[Lab] Voltage Regulators

Justin Slootsky justin at slootsky.org
Sat Jan 25 10:17:01 EST 2014

I'm new to electronics, so newbie simple answers are quite possibly appropriate.

I have a project that needs 12V for LEDs and 5V to power the BeagleBone that is driving the LEDs.

I'm using a LM7805C to regulate the voltage down from 12V to 5V, and it is functioning well, but it is getting hot.

I added a binder clip to act as a heat sync, but still, depending on where I'm measuring, I can get a temperature reading of up to 80C.

My final plan for this would be to encase the wiring/circuitboard in some sort of container, so that type of temperature is not going to be suitable.

I have read that there are other types of voltage regulators (switching regulator?) that can be used in scenarios like this, but I'm not sure where to source just one of those.  The only local walk in source for electronics that I've found is Active Electronics, and they don't seem to have much (and much of what they have seems expensive).

Is there anywhere local that I can find a voltage regulator that is going to run cooler than this one?

[ I'm still at breadboard stage, so it doesn't need to be the same formfactor as the LM7805C ]


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