Miscellaneous power schematics
Protection For Voltage Regulators
People often forget that many voltage regulator ICs have an upper limit (usually 35 V) on the input voltage they can handle. That applies primarily to types with a fixed output voltage. Adjustable voltage regulators also have a maximum voltage specification, in that case between the input and output (commonly 40 V). The input voltage must thus be limited to that level in a fault situation in which the output is shorted....
Following a hunch, the author discovered (or re-discovered?) that all plants carry an electric charge relative to the ground. This charge is more or less constant regardless of the size of the plant - a kind of "background voltage" in nature. This electric charge suffuses the entire plant, from its roots to its leaves and fruit. It was measured between a chrome-plated pin inserted into the plant (the positive terminal) and an iron spike driven into the ground (the negative terminal)....
Alternative Halogen Power Supply
Readers who do not care to modify the power supply of an old PC into a suitable halogen power source (see our April 2006 issue), may find the present design a welcome alternative. The circuit does not need any changes to the power supply. It allows the halogen lamps to be initially powered from the 5V rail of the supply via RE2, so that they are preheated. Subsequently, they are powered from the 12-V rail via RE1, while at the same time the 5-V rail is disconnected....