1 Specified 7-A Peak Output Current
2 Specified 5-A Output Current
3 Adjustable Output Down to 1.2 V
4Specified Thermal Regulation
5Current Limit Constant With Temperature
• Product Enhancement Tested
• Output is Short-Circuit Protected
1 Adjustable Power Supplies
2 Constant Current Regulators
3 Battery Chargers
The LM138 and LM338 devices are adjustable, three-terminal, positive-voltage regulators capable of supplying more than 5 A over an output-voltage range of 1.2 V to 32 V. It requires only two external resistors to set the output voltage. These devices feature a typical line regulation of 0.005% and typical load regulation of 0.1%. It includes time-dependent current limiting, thermal overload protection, and safe operating area protection. Overload protection remains functional even if the ADJUST terminal is disconnected.
The LM138 and LM338 devices are versatile in their applications, including uses in programmable output regulation and local on-card regulation. Or, by connecting a fixed resistor between the ADJUST and OUTPUT terminals, the LM138 and LM338 devices can function as a precision current regulators. An optional output capacitor can be added to improve transient response. The ADJUST terminal can be bypassed to achieve very high ripple-rejection ratios, which are difficult to achieve with standard three-terminal regulators.
Besides replacing fixed regulators or discrete designs, the LM138 is useful in a wide variety of other applications. Because the regulator is floating and receives only the input-to-output differential voltage, supplies of several hundred volts can be regulated as long as the maximum input to output differential is not exceeded; do not short-circuit output to ground. The part numbers in the LM138 series which have a K suffix are packaged in a standard steel TO-CAN package, while those with a T suffix
are packaged in a TO-220 plastic package. The LM138 is rated for TJ = –55°C to 150°C, and the LM338 is rated for TJ = 0°C to 125°C.
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