# Voltage Stepdown Converter

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by KrisUK, Feb 7, 2011.

1. ### KrisUK Thread Starter New Member

Feb 27, 2009
9
0
I am working on an automotive project and need to convert a voltage range of 22V to 28V down to a voltage range of 500mV to 5V to interface with the vehicle's controller.

I've come up with a transistor design but only supplies a variation of around 1V over that range from 3V to 4V, which I believe to be too low a resolution.

I am also trying to ensure that if a fault occurs, the input of the vehicle's controller will never see anything more than 5V as the maximum input voltage is 5V.

Any suggestions or guidance in the right direction?

2. ### wayneh Expert

Sep 9, 2010
13,621
4,416
Automotive stuff may run up against the guidelines here, but what you need is an op-amp. Use resistors to divide down the high range to a peak of, say, 4v. Then compare that input voltage to a reference voltage of ~1v, which you can establish with a regulator, a zener diode, or perhaps an already existing 5v reference in your electronics. Feed the input and the reference to an op-amp with a gain of ~4 (go ahead and do the math). The op-amp can be powered off of your 5v reference regulator. The op-amp will output the voltage you can feed your controller (through a resistor). Choose an op-amp that can sense to the rails.

This strategy will reconstruct a 0-4V signal, with the "base" voltage removed so that 22v = 0 and 28v = 4.

3. ### John P AAC Fanatic!

Oct 14, 2008
1,671
241
What's the input impedance of the controller? If it's high, all you need is a resistive voltage divider.

4. ### KrisUK Thread Starter New Member

Feb 27, 2009
9
0
Thank you. I shall give that a go.

The input impedance of the controller isn't very high. It's only about 36kΩ.

5. ### wayneh Expert

Sep 9, 2010
13,621
4,416
22v/500mv = 44X gain

28v/5v = 5.6X gain

Resistors aren't going to do it; you need to subtract an offset. He needs more ∆V than you get after dividing down to under 5V.

6. ### Wendy Moderator

Mar 24, 2008
21,012
2,745
There is a 3 terminal IC, available from many places including Radio Shack, called a 7805. Add 2 capacitors, a 0.1µF on the input and output, and you are good to go. If you need less voltage than 5V a pot may work, depending on whether your load is variable. If it is let me know.