1. What does SSTB mean? See our glossary of acronyms.

regulated vs unregulated power supplies for "log vapes"

Discussion in 'Vapor Related Equipment' started by placetime, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    Damn, edit time expired.

    So the digital display one came from the incompetent boob. I almost feel bad for the feedback I left for him. But, its now 6 days PAST the freakin' 6 - 8 weeks he had to deliver. It didn't really piss me off, so much as "how dare you?", when he told me not to worry about something I had paid for and he couldn't account for.

    I looked for an easy way to change it, eh... not worth it. He's got a good customer rating. Maybe he learned something. I know his tone, switched REAL fast, when I asked for the refund from Amazon, instead of him directly. Plus, since I wanted a red one and the one I ordered from ebay, I could only get in black or blue... Score! (again, this will end up being 2 non-LED units and 2 LED units, for the whopping total of $14... hehehe)

    This adjustment has a nice bit of restriction on it, display/voltage doesn't jump around, move up and down the spectrum easily and smoothly. Error, is just about .10. Just a nudge past it clicking over to 11.4, is at 11.5 on the multimeter. Nice, bright blue LED display.

    With another one (blue) on the way. Hope its as accurate and consistent as the first and hopefully, this third one is.

    After reading this, I realized I'm kind of confusing people and not communicating this right. There are two issues. Shielding and grounding. What you are experiencing with your headphones and other electronics, is caused by an electromagnetic field (EMF). Its invisible, obviously, but if you could see it... it radiates outward and decreases in strength the further it gets, as you've experienced.

    The sound, is just the hum, made by 120Hz. Its caused by cheap parts, poor manufacturing and QC.

    You get what you pay for. These vvps are certainly proof of that, though I would say its subjective, in that... what are you willing to put up with. I know isolating it, putting it on circuit protection... its just a nuisance. Actually, unless it malfunctions even operating as it is... it probably won't be an issue. 115v/120Hz, just isn't that much.

    Final note on the LED model. At least this one.... runs quite a bit hotter than the non-LED. Not burning hot, not even HI hot, really... just hot. During most hours of the day though, its sitting in front of a cooling fan. Not a biggie here.
     
    natural farmer likes this.
  2. I_wanted_truth

    I_wanted_truth Active Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    In the trees
    Quick question for you electronics wizzes: How much voltage can a 12v UNREGULATED power adapter put out? I really love how hot my Underdog runs on the PA but know that it is running hotter than 12v. How much voltage will the PA allow to flow through?
     
  3. placetime

    placetime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    I'm far from being an "electronics wiz", but I can give you a little info. The output of an unregulated power supply varies with the voltage coming out of the socket/mains. I've seen people on FC report as high as 13.8V from an uregulated supply--I assume some would go higher with more volts coming out of the wall.
    :peace:
     
  4. I_wanted_truth

    I_wanted_truth Active Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    In the trees
    That's what I'm wondering about. How many volts come out of the wall? 120, right? So, does that mean an unregulated 12v power supply can get up to 120 volts?! If that were the case, I would assume a lot of electronic equipment would be blowing up and catching on fire. So, do unregulated power supplies actually have something in them that "regulates" power to a certain degree?
     
  5. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    planet earth
    I ordered myself the TPN-025. :D I hope it comes a little faster than the still-to-be-seen TPN-023 that I ordered. Different e-bay shops so hopefully...
     
  6. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    No. An unregulated power supply, still has circuitry that reduces it, to 12V. If the voltage surpasses the rating on those electronics (which is far below an output of 115V - 120V). It would burst into flames, basically.
     
    vorrange likes this.
  7. placetime

    placetime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    Actually, given the context of log-vapes, volts coming out of the wall can vary a fair bit, which is why the voltage coming out of an unregulated power supply can vary. One way that voltage coming out of the wall can vary is that it depends on the specific wiring in your house. I've seen reports of people in really old houses having low enough volts coming out of the wall that an unregulated supply was putting out less than 12V. The voltage coming out of just one socket in your house can also vary at different times of day, depending on the load on your local power system (e.g., it's super-hot out in the middle of the day, so nearly every house and business in town is blasting their AC, vs. middle of the night when it's cooler).

    If you read the first couple pages or so of this thread, you can find more info about how unregulated supplies bring the voltage down and how that compares to regulated power supplies. It might help you understand this better. :2c: (or maybe my own confused babbling in this thread will decrease your understanding. only one way to find out. ;) )
    :peace:
     
  8. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    Unregulated supplies are very simple circuits. Its like a transformer, a resistor and a capacitor, if my cobwebs recall correctly. Regulated power supplies, have circuitry designed to specifically keep that voltage at a consistent (and clean) voltage.

    Another difference. Electrical noise (think of it like scratches on a vinyl record, if you're old enough). If you had access to an oscilloscope you would easily see 1) the unregulated line would have visible noise, to the point of line distortion... it wouldn't be perfectly straight. Even with a perfect 115v input, the circuitry/design is so archaic... you will still see noise on the line. Take a regulated supply and the line will (should be) clean. 2) As you increased (such as a power overload) input voltage on both, the unregulated would increase voltage to... until the parts overheat and melt (basically). A regulated supply, will continue to supply that same output voltage it is set for, until input surpasses its specs and its protection circuitry fries it. Hopefully, before it fries whatever is plugged into it. So yeah... something plugged into an unregulated supply, takes a greater chance at damage, than someone using a regulated supply. Having consistent/steady power, for powering devices... is the most important thing. If your house power sucks, you will have problems, regardless.

    Do I need to get any deeper than that? Because that might take some serious shaking of things to loosen up those cobwebs. :D
     
    placetime likes this.
  9. hazy

    hazy dreamer Manufacturer

    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    Australia
    I'm very much an amateur when it comes to electronics, but this is what I know (and I could be wrong). A transformer is a lump of iron with two sets of wire wrapped around it. One set is called the primary, the other is called the secondary. The ratio of the number of turns of wire of the primary to the secondary is what determines the output voltage. A transformer therefore directly translates what is on the input to what is on the output. As a simple example, if there is a 10:1 turns ratio, then 120V input will give you 12V on the output. If the input is 110V, then you'll get 11V output etc. What makes things more complicated is that the output voltage will sag by varying amounts depending on the load on the output. Transformer designers specify the transformer at maximum load. So if a transformer's specifications state that it can deliver 12V at 1A, then at its full load of 1A you will get 12V. If the load is less, say 0.5A, then the output might be 13V or so. When there is no load at all the output could be as high as 17V for example.

    With regards to noise, any fluctuations on the input of a transformer will be passed through to the output. It will not introduce noise itself. A regulated supply may or may not create noise, depending on its circuitry. A switchmode power supply is a regulated power supply that is much more complex and involves "chopping" the input at a very high frequency to produce the required output. Unless the circuitry is very carefully designed, this can introduce all kinds of noise spikes on the output. The noise can also get fed back into the input and therefore affect other equipment that is plugged into that circuit. They can also radiate electromagnetic interference from the circuitry itself. Apart from these disadvantages, switchmode power supplies are very "stiff" and will put out the same voltage regardless of load. They are also very efficient.

    A linear power supply is a regulated power supply that uses a linear regulator. These are very low noise but not too efficient, meaning that they waste a lot of energy in the form of heat and therefore require proper heatsinking which increases size, weight, and cost. Also, the linear regulator needs the input voltage to be stepped down and converted to DC before it can do its job. Some power supplies, like the larger tattoo power supplies discussed earlier in this thread, use a switchmode section to do the initial conversion, and then use a linear regulator for the final output. Again, depending on the design of the power supply, the switchmode section can introduce noise to the system.

    The cleanest regulated power supply would involve a simple transformer, rectifier, and linear regulator. This is the "traditional" type of power supply that you'd find in a hifi system, for example. However it would be large, heavy, and not that efficient, wasting a lot of energy in the form of heat.
     
    placetime and Frederick McGuire like this.
  10. I_wanted_truth

    I_wanted_truth Active Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    In the trees
    Thanks for all the replies. Learning more on FC than I did in college!

    I guess I have to do some testing. If I leave my UD plugged into the VVPS on 13.8, the AVB actually looks LIGHTER in color than it does on my regular PA. My wife has access to a multimeter, and I'm gonna check the volts coming out of the PA.

    Thanks again. Great thread.
     
  11. placetime

    placetime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    Always good to check with a multimeter to see what's going on. :) Be aware, though, that the multimeter will show different voltages depending on whether or not there's a load on the power supply (i.e., whether or not it's plugged into the vape). In my experience, it will show a bit higher when there's no load.
     
    HighlyEducatedScholar likes this.
  12. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    planet earth
    A bit higher? My multimeter shows 17.5Volts for my 12V power supply... Is this normal?
     
  13. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    <STEP AWAY FROM THE STONED DUDE>

    ;)
     
  14. hazy

    hazy dreamer Manufacturer

    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    Australia
    Did you measure that without any load? If so then that is what you can expect from an unregulated supply. Mine showed a similar reading, as I mentioned in the last sentence of the first paragraph in my post above.
    I was shocked when I first discovered it but I asked a friend who is an electronic engineer and he told me that it is normal. It also means that when it is actually plugged into your vape it is probably supplying around 13.5V or so. This is why it is important to measure power supplies when they are under load so that you can get a true reading. The unloaded reading doesn't mean much.
     
    placetime and natural farmer like this.
  15. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    Oh... Unregulated.

    "Never mind, then..."

    Sorry, my bad. I'm trying to do like 4 things at once, one of which is medicate. :D
     
    placetime and natural farmer like this.
  16. hazy

    hazy dreamer Manufacturer

    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    Australia
    Haha yes I know the feeling :ko:
     
    placetime likes this.
  17. slowandsteady

    slowandsteady Member

    Messages:
    275
    Which multimeter are you guys using? I'm thinking about spending around $30 to have one around the house.
     
  18. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    I'm using my old Fluke 77/AN that I, uhm... acquired from the Navy when my first ship decomm'd. I tried turning it in. The ET's told me, not to bother. It grew legs. I've got an old analog clamshell meter from Radio Shack also. Radio Shack, actually has some nice little meters, for a decent price.
     
  19. placetime

    placetime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    916
    I have a multimeter that I got for $3 on sale at harborfreight.com --it's been working for about 8 years now. I doubt it's very accurate (and it's definitely total crap compared to a Fluke), but it is accurate enough and precise/consistent enough for testing log vapes (and various other simple household jobs), IMHO. :2c:
     
  20. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    planet earth
    I believe I should repost this here too... :) Correct me if I shouldn't...
    "Getting ready for some action with the newly arrived VVPS. It's the model with the on-off switch at the back... It is stainless steel this one and gets a little hotter to the touch but nothing annoying. It seems to have a tighter potentiometer as well and that's only a good thing to prevent accidental surges in voltage... The finish is not top notch but for the cash I cannot complain and it looks nice enough! My girl prefers the black though... :p "

    [​IMG]
     
    placetime likes this.
  21. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    I now have 3 LED display ones, in black, blue and red. Plus, 1 red non-LED... all for the whopping total of 5 VVPS - $14. Hahahahaha!

    The first LED I bought after the fiasco with the Amazon seller, when I plugged it in, one of the metal leads, pulled right out. So... once I found my damn soldering iron, I removed the socket from one of the non-LED and repaired the LED. Plus, they then sent me another one. Hahahahahaha!

    I really like the LED models. I hated having to pull out my meter, every time I moved my VVPS. With these, the largest error is on the blue one. It is -0.3 off. The red one, is -0.2 off and the black one, is dead-on, balls accurate. Literally. As I turn the dial and it switches from 11.4 to 11.5, so does the meter. That's the one in regular use... on 24/7.

    Took a picture of the LED when I originally took it apart. Sorry, I forgot to get one of the non-LED model sans cover.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    placetime and Frederick McGuire like this.
  22. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    planet earth
    After some time with the TPN-025 I would suggest people stick with the cheaper, better built, cooler to the touch coloured ones (TPN-023)... Get the "pro" only if you like the exterior design so much. The switch is nothing practical after all as I had hoped. It's much better to lower the voltage during night if you need to.

    It's always nice to have a back up though... :shrug:

    EDIT:
    I pulled out the meter as well and my black TPN-023 is off by 0.3V at 13.7 where I use the Pod so that makes it a real 14V when showing 13.7V... The TPN-025 is only 0.0something off so much more accurate but in addition to what I said above, it also makes a louder chirping noise as there are openings above and below and act as speakers. Not a big concern but a little annoying in quiet environments...
     
    placetime and BigDaddyVapor like this.
  23. BigDaddyVapor

    BigDaddyVapor @BigDogJunction

    Messages:
    3,001
    Yeah, I don't really notice the buzzing. But after years of listening to electricity, you just learn to tune it out.

    Reason I'm posting however, is for some unexplained reason, when I opened the mailbox today... There was ANOTHER LED vvps in the box!

    Lol! Wtf?
     
    placetime likes this.
  24. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

    Messages:
    1,741
    Location:
    planet earth
    Just open a mini-shop right here... :D :D :D
     
    BigDaddyVapor likes this.
  25. BUZZHEAD

    BUZZHEAD JEFF

    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    KENTUCKY
    I just bought a tattoo PS. It has two port plugs holes for the mono plug. Problem is, I don't know which is the output hole or how to short the other one out to make it work. It came with a pedal cord with ,mono end. Once I know the output hole is, can I cut the mono plug end off pedal cord and solder wires together and make it work? Any help appreciate it.

    BUZZHEAD
     

Support FC, visit our trusted friends and sponsors