Picture of Voltage Controlled  Switch
 This is a little circuit that i designed that could be used for a charging controller or voltage limiter. Its very useful if you are thinking of making a solar charger. 

Step 1: Get the Stuff

Picture of Get the Stuff
To build this circuit you would need the following:
2 1k ohm resistors 
2 5V zener diodes
A comparator (the one it used is a KA393)
A led
A Project Board / Breadboard
A Digital Multimeter
A variable power supply ( of your choice once its in the limits of the comparator)
Some wire

itsandyhorton6 months ago

How would you make it light up a different LED if the Voltage is below 8?

josh1001 (author)  itsandyhorton6 months ago
I think what ur asking is if the voltage is below 8 volts u want 1 led to light up and above that another led lights up? The comparator switches between high and low, which is that in one state the output is giving u a negative polarity n in the other state positive polarity, so the led is a diode and it only lights when it gets the right polarity between anode n cathode, so at the output place a resistor suitable for the current the led needs, if bigger than 25ma current place a transistor there, so say u have 2 leds green n red take the green led place the cathode end to the negitive or ground side of the circuit and the anode to the output resistor, like wise with the red led place the anode side to the positive end of the circuit n cathode side to the output resisto, if this hasnt answered your question pls be more specifc in detail of what ir trying to do
Elexa2 years ago
I did not understand which component you used and why the 5V supply? Can't we use a comparator that derives the required power from the charge capacitor? Will you please explain so that it'll be easy for me to make this circuit. Please help..
josh1001 (author) 2 years ago
this a prototype circuit and you see how complicated it is right now, there isnt even all the components need to make it work yet.
prototype circuit.JPG
Elexa2 years ago
Please help me in designing the circuit...
Elexa2 years ago
Thank u for the reply. The problem is that the solar panel I am using only give 1.5 V output. So I think may be I need to use some sort of amplifier because I can not use any external power supply. And why do we need bi-stable multivibrator? Please help me by drawing up a schematic that works for me. It would be a great help...
Elexa2 years ago

I need to make a circuit working between 1 V and 2.4 V. I want to make a solar charger that charges a capacitor until it reaches 2.4 V, once the voltage reach 2.4 V, the switch is closed and the led lits up. At the time, 1st capacitor is discharging, I want to charge another capacitor. When the 1st capacitor discharges to 1 V, then I want to charge the 1st capacitor again and connect the load to 2nd capacitor. Please help me with this..I'll be very thankful to you.
josh1001 (author)  Elexa2 years ago
O sorry i didnt read it so properly you also need a Bi- stable multivibrator in the circuit for it work
josh1001 (author)  Elexa2 years ago
the problem i see with this is that most opamps need @ least 3v to work properly. so you may have to run an external power supply or a larger voltage solar panel to power the opamp the rest is easy. i draw up a schematic for you.
Crinton3 years ago
THanks for posting this, right along the lines of what I am looking for. What would I need to change to be able to control a realy with this circuit. Specifically, have a SPST relay engange at 5V or higher, or relay disengage at anything under 5 volts? Any help is appreciated.
josh1001 (author)  Crinton3 years ago
O yea the K represents 1000. So 1k is 1000 ohms and 10K is 10000 ohms. ZD is the zener diode
josh1001 (author)  Crinton3 years ago
hi crinton, sorry i didnt update this thing yet but there is an easier way of doing it. You can use one diode and a voltage divider plus an opamp / comparator. Ive placed a schematic on below it will show you how to connect it. The circuit is currently connected to turn on @ 5V, if you want it to do the opposite turn off @ 5V exchange the positions of pin 2 and 3. i hope you know how to use a transistor. I labeled ther transistor points B for base, C for collector and E for Emitter. Just purchase any npn low powered npn transistor and you will be fine. Transistors come in 3 different pin configurations CBE, BCE, ECB. the package will show you the pin out. if not go and reference it online. if i missed any thing message me back.
comparator circuit.bmp
srainsdon5 years ago
this is a very nice I thanks i dont understand it all but im going to collage and will ask some friends to help me out wonderful place for me to start though thanks.
awatif19895 years ago
how about if i want to use it in solar charger for one AA battery? please help me, huhu..
rpvanpatt5 years ago
Hey,  I like the idea, I am looking to find specific answers for a particular setup I am trying to put together.  Could you help me?  just message me thanks!
josh1001 (author)  rpvanpatt5 years ago
i'll help u, what do u need?
I am trying to create a mini solar panel battery pack/charger.  I have a mini solar panel that I would like to try to connect to a 9.6v nicd battery (2 if possible).  Also, I was thinking of putting an LED indicator that will let me know when the battery is charging/charged.  I have a drawing I am not sure if it will work or not, if so I dont know the particular parts that I would need.  Any help would be great, thanks www.instructables.com/files/deriv/F5L/T83H/G57007WW/F5LT83HG57007WW.MEDIUM.jpg

josh1001 (author)  rpvanpatt5 years ago
 OK I was working on a circuit to charge a 12 volt battery. Its a charge controller I designed I guess I can tweak it to meet your demands
nfarrow5 years ago

So what if I need a 12v charge controller for something like solar? What would you recommend?

josh1001 (author)  nfarrow5 years ago
I will upload a schematic too show u how to get it done. How much watts is this solar panel?

It’s just a 5watt solar but would like to be able to add more later on since I am working on refurbishing some old car batteries. I have about 12 now and I was told that I should hook them up in parallel.

josh1001 (author)  nfarrow5 years ago
Sorry im taking a bit of time, im testing and trying to improve circuit. I should have it soon for you. Is 30W of power ok?
No clue, I guess that will work. thanks :)
josh1001 (author)  nfarrow5 years ago
Solar charger.bmp
mathews5 years ago
You may want to place a 330R resistor in series with the the LED output.

Also, why do you have two zener diodes in your circuit, you only need one, and the other input should be a potential divider made up of two resistors. That way if it is over 5v, it will trigger on, and if not it will be off.
josh1001 (author)  mathews5 years ago
thanks for the tips, i tried the voltage divider circuit and it works. 
Question isn't the comparator sinking the led current ? 
What i mean is the led isn't a big load that would damage the IC, but in future i would put in a resistor just to be safe.
You should explain a bit more how the circuit works. If I didn't already understand comparators, zeners and the like, this instructable would be totally greek to me. Perhaps explaining why you chose those specific component values and what the components actually do would be helpful to those less experienced in electronics.
josh1001 (author)  inventorjack5 years ago

This is my first time posting  an instructable, and it did realise that i could have change some things. By the way you are right abotu the lack of in fromation in the instructable, I'll update it soon.

Don't get me wrong. Not saying it's bad, just needs a bit more info.