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. 298-8520
Mfr. Part No.L7808CV
SGD0.72
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8 V 1.5A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 178-5116
Mfr. Part No.L78L12ACZ
SGD0.141
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 460-900
Mfr. Part No.LM338T/NOPB
SGD3.366
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1.2 → 32 V 5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 25W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 189-1302
Mfr. Part No.L78L12ACZ
SGD0.58
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12 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 14 V 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 168-6063
Mfr. Part No.L7812ACV
SGD0.829
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12 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive 2%
RS Stock No. 922-3491
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCS
SGD0.506
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 751-2890
Mfr. Part No.AP1117E33G-13
SGD0.554
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3.3 V 1A SOT-223 Fixed Surface Mount 6.4 V 18 V 3+Tab - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 661-6121
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCS
SGD1.03
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1.25 → 37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 296-756
Mfr. Part No.L7805CP
SGD1.31
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5 V 1.5A TO-220FP Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 102-5717
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ/NOPB
SGD0.415
Each (On a Reel of 1800)
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 6.7 V 35 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 100-0719
Mfr. Part No.LM338T/NOPB
SGD2.734
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1.2 → 32 V 5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole 4.2 V 40 V 3 25W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 918-1975
Mfr. Part No.L7812CV
SGD0.564
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12 V 1.5A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 178-5153
Mfr. Part No.L78L12ACZ-AP
SGD0.151
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RS Stock No. 102-3501
Mfr. Part No.MC78L05ACPG
SGD0.183
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 30 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 535-9975
Mfr. Part No.LM78L05ACZ/NOPB
SGD1.014
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5 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole 6.7 V 35 V 3 0.75W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive ±5%
RS Stock No. 102-3490
Mfr. Part No.MC7809CTG
SGD0.775
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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. 810-0063
Mfr. Part No.LM317KCT
SGD0.723
Each (In a Pack of 50)
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37 V 1.5A TO-220 Adjustable Through Hole - - 3 20W 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 686-9820
Mfr. Part No.L7805ABV
SGD0.65
Each (In a Pack of 25)
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5 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - -40 °C +125 °C 1 Positive 2%
RS Stock No. 168-7730
Mfr. Part No.L78L12ACZ-TR
SGD0.143
Each (On a Reel of 2000)
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12 V 100mA TO-92 Fixed Through Hole - 40 V 3 - 0 °C +125 °C 1 Positive -
RS Stock No. 298-8586
Mfr. Part No.L7812ACV
SGD1.04
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12 V 1A TO-220 Fixed Through Hole - 35 V 3 - 0 °C +150 °C 1 Positive 2%
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