistors like here). 7805 produces 5V fixed regulated voltage, thats what it is designed for. For novices - LM317 and 7805 looks almost the same, but they are completely different devices.</p><p>Second - why 100uF and 0.1uF capacitors are connected in parallel ? In the result they will sum as 100.1uF capacitor... Of course it will work, but what's the point ? In reference designs from official LM317 datasheet 0.1 uF is on the input and 1uF or 10uF on the output.</p>
<p>It is an LM317, but I accidentally labelled it 7805. It is the correct schematic otherwise. The 100uf capacitor is a smoothing cap that acts to compensate for any low frequency spikes on the supply line. The 0.1uf capacitor is a decoupling capacitor that acts to eliminate higher frequency noise. It is common practice. If the output of the LM317 was supplying power to a few different chips, it would be in good practice to have 0,1uf decoupling caps near the power supply to each chip. From a schematic perspective, all of said caps are in parallel with one another.</p><p>Common practice. </p>
Thank You for info about capacitors!<br>
It is mentioned LM7805 in the schematic, does LM317 and LM7805 are same, or the author has made a mistake? <br> <br>Anyway tnx very helpful and awesome project!
The LM7805 and LM317 are not the same. Although they do share some similar features. They come in the same style package, and have the same number of leads. Oh, both of their names start with LM (stands for Linear Monolithic I think) too. But after that all similarities end. Plug either in where the other belongs and boom! 3 terminal voltage regulators blow up sweet. Don't ask me how I know that ...
very intresting project.thanx.
Awesome project! I was planning on making something very similar to this, but without the display. Do you know where I could order a voltage display module?
Can i use any voltage display(7-segments) for this one?
Could I add a fuse for short circuit protection? <br> <br>if so, what type of fuse would I need and where would I need to install it?
Hi again, <br> <br>Um..... <br> <br>The more i want to make this circuit, the more impossible it seems to make ala-on-a-shoe-string !!! <br> <br>Apologies but i really cant afford those prices on the ebay store or the website mentioned as im on a heartbroken-ly LOW income and as i already have all the parts needed now, its just a point in the right direction that i'd be most grateful for... <br> <br>{i} <br>Your Schematic ONLY SHOWS one x 200 Ohm Resistor but your parts-list says i need TWO ? Whats the correct option ??!!?? <br> <br>{ii} <br>There are NO instructions on this &quot;instructable&quot; for a beginner such as myself to make this power supply on any kind of perfboard/stripboard/veroboard - UNLESS i buy the kit from your store - which i found very disheartening &amp; disappointing as it would have been great to make this at home, with the parts i already have &amp; on the CHEAP ala-shoe-string budget i'm on..... <br> <br>{iii} Your video also shows a momentary tactile switch ??? This is not on the schematic either !!!! HELP !! Are my eyes decieving me ?!?!? lol <br>- Also doesn't a momentary tactile switch need ***other*** circuitry to go with it to turn it into a ***Latching*** &quot;On-off&quot; switch ?!!? <br> <br>I - mean, ive only started learning electronics this year &amp; am NO Expert, but theres no instructions here and so put off with this instructable as it only looks like its here to sell stuff from the mentioned websites, not 'instruct us' How-to-BUILD A DIGITAL DC-DC POWER SUPPLY TOGETHER! <br> <br>After-all, i'd need to build this to Build the Eye of Thundera and Destroy Mumm-Ra, but there's only half the info needed here to build this, so i guess its back to Thundera &amp; the drawing board... <br> <br>:-(
All you really need to build any circuit is the schematic diagram. This has that. While this doesn't have the best 3 terminal adjustable schematic I've ever seen, it is still adequate. Often a schematic is all you get!<br> <br> I do have to say that the title is a poor choice though. This is not a digital DC-DC power supply. The LM317 is an analog device. It is more accurately an adjustable regulator with a digital voltage readout.<br> <br> I thought this might have been an SMPS but I was duped into checking this out by the misleading title myself.<br> <br> Anyhow check out my poor article I posted about LM317, at least I am not selling anything.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Dual-POS-NEG-Power-Supply/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Dual-POS-NEG-Power-Supply/</a><br> <br>
Many thanks pfred2, <br> <br>Ive checked out your PSU and it looks like just what i was after! See you on the other side, &amp; lol x2 @ not selling anything!
There is more than enough information here to build this. If you google &quot;lm317&quot;, you'll basically see the same circuit in the data sheet. All this is, is an LM317 based power supply circuit with a display. There is absolutely nothing special about this circuit. The toggle switch, while not in the schematic, is just to toggle power on and off to the LM317 circuit. It's optional. As for the display, if you have a different display (likely), the basic function should be very much similar. Just use the specs for your own display.<br><br>Step#1<br>Google LM317 data sheet, and find the sample circuit, or just use the schematic above, because there's no difference.<br><br>Step#2<br>Add a toggle switch at your input line to toggle power in and off (If you want).<br><br>Step#3<br>Displays are almost always the same. They need to be powered, they need a power ground, they'll likely have a separate voltage reference ground, and they'll have a voltage reference point (Display read what voltage is at this point).<br><br> <br>
Ahhhh yes, now your reply above IS an instructable, but this whole 'ible is just a lot of in-depth info NOT instructing a complete beginner (Me, lol) how to make this Adjustable Power Supply Unit... <br> <br>Its a great way to extend sales advertising for your creations, fair-enough that its taken you considerable time, energy &amp; effort to carefully plan out your kits for selling to people who just cant be bothered with making their own PCB &amp; sourcing their own components but this whole 'ible is extra advertising in me beginners eyes, maybe if you included what your reply states above then you wouldn't be hassled by electronics newbie's failing miserably to follow your advert/'ible... <br> <br>&amp; forgive me if im wrong here but in your video the switch you use to toggle the power for this circuit sounds Notoriously like a &quot;Tactile&quot; Switch, which are not latching ? So did you have other circuitry to make this &quot;Tactile switch into a &quot;Latching&quot; Switch ?!!?
Hi Engineering Shock !!!<br> <br> <strong>Please HELP !!!</strong><br> <br> <strong>I'm EXTREMELY UPSET</strong> that i CANT start making this very very useful adjustable power supply as<strong> its EXACTLY what ive been looking for - FOR MONTHS &amp; MONTHS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!</strong><br> <br> I have an extremely <strong>LARGE problem</strong> with trying to get hold of the:<br> <br> 0-20VDC Digital Voltage Display Module<br> <br> <strong>Here in the UK</strong>, i have tried huge companies, ebay, small businesses AND NOTHING...<br> <br> <strong>Its really getting disheartening </strong>that i can <strong>NEVER</strong> construct any circuit from instructables because i can never find ALL the components needed here in the damn-backwards UK....<br> <br> Especially that i've only just started learning electronics this year and i really need to make your circuit here for the only reason that it uses a 4-digit, 7-segment LED Display panel and <strong>it just looks so DAMN-COOL !!!!</strong><br> <br> <strong>Please please please could you let me know how to connect this up instead (below) because its very cheap to buy</strong> and its in <strong>my favorite color, BLUE</strong>, but it has 16 PINS (8 on top, 8 on bottom) &amp; many many thanks in advance! :<br> <br> <a href="http://proto-pic.co.uk/4-digit-7-segment-display-blue/" rel="nofollow">4 - Digit 7 - Segment Display - Blue</a>
I wish there was a bigger version of that schematic!
Ask &amp; You Shall Receive, lol<br> <br> <strong><a href="http://www.instructables.com/files/orig/FS7/BOBD/GP7IF65L/FS7BOBDGP7IF65L.png" rel="nofollow">Full Page Schematic !!!</a></strong><br> <br> {P.S - To enlarge <strong>ANY</strong> picture <strong>anyone</strong> has uploaded here on instructables, just click on the<strong> 'i' </strong>square button on the Top-Left of every single picture, then simply click on what size picture you want displayed from the <strong>&quot;Available Sizes&quot;</strong> box on the left hand side of the page that opens-up as soon as you have clicked the square<strong> &quot;i&quot; </strong>button on the picture!!!}<br> <br> hope that helps!!!
Hi there. Is there a way to put a digital ammeter also? I'm totally new with electronics and trying to build a bench supply. thanks
Hi <br>Yes, very easily. You can place it directly on the output. <br> <br>Thanks <br>Pat
where could i get a digital voltage display module?
Is it possible to change the LM 317 for a LM 150 to supply a higher current output? Just in case my project is pushing 1.5A+
awesome thanks for replying, nice instructable by the way
just wondering could you use capacitor with more than 100 UF or less cause that's all I have available
Yes, that is fine =)
I was also thinking that if the display dosn`t have a separate source of power or the power consumption is not subtracted out of it the reading would be inaccurate.
Hi Patrick, love your videos. <br><br>Is this the same as the kit on your website?<br>I want to biuld one for a project using two 3000mAH batteries at 3.7v each, connected in series for 7.4v and be able to vary output from 3 to 5v.<br><br>I have most of these parts already.
Patrick, All your instructables are very educational, enjoyable-great work.<br> My question about super capacitor is how large do they get and do you carry them?
I Would HIGHLY RECOMMEND Patrick's E/bay store as I have purchased 4 Kits from him and all 4 kits worked when completed,,,,and some of the Instructions were even in Chinese!!! Do you have any ideal how much a Store Bought Variable Power Supply Costs????Like a Horror Movie,,,Very Very Scary!!!
Very nice!!!!!!!<br>
nice instructable!

About This Instructable


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Bio: Hi there! My name is Patrick, and I am an electronics engineering technician who works full time as a lab tech, and part time as ... More »
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