A tutorial on the LM317 voltage regulator. Shows you how to make a 1.25 to 25V adjustable voltage supply, or choose any other output voltage you want. An example of a fan speed controller is shown.
The LM117 series of adjustable 3-terminal positive voltage regulators is capable of supplying in excess of 1.5A over a 1.2V to 37V output range. They are exceptionally easy to use and require only two external resistors to set the output voltage. Further, both line and load regulation are better than standard fixed regulators. Also, the LM117 is packaged in standard transistor packages which are easily mounted and handled.
In addition to higher performance than fixed regulators, the LM117 series offers full overload protection available only in IC’s. Included on the chip are current limit, thermal overload protection and safe area protection. All overload protection circuitry remains fully functional even if the adjustment terminal is disconnected.
Normally, no capacitors are needed unless the device is situated more than 6 inches from the input filter capacitors in which case an input bypass is needed. An optional output capacitor can be added to improve transient response. The adjustment terminal can be bypassed to achieve very high ripple rejection ratios which are difficult to achieve with standard 3-terminal regulators.
- LM317 datasheet from National Semiconductor (pdf)
- LM317 datasheet from Fairchild Semiconductor (pdf)
- LM317 datasheet from ON Semiconductor (pdf)
- LM317 datasheet from STMicroelectronics (pdf)
- LM317 datasheet from Texas Instruments (pdf)
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