LM2941 1A Low Dropout Adjustable Regulator
LM2941 1A Low Dropout Adjustable Regulator
Find out about the LM2941 - an adjustable regulator with very low dropout voltageelectric circuit | storage | general
We frequently receive requests for voltage regulators
for systems for which the common LM317
is not suitable. Although the LM317 can accept input voltages up to 3-40 Volts, and output regulated
voltages from 1.2-37 Volts, it can only output a reliable
fixed voltage if the input voltage is at least 2-3 Volts higher than the chosen output voltage - e.g. to get a reliable 12.0V output, the input voltage would need to be 15V+. This voltage difference is the dropout
, the amount of voltage dropped
(dissipated/wasted as heat
) in the regulator.
Low Dropout Fixed Voltage Regulators
Where a fixed voltage regulator
is required, something like the LM2940
range can be used. These are low dropout voltage regulators
typically available with fixed output voltages of 5, 10, 12, and 15 Volts.
Such a regulator is perfect for use for example where 12V rated LED spotlights
are to be powered with a 12V battery. The battery voltage can range from 12.5 to 14+ Volts, and we need a fixed 12.0V to power the LEDs, so although an LM317 would not be reliable, the LM2940
(which will drop
no more than 0.5 Volts) would give a fixed 12.0V
output across the full voltage range
of the battery reliably.
Unfortunatately we cannot
use an LM2940
a non-standard voltage - e.g. 8.50 Volts - is required.
LM2941 Adjustable Low Dropout Voltage Regulators
LM2941C - Top View
Ideally we want something with the adjustability of the LM317
, but the low dropout characteristics of the LM2950
. Fortunately such a component exists and it is the LM2941 adjustable low drop out voltage regulator
(which is pictured above).
can output voltages from 5.0 to 15.0 Volts * with a typical dropout voltage of just 0.5 Volts
(@ 1 Amp, less for lower currents), and an absolute maximum dropout of 1.0 Volts
across the full temperature range. The LM2941 can supply up to 1 Amp
* Note that the maximum input voltage is 26 Volts
, so this component is not suitable for 24 Volt rated systems.
Pictured above is the typical application
circuit using the LM2941
as an adjustable voltage regulator
. The reference voltage
(measured across ADJ and GND) is 1.275V
. With the resistor R1
typically set to 1K
, the value of R2 for any given desired output voltage
is calculated using the following equation:
R2 = R1 (( Vout / Vref) - 1 ))
For example, if an 8.00V low voltage drop out regulator is required, R1 = 1K, Vref = 1.275, and so R2 = 1000((8.00/1.275) - 1) = 5276 Ohms.
Turning the equation around we can also calculate the output voltage
for any given values of R1 and R2:
Vout = Vref * ((R1 + R2) / R1)
...so if we keep R1 as 1K and set R1 as 5K1 (since the 5276 Ohm value calculated is obviously not a standard resistor
) we see that Vout = 1.275 ((1000 + 5100) / 1000) = 7.78 Volts. (Note that it is possible to connect standard resistors in series
adding up their values to get an exact value if a very accurate voltage regulator
is required - e.g. 4K7 + 560R + 10R + 5R6 = 5276 Ohms for an 8.00V regulator)
Click here to view the LM2941 Datasheet
(PDF) with sample circuits
, and detailed specification data.
Making a User-Adjustable Voltage Regulator Circuit
Sometimes it is desirable to make a voltage regulator
which can have its output voltage adjusted after
it has been put together - e.g. if the device to be powered has to be changed for a unit with a different specification. In order to avoid having to put together an all new voltage regulator, the resistor R2
can instead be replaced with a variable resistor
) such as the one pictured below.
can be used reliably for output voltages from 5 to 15 Volts
. Setting Vout
as 5V and then as 15V, we can calculate that (if R1
is kept at 1K) R2
must be set as 2,900 Ohms for a 5V output, and 10,700 Ohms for a 15V output. Therefore, if R2
is replaced with a 3K resistor in series with a 10K potentiometer
, the user can easily change the output voltage through the full range available (since R2
can be set to any value between 3K and 13K).
Buy LM2941 Voltage Regulator ICs
is available in TO-263
packages from Rapid. Click here now to view and buy these LM2941 Adjustable Low Dropout Voltage Regulators
Pictured above is an 8.3 Volt low dropout voltage regulator
built using an LM2941
. With R1 set at 1K and R2 set as 5K6, the calculation suggested that the output voltage would be 8.4V, but the resistors used are only accurate
to +/- 5% leading to the difference. Had we required an exact 8.40V regulator we would have selected higher specification resistors, or measured a selection standard resistors to find those that best matched our requirements.
With a load of 200mA the output voltage of this circuit was stable at 8.30V as long as the input voltage was above 8.45V. When the input voltage fell below 8.45V, the output voltage was equal to input voltage minus 0.15V.
If you need a similar low voltage dropout regulator circuit
(or an adjustable
low dropout voltage regulator) then please email email@example.com
with details of your exact requirements.
Article Last Modified: 16:10, 16th Sep 2008
Comment on this Article
If you have any comments on this article, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended Related Articles
People who read this article also enjoyed the following articles:Solar Battery Charger With LM317T
Find out how to make a current controlled solar battery charger using an LM317TArticle Last Modified: 09:34, 30th Mar 2007solar | education | electric circuitLM317T Voltage Regulator Chip
Learn about the LM317T and its uses in renewable energy projectsArticle Last Modified: 14:35, 9th Sep 2008electronics | electric circuitUsing The LM317T With LED Lighting
Use an LM317T to regulate the current in LED lighting projectsArticle Last Modified: 12:47, 12th Mar 2008lighting | electric circuitLM317T Heatsinking
Choosing a heatsink for use with an LM317T voltage regulatorArticle Last Modified: 12:40, 2nd Mar 2009electric circuit | generalLM317 High Current Voltage Regulator
Find out how to build an LM317T based high current voltage regulatorArticle Last Modified: 12:29, 17th Aug 2010electric circuit | electronics | general | educationWhat is a Zener Diode
Find out more about the Zener diodeArticle Last Modified: 10:20, 10th Feb 2009electric circuit | educationLM2940 12V 1A Low Dropout Regulator
Find out how to use an LM2940 to efficiently regulate voltageArticle Last Modified: 09:07, 30th Jan 2010electric circuit | storage | general | lightingGermanium Diodes
Learn about the advantages of Germanium DiodesArticle Last Modified: 13:43, 8th Aug 2008electronicsBuilding Your REUK 3 Phase Bridge Rectifier
Instructions on putting together the REUK three phase bridge rectifier kitArticle Last Modified: 11:46, 29th Mar 2007educationBasic 4 AA Solar Battery Charger Plans
Make a simple solar charger for 4 AA rechargeable batteriesArticle Last Modified: 09:43, 30th Jul 2007solar | education