27 May 2010

Fully Automatic Emergency Light

This simple automatic emergency light has the following advantages over conventional emergency lights:
  1. The charging circuit stops automatically when the battery is fully charged. So you can leave the emergency light connected to AC mains overnight without any fear.
  2. Emergency light automatically turns on when mains fails. So you don’t need a torch to locate it.
  3. When mains power is available, emergency light automatically turns off.
The circuit can be divided into inverter and charger sections. The inverter section is built around timer NE555, while the charger section is built around 3-terminal adjustable regulator LM317. In the inverter section, NE555 is wired as an astable multivibrator that produces a 15kHz squarewave. Output pin 3 of IC 555 is connected to the Darlington pair formed by transistors SL100 (T1) and 2N3055 (T2) via resistor R4.

The Darlington pair drives ferrite transformer X1 to light up the tubelight. For fabricating inverter transformer X1, use two EE ferrite cores (of 25×13×8mm size each) along with plastic former. Wind 10 turns of 22 SWG on primary and 500 turns of 34 SWG wire on secondary using some insulation between the primary and secondary. To connect the tube-light to ferrite transformer X1, first short both terminals of each side of the tube-light and then connect to the secondary of X1. (You can also use a Darlington pair of transistors BC547 and 2N6292 for a 6W tube-light with the same transformer.)

Circuit diagram:

Fully Automatic Emergency Light Circuit Diagram

When mains power is available, reset pin 4 of IC 555 is grounded via transistor T4. Thus, IC1 (NE555) does not produce square-wave and emergency light turns off in the presence of mains supply. When mains fails, transistor T4 does not conduct and reset pin 4 gets positive supply though resistor R3. IC1(NE555) starts producing square wave and tube-light turns on via ferrite transformer X1. In the charger section, input AC mains is stepped down by transformer X2 to deliver 9V-0-9V AC at 500mA. Diodes D1 and D2 rectify the output of the transformer. Capacitors C3 and C4 act as filters to eliminate ripples.

The unregulated DC voltage is fed to IC LM317 (IC2). By adjusting preset VR1, the output voltage can be adjusted to deliver the charging voltage. When the battery gets charged above 6.8V, zener diode ZD1 conducts and regulator IC2 stops delivering the charging voltage. Assemble the circuit on a general-purpose PCB and enclose in a cabinet with enough space for the battery and switches. Connect a 230V AC power plug to feed charging voltage to the battery and make a 20W tube outlet in the cabinet to switch on the tube-light.

Mains Supply Failure Alarm NEW

Whenever AC mains supply fails, this circuit alerts you by sounding an alarm. It also provides a backup light to help you find your way to the torch or the generator key in the dark. The circuit is powered directly by a 9V PP3/6F22 compact battery. Pressing of switch S1 provides the 9V power supply to the circuit. A red LED (LED2), in conjunction with zener diode ZD1 (6V), is used to indicate the battery power level.

Resistor R9 limits the operating current (and hence the brightness) of LED2. When the battery voltage is 9V, LED2 glows with full intensity. As the battery voltage goes below 8V, the intensity of LED2 decreases and it glows very dimly. LED2 goes off when the battery voltage goes below 7.5V. Initially, in standby state, both the LEDs are off and the buzzer does not sound. The 230V AC mains is directly fed to mains-voltage detection optocoupler IC MCT2E (IC1) via resistors R1, R2 and R3, bridge rectifier BR1 and capacitor C1.

Illumination of the LED inside optocoupler IC1 activates its internal phototransistor and clock input pin 12 of IC2 (connected to 9V via N/C contact of relay RL1) is pulled low. Note that only one monostable of dual-monostable multivibrator IC CD4538 (IC2) is used here. When mains goes off, IC2 is triggered after a short duration determined by components C1, R4 and C3. Output pin 10 of IC2 goes high to forward bias relay driver transistor T1 via resistor R7.

Circuit diagram:

Mains Supply Failure Alarm Circuit Diagram

Relay RL1 energises to activate the piezo buzzer via its N/O contact for the time-out period of the monostable multivibrator (approximately 17 minutes). At the same time, the N/C contact removes the positive supply to resistor R4. The time-out period of the monostable multivibrator is determined by R5 and C2. Simultaneously, output pin 9 of IC2 goes low and pnp transistor T2 gets forward biased to light up the white LED (LED1).

Light provided by this back-up LED is sufficient to search the torch or generator key. During the mono time-out period, the circuit can be switched off by opening switch S1. The ‘on’ period of the monostable multivibrator may be changed by changing the value of resistor R5 or capacitor C2. If mains doesn’t resume when the ‘on’ period of the monostable lapses, the timer is retriggered after a short delay determined by resistor R4 and C3.

Invisible Broken Wire Detector(LATEST)

Portable loads such as video cameras, halogen flood lights, electrical irons, hand drillers, grinders, and cutters are powered by connecting long 2- or 3-core cables to the mains plug. Due to prolonged usage, the power cord wires are subjected to mechanical strain and stress, which can lead to internal snapping of wires at any point. In such a case most people go for replacing the core/cable, as finding the exact location of a broken wire is difficult.

In 3-core cables, it appears almost impossible to detect a broken wire and the point of break without physically disturbing all the three wires that are concealed in a PVC jacket. The circuit presented here can easily and quickly detect a broken/faulty wire and its breakage point in 1-core, 2-core, and 3-core cables without physically disturbing wires. It is built using hex inverter CMOS CD4069.

Gates N3 and N4 are used as a pulse generator that oscillates at around 1000 Hz in audio range. The frequency is determined by timing components comprising resistors R3 and R4, and capacitor C1. Gates N1 and N2 are used to sense the presence of 230V AC field around the live wire and buffer weak AC voltage picked from the test probe. The voltage at output pin 10 of gate N2 can enable or inhibit the oscillator circuit.

When the test probe is away from any high-voltage AC field, output pin 10 of gate N2 remains low. As a result, diode D3 conducts and inhibits the oscillator circuit from oscillating. Simultaneously, the output of gate N3 at pin 6 goes ‘low’ to cut off transistor T1. As a result, LED1 goes off. When the test probe is moved closer to 230V AC, 50Hz mains live wire, during every positive half-cycle, output pin 10 of gate N2 goes high.

Thus during every positive half-cycle of the mains frequency, the oscillator circuit is allowed to oscillate at around 1 kHz, making red LED (LED1) to blink. (Due to the persistence of vision, the LED appears to be glowing continuously.) This type of blinking reduces consumption of the current from button cells used for power supply. A 3V DC supply is sufficient for powering the whole circuit.

Circuit diagram:

                                           Invisible Broken Wire Detector Circuit Diagram

AG13 or LR44 type button cells, which are also used inside laser pointers or in LED-based continuity testers, can be used for the circuit. The circuit consumes 3 mA during the sensing of AC mains voltage. For audio-visual indication, one may use a small buzzer (usually built inside quartz alarm time pieces) in parallel with one small (3mm) LCD in place of LED1 and resistor R5. In such a case, the current consumption of the circuit will be around 7 mA.

Alternatively, one may use two 1.5V R6- or AA-type batteries. Using this gadget, one can also quickly detect fused small filament bulbs in serial loops powered by 230V AC mains.
The whole circuit can be accommodated in a small PVC pipe and used as a handy broken-wire detector. Before detecting broken faulty wires, take out any connected load and find out the faulty wire first by continuity method using any multimeter or continuity tester.

Then connect 230V AC mains live wire at one end of the faulty wire, leaving the other end free. Connect neutral terminal of the mains AC to the remaining wires at one end. However, if any of the remaining wires is also found to be faulty, then both ends of these wires are connected to neutral. For single-wire testing, connecting neutral only to the live wire at one end is sufficient to detect the breakage point.

In this circuit, a 5cm (2-inch) long, thick, single-strand wire is used as the test probe. To detect the breakage point, turn on switch S1 and slowly move the test probe closer to the faulty wire, beginning with the input point of the live wire and proceeding towards its other end. LED1 starts glowing during the presence of AC voltage in faulty wire. When the breakage point is reached, LED1 immediately extinguishes due to the non-availability of mains AC voltage.

The point where LED1 is turned off is the exact broken-wire point. While testing a broken 3-core rounded cable wire, bend the probe’s edge in the form of ‘J’ to increase its sensitivity and move the bent edge of the test probe closer over the cable. During testing avoid any strong electric field close to the circuit to avoid false detection.

Ultra Bright LED Lamp

This ultra-bright white LED lamp works on 230V AC with minimal power consumption. It can be used to illuminate VU meters, SWR meters, etc. Ultra-bright LEDs available in the market cost Rs 8 to 15. These LEDs emit a 1000-6000mCd bright white light like welding arc and work on 3 volts, 10 mA. Their maximum voltage is 3.6 volts and the current is 25 mA. Anti-static precautions should be taken when handling the LEDs.

The LEDs in water-clear plastic package emit spotlight, while diffused type LEDs have a wide-angle radiation pattern. This circuit (Fig. 1) employs capacitive reactance for limiting the current flow through the LEDs on application of mains voltage to the circuit. If we use only a series resistor for limiting the current with mains operation, the limiting resistor itself will dissipate around 2 to 3 watts of power, whereas no power is dissipated in a capacitor. The value of capacitor is calculated by using the following relationships:
  • XC = 1/(2pfC) ohms —————(a)
  • XC = VRMS /I ohms ———— (b)
where XC is capacitive reactance in ohms, C is capacitance in farads, I is the current through the LED in amperes, f is the mains frequency in Hz, and Vrms is the input mains voltage. The 100-ohm, 2W series resistor avoids heavy ‘inrush’ current during transients. MOV at the input prevents surges or spikes, protecting the circuit. The 390-kilo-ohm, ½-watt resistor acts as a bleeder to provide discharge path for capacitor Cx when mains supply is disconnected.

Circuit diagram:
Ultra Bright LED Lamp Circuit Diagram

The zener diode at the output section prevents excess reverse voltage levels appearing across the LEDs during negative half cycles. During positive half cycle, the voltage across LEDs is limited to zener voltage. Use AC capacitors for Cx. Filter capacitor C1 across the output provides flicker-free light. The circuit can be enclosed in a CFL round case, and thus it can be connected directly to AC bulb holder socket.

A series combination of 16 LEDs (Fig. 2) gives a luminance (lux) equivalent of a 12W bulb. But if you have two series combinations of 23 LEDs in parallel (total 46 LEDs as shown in Fig. 3), it gives light equal to a 35W bulb. 15 LEDs are suitable for a table-lamp light. Diode D1 (1N4007) and capacitor C1 act as rectifying and smoothing elements to provide DC voltage to the row of LEDs. For a 16-LED row, use Cx of 0.22 µF, 630V; C1 of 22 µF, 100V; and zener of 48V, 1W. Similarly, for 23+23 LED combination use Cx of 0.47 mF, 630V; C1 of 33 µF, 150V; and zener of 69V, 1W. This circuit (inclusive of LEDs) costs Rs 200 to Rs 400.

Step-Down Converter Controller

The TPS6420x controller is designed to operate from one to three series-connected cells or from a 3.3 V or 5 V supply obtained from a USB port. At its output it can produce 3.3 V at 2 A, suitable for powering a microcontroller-based system. With a suitable choice of external components (inductor, P-channel MOSFET and Schottky diode) the device can be operated over a wide range of possible output voltages and currents. A further advantage is its extremely low quiescent current consumption in power-down mode (100 nA typical) and in no-load operation (20 mA).

Also, if the input voltage is less than or equal to the desired output voltage, the device can connect the output directly to the input. Using just a few external components the TPS6420x can cover an output voltage range from 1.2 V up to the input voltage at up to 3 A, as long as a suitable P-channel MOSFET and Schottky diode are used. The device is an asynchronous step-down converter which, unlike the more widely-used PFM (pulse-frequency modulation) and PWM (pulse width modulation) types, involves a constant on-time and/or constant off-time.

Conventional controllers operate in PWM mode at medium to high loads, switching to PFM at lower loads in order to minimise switching losses. The controller described here also adjusts its switching frequency in accordance with the load to achieve a similar effect to the PFM/PWM controllers. The circuit diagram shows a classical step-down converter with an input voltage range from 3.3 V to 6 V and an output voltage of 3.3 V at a current of up to 2 A. The optional 33 m shunt resistor provides for current limiting.

Circuit diagram:

The TPS64202 offers a minimum on-time selectable between 1.6 ms, 0.8 ms, 0.4 ms and 0.2 ms and a fixed off-time of 300 ns. A MOSFET in the supply voltage path is switched on by the controller for as long as is necessary for the output voltage to reach its nominal value, or until the maximum permissible current, as determined by the shunt resistor, is reached. If the current does exceed this limit the MOSFET is switched off for 300 ns. If the nominal output voltage is reached, the MOSFET is switched off and remains in the off state until the output voltage once again falls below the nominal value.

At very low output currents the controller therefore operates in ‘discontinuous mode’ (DCM). Each switching cycle begins with the current at zero. It rises to the threshold or maximum value, and then falls again back to zero. At the moment of switch-off the Schottky diode causes the residual energy in the inductor to appear as a quickly-decaying oscillation at the resonant frequency of the output filter. This low-energy oscillation in discontinuous mode is normal and has no adverse effect on the efficiency of the converter.

It can be damped using the (optional) RC series network. At higher output currents the switch-down converter operates in continuous conduction mode (CCM). In this mode the inductor current never falls to zero. The output voltage is directly proportional to the switching mark-space ratio in this mode. If the Si2323 P-channel MOSFET from Vishay-Siliconix is not available, the IRLML6401 (12 V type) or IRLML6402 (20 V type) from IRF can be used instead.

Both these types have a higher on resistance, but do offer a lower gate capacitance. An alternative for the Schottky diode suggested is the MBRM140 (available from Digi-Key and Farnell), although this is in an SMB package rather than the Powermite package of the MBRM120. The voltage drop at 1 A is somewhat higher: 0.6 V instead of 0.45 V. The devices are manufactured by IRF and ON Semiconductor.