Linear Voltage Regulators

A Linear Voltage Regulator ensures the output voltage from the circuit is maintained at a specific voltage.

The device acts as a variable resistor, continuously adjusting to maintain a constant output voltage. The regulated voltage must be lower than the input voltage. Simple voltage regulator contains a Zener Diode and a resistor but more complicated versions include elements like a voltage reference and error amplifiers.

A more specific type of regulator are Low Dropout Voltage Regulators (LDO) which can regulate voltage even when the power supply voltage is very close to the supply voltage.


How to choose linear voltage regulator ICs?


The primary feature in choosing a regulator is usually the Output voltage as the main purpose of one is to regulate the voltage to a specific value such as 3.3V. Its accuracy to this voltage across temperature and load current is another consideration as is its maximum load. The dropout voltage value will be particularly important with battery applications.


How to test a linear voltage regulator?


  1. Set your multimeter to the voltage setting
  2. Check the datasheet to determine which pins are the ground, input and output.
  3. Attach the red wire to the input and the black wire to the ground, the multimeter should give a reading higher than the regulators' output value. If not then there is a power supply issue.
  4. Attach the red to the ground and the black wire the output, the multimeter should then give the regulators' output value (plus minus its accuracy). If not then the regulator is likely to be faulty.

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Description Price Output Voltage Maximum Output Current Package Type Output Type Mounting Type Minimum Input Voltage Maximum Input Voltage Pin Count Power Rating Minimum Operating Temperature Maximum Operating Temperature Number of Outputs Polarity Accuracy
RS Stock No. 464-114
Mfr. Part No.MC78M12CDTG
$0.62
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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12 V 700mA DPAK Fixed Surface Mount - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 125-0057
Mfr. Part No.MC78M12CDTG
$0.664
Each (In a Tube of 75)
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12 V 700mA DPAK Fixed Surface Mount - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 806-4661
Mfr. Part No.LM317LZX
$0.481
Each (In a Pack of 50)
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1.2 → 37 V 200mA TO-92 Adjustable Through Hole - 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 903-4327
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZX
$0.19
Each (In a Pack of 100)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - -40 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 169-8722
Mfr. Part No.LM317LZX
$0.187
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
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1.2 → 37 V 200mA TO-92 Adjustable Through Hole - 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 124-1350
Mfr. Part No.LM317LZ
$0.213
Each (In a Bag of 1000)
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1.2 → 37 V 100mA TO-92 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 102-3490
Mfr. Part No.MC7809CTG
$0.40
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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9 V 2.2A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±4%
RS Stock No. 178-7547
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZX
$0.139
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - -40 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 125-0050
Mfr. Part No.MC7806CTG
$0.444
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6 V 2.2A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±4%
RS Stock No. 145-4096
Mfr. Part No.MC78L15ACPRAG
$0.197
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
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15 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 169-8719
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZXA
$0.164
Each (On a Tape of 2000)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 30 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 124-1351
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ
$0.11
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 30 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 761-3537
Mfr. Part No.LM317LZ
$0.482
Each (In a Pack of 25)
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1.2 → 37 V 100mA TO-92 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 516-6177
Mfr. Part No.MC7806CTG
$1.11
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6 V 2.2A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±4%
RS Stock No. 518-8379
Mfr. Part No.MC78L15ACPRAG
$0.922
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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15 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 806-4068
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZXA
$0.381
Each (In a Pack of 50)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 30 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 761-3549
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ
$0.522
Each (In a Pack of 25)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 30 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 463-650
Mfr. Part No.MC7805CDTG
$0.902
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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5 V 1A DPAK Fixed Surface Mount - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±4%
RS Stock No. 805-6622
Mfr. Part No.MC7915CD2TR4G
$0.505
Each (On a Tape of 20)
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-15 V 1A D2PAK Fixed Surface Mount - -35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Negative -
RS Stock No. 882-9770
Mfr. Part No.NCP785AH120T1G
$1.451
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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12 V 10.5 (Min)mA SOT-89 Fixed Surface Mount 85 V ac 260 V ac, 450 V dc 3 - - +150 °C 1 Positive ±5%