circuit troubleshooting help Answered
Hi- First on an unrelated note, does anyone besides me see "A fatal, non-recoverable error has occurred" over on the Makezine forums when you try to sign in? I've been getting that for weeks! Anyway... I'm working on a variable power supply that uses a 317 to regulate the 18 volts coming from a laptop switching supply. There are two 5k 10-turn (for precision) pots with a switch so that you can have two "preset" voltages and switch between the two of them at will. There's a single output. There's also a little lamp (I used a micro mini 12v lamp instead of an LED because that's what I had) that goes on above the pot that's currently switched in. The circuit I built (schematic is below) seems to work more or less fine. 'cept there's two strange issues: First, although the pots are linear (not sure if that would make the difference or not), they seem to "flatten out" toward their upper range. The first six turns gets you from 1.2 to about 16.5 volts. Then the last four turns either don't change anything or they do so in _very_ fine increments so that you only get from 16.5 to just over 17 volts. That's in four whole turns of the knob. This happens for both pots. The second stange thing is that turning the non-activated pot will affect the current voltage. When you increase the resistance (turn the knob to the right), the voltage level actually drops! Conversely, turning it to the left will increase the voltage. Remember, this is the switched-off pot. The switched-on pot works as it should (barring the mentioned weirdnesses). It looks like how much the voltage changes depends on how many turns you've given the activated pot. I suspect this has to do with me using a SPDT switch instead of a DPDT and maybe some voltage / current bleeding through the lamps and into the adjust pin, or something. But I ca/n't figure out why the switched-off pot would do anything. Anyway, take a look at the schematic. Is there anything I've done wrong that I'm missing? Should I, um, switch (*cough*) to a DPDT switch (something like the second schematic)? I used the SPDT cuz that's what I had. Anyy help is appreciated, Thanks!