[3 July 2010 – this project has been retired, but the posts left for reference. Not my finest work, but it may help someone]
During my life in the field of electronics study, research, and daydreaming many ideas (good, bad and dangerous) and projects have been constructed using the typical solderless breadboard that everyone has used at one stage or another. There is nothing wrong with this approach, except for the power supply situation. You could either buy an expensive desktop power supply ($40 upwards), use a fixed plugpack (if you have the right voltage) then build some power smoothing into your circuit, or even use a 7805 or similar regulator to get your +5 volts. Failing that, it’s back to batteries.
You might as well just throw money into the garbage if you keep using batteries and have AC power nearby. I have had enough of worrying about all of this and have decided to conceive a desktop power supply that meets the following criteria:
- cheap to construct
- safe to use (not exposed to mains voltage)
- can accept any voltage DC plugpack and offer a variable, smooth DC output of up to 1 amp
- can be mounted on a small PC board with spacers to save money, or enclosed in a housing for a professional look
- have a digital output voltage meter – so that it looks cool and is convenient. No more guessing with analogue meters and dealing with parallax error
- increases the constructor’s knowledge of electronics!
Let us call it the bbboost – the bread board booster!
So over the next month or two we will do just that. If you would like to put forward ideas, suggestions or criticisms, please do so. Otherwise, get ready to say goodbye to breadboard batteries…
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