The schematic above is of a Three Terminal Regulator (TTR) design based on the LM350K adjustable voltage regulator which has a 3 Amp current rating as opposed to the LM317K with a 1.5 Amp rating. The LM 350 is internally protected from current and thermal overload and can be thought of as a high current version of the LM 317.
With the component values shown the circuit is designed to have and output voltage range of approximately 1.25 to 13.5 Volts when measured at the output of the regulator. The calculation on the drawing is used to determine the output voltage for given values of R1 and R2.
Because these regulators have a minimum output voltage of 1.25 Volts diodes D3 and D4 will provide a voltage drop of approximately 1.4 Volts so that zero output to the track can be obtained. These diodes need to have at least a 3 amp rating
The diodes D1 and D2 added to the circuit will prevent damage to the regulator during certain adverse conditions such as the output voltage being higher than the input voltage to the regulator. This can happen if this type of circuit is used as a variable power supply for an electronics test bench and without the added protection of D3 and D4.
A substantial heat sink will be needed for the TTR as quite a bit of heat will be generated when drawing high current with low output voltages. For this reason this circuit is not recommended for use in hand held throttles.
If the less expensive LM 317 regulator is used this circuit makes an excellent test bench power supply just leave out D3 and 4 and add a voltmeter.
The explanations for the circuits on these pages cannot hope to cover every situation on every layout. For this reason be prepared to do some experimenting to get the results you want. This is especially true of circuits such as the "Across Track Infrared Detection" circuits and any other circuit that relies on other than direct electronic inputs, such as switches.
If you use any of these circuit ideas, ask your parts supplier for a copy of the manufacturers data sheets for any components that you have not used before. These sheets contain a wealth of data and circuit design information that no electronic or print article could approach and will save time and perhaps damage to the components themselves. These data sheets can often be found on the web site of the device manufacturers.
Although the circuits are functional the pages are not meant to be full descriptions of each circuit but rather as guides for adapting them for use by others. If you have any questions or comments please send them to the email address on the Circuit Index page.