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. 796-8060
Mfr. Part No.LM7805CT/NOPB
$2.822
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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5 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole 7.5 V 35 V 3 - 0 °C +70 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 922-3511
Mfr. Part No.UA7805CKCS
$0.546
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 714-0666
Mfr. Part No.L7809CV
$0.65
Each (In a Pack of 10)
units
9 V 1.5A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive 2%
RS Stock No. 162-6476
Mfr. Part No.UA78L08ACLPRE3
$0.23
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
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8 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 10.5 V 23 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 178-2328
Mfr. Part No.NJM78M12FA
$0.777
Each (In a Bag of 100)
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 189-1015
Mfr. Part No.LM217T
$1.32
Each
units
1.2 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 - -25 °C +150 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 121-9336
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCT
$0.807
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 20W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 163-0168
Mfr. Part No.NCP785AH120T1G
$0.63
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
units
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%
RS Stock No. 125-0053
Mfr. Part No.MC7824ACTG
$0.817
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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24 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 40 V dc 3 15W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 168-6586
Mfr. Part No.LM317P
$1.41
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
1.2 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220FP Adjustable Through Hole 3 V - 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 810-0063
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCT
$0.807
Each (In a Pack of 50)
units
37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 20W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 686-9717
Mfr. Part No.LM317P
$1.41
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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1.2 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220FP Adjustable Through Hole 3 V - 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 534-3885
Mfr. Part No.LM7905CT/NOPB
$3.41
Each
units
-5 V 1.5A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - -10 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Negative ±4%
RS Stock No. 168-6064
Mfr. Part No.L78M05CV
$0.858
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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5 V 500mA TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 922-3491
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCS
$0.546
Each (In a Tube of 50)
units
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 102-1378
Mfr. Part No.MC7805CDTG
$0.906
Each (In a Tube of 75)
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5 V 1A DPAK Fixed Surface Mount - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±4%
RS Stock No. 165-7697
Mfr. Part No.L79L12ACZ-TR
$0.212
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
units
-12 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - -35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Negative ±5%
RS Stock No. 714-7796
Mfr. Part No.L79L12ACZ-TR
$0.54
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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-12 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - -35 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Negative ±5%
RS Stock No. 298-8592
Mfr. Part No.L78M05CV
$1.08
Each
units
5 V 500mA TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 661-6121
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCS
$1.166
Each (In a Pack of 5)
units
1.25 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
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