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Author Topic: Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)  (Read 1140 times)

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The Pod

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Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)
« on: June 24, 2015, 02:21:34 PM »

I have found that the Malibu (landscape) lights transformers are a great power source as they are already designed somewhat weatherproof.  The down side is these are 12 volt AC (alternating current) and most everything we build is DC (direct current).  But there is a simple solution.  For less than a $1, you can build a bridge rectifier from 4 diodes.  Diodes work like an electronic flow control valve by only letting electricity travel in the direction of the arrow.  By wiring the four diodes shown in the diagram and picture below (the silver end of the diode is marks the flat bar across the point of the arrow in the drawing. the diodes will work as a electrical flow control and direct the positive pluses from the alternating current through one direction and the negative side come back through the other side creating a DC (direct current).  I add a capacitor to help smooth out the sinewave curves.  Once everything is soldered together, I'll usually cover the whole thing heavily with liquid electrical tape and then wrap the whole thing with electrical tape to help weather proof it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the diode bridge rectifier increases the 12 by 1.4 or an DC output of 16.8 volts at the peak of the sine curves.  With the capacitor, it helps flatten out the curves a bit and with the setup show below I get around 15.2 volts DC.  If its necessary to have 12 volts, we could look at adding a simple DC 12 volt regulator to the setup (which will be another tutorial for another day.....).
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kid

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Re: Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 07:15:38 PM »

Awesome, thanks Pod!. :singing:
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The Pod

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Re: Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2016, 11:21:02 AM »

Found these (http://www.ebay.com/itm/262477846105?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT) on E-Bay the other day.  Same thing I diagrammed but comes as a nice little kit.  Also has a power indicator LED and screw terminals for connecting the wires.
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The Pod

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Re: Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 11:07:55 PM »

I've found bumping up the diodes to 1N5408 works much better cause it gives me 3 Amps vs. the 1 Amp with the other diodes.
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kid

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Re: Build a bridge rectifier (convert AC to DC)
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 07:20:18 PM »

So, running leds, that should be a ton of lights. I say a ton, because you had to do the math on my floods for me. :roflmao:
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