Small Variable power Supply

Posted in AC to DC, Voltage stabilizers, on 2015-09-12


Features: 1.3-12.2 V, 1 A, over-current protection. This is a simple but reliable device based one of the oldest integrated voltage regulators of them all - the LM723.

Small Variable power Supply


R2 sets the output voltage. The maximum current is determined by the value of R3: the over-current protection circuitry inside the LM723 senses the voltage across R3 and starts shutting the output stage off as soon as this voltage approaches 0.65 V. This way the current through R3 can never exceed 0.65/R3, even if the output is shorted.

C3 and C4, both ceramic, must be placed as close as possible to the integrated circuit, because the LM723 can be prone to unwanted oscillations. It is not an overkill to solder them directly (and very carefully) to the pins of the IC. All other connections should also be kept short.

The LM723 works with input DC voltages from 9.5 to 40 V and the IC itself can source some 150 mA if the output voltage is not more than 6-7 V below the input. When an external pass transistor is used (in the usual emitter-follower mode), the base-emitter junction of T1 represents a significant resistance and the integrated circuit's output stage is relatively lightly loaded. All the current drawn by the load passes through T1 and it dissipates an amount of power that is directly proportional to the current and the difference between the input and the output DC voltage.

Finished project

Small Variable power Supply

The plastic box is only 160x140x60 mm, yet everything found its place in it somehow. Both meters are second-hand items, but properly shunted, with new face plates and freshly calibrated dials.


Output (approximate values):
Vmin = (R4 + R5) / (R5*1.3)
Vmax = (7.15 / R5) * (R4 + R5)
Imax = 0.65/R3
Max. Power on R3: 0.42/R3
Min. Input DC Voltage (pin 12 to pin 7): Vmax + 5

Parts List

  • B1 40V/2.5A
  • C1 2200uF (3300uF even better)
  • C2 4.7uF
  • C3 100nF
  • C4 1nF
  • C5 330nF
  • C6 100uF
  • D1 Green LED
  • D2 1N4003
  • F1 0.2A F
  • F2 2A M
  • IC1 LM723 (in a DIL14 plastic package)
  • R1 1k
  • R2 Pot. 5k
  • R3 0.56R/2W
  • R4 3.3k
  • R5 4.7k
  • S1 250V/1A
  • T1 2N3055 on a heatsink 5K/W
  • TR1 220V/17V/1.5 

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Source , Author: Miroslav Adzic - Serbia & Montenegro