[Lab] Voltage Regulators

Ken McKinnon klmckinnon at rogers.com
Sat Jan 25 12:44:24 EST 2014

Try this link:


Reset Electronics used to have some good stuff, but I thought it went 
out of business, possibly resurected...anyone?

There really is not much here in the city for bits like what your 
looking for (that I am aware of)  I tend to use Digikey, but the 
shipping fees for a one off part will be prohibitively expensive. 
Switchers tend to have a few external components which increases the 

A linear regulator has to shed the difference in voltage and current 
(i.e. watts) in the form of heat.  The small tab heatsink of the 7805 is 
not adequate to rid the heat of that kind of drop with any type of 
current.  A paperclip, while an imaginitive solution, does not have 
enough surface area to rid the heat.  Active does have some proper heat 
sinks that will reduce the temperature, or you could attach the tab to 
the case (if it is metal), it will still get warm, but it will help....

And yes, Active is pretty expensive for bits and pieces.


On 2014-01-25 10:17 AM, Justin Slootsky wrote:
> 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 ]
> Thanks.
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