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Low Voltage Step-Down Converter

Sometimes you have a situation where you have a 5-V supply voltage but part of the circuit needs a lower supply voltage. A voltage regulator from the Texas Instruments TPS62000 family [1] is a good choice for this if the current consumption is less than 600 mA.... [read more]

Mini Metronome

Mini Metronome... [read more]

Pinewood Derby Finish Line Lamps

The finish line circuit detects the first of three cars to cross the line and illuminates a 25 watt 120 VAC lamp indicating the winning lane. Three photo transistors are used which can be embedded into the track with a light shining down onto the finish line so that as the car crosses over the sensor, the light is blocked, activating the relay and lighting the lamp for the appropriate track. The light source should be an incandescent type, florescent lights may not work due to low infra-red content. The circuit was tested using a 100 watt incandescent light fixture about 3 feet above the photo transistors.... [read more]

CMOS Toggle Flip Flop Using Laser Pointer

The IR photo transistor Q1 (Radio Shack 276-145A) or similar is connected to the set input (pin 6). The photo transistor should be shielded from direct light so that the voltage at the set input (pin 6) is less than 1 volt under ambient conditions and moves to more than 10 volts when illuminated by the laser pointer or other light source... [read more]

Ultra Bright LED Lamp

This ultra-bright white LED lamp works on 230V AC with minimal power consumption. It can be used to illuminate VU meters, SWR meters, etc. Ultra-bright LEDs available in the market cost Rs 8 to 15. These LEDs emit a 1000-6000mCd bright white light like welding arc and work on 3 volts, 10 mA. Their maximum voltage is 3.6 volts and the current is 25 mA. Anti-static precautions should be taken when handling the LEDs.... [read more]

Step-Down Converter Controller

The TPS6420x controller is designed to operate from one to three series-connected cells or from a 3.3 V or 5 V supply obtained from a USB port. At its output it can produce 3.3 V at 2 A, suitable for powering a microcontroller-based system. With a suitable choice of external components (inductor, P-channel MOSFET and Schottky diode) the device can be operated over a wide range of possible output voltages and currents. A further advantage is its extremely low quiescent current consumption in power-down mode (100 nA typical) and in no-load operation (20 mA).... [read more]