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Old 11th November 2012, 08:06 PM   #1
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Default Dual voltage power supply

I have a 6206B Hewlett-Packard power supply, but although it sports 3 outputs (+, -, and GND), there is no tension between one of the terminal and the ground one. I read that this is a "floating ground" power supply.

In short, I would like to have a dual power supply, like a one I could use to build test circuits requiring a positive and negative rails and a ground, like ones used for op amps.

Do you think it is possible to have such a power supply using my 6206B one? If not, could you advise me on one I could buy and use to test small signal circuit? It could even be a DIY project, if you have any pointer to one.

Thank you,
Michel
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Old 11th November 2012, 11:51 PM   #2
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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Small circuit tester...I would say to build it.

There are ways to create an artificial centre tap to create a split supply but there is always questions of stability and noise. (at least from some)

Either of these two ccts will work...you can get fancier circuits if you wanted variable or tracking or current limited supplies.
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File Type: jpg PS-DUAL-CT-reg.JPG (22.5 KB, 203 views)
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:22 AM   #3
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Your HP has outputs of 0-30V @ 1A or 0-50V @ 0.5A. Do you have the manual located here?
For bench work I think a virtual ground circuit would be sufficient most of the time, using a pair each of resistors and capacitors. You could then add variable regulators to obtain the exact test voltages needed. What it lacks in elegance it makes up for in economy.
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Old 12th November 2012, 03:16 AM   #4
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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The + terminal is the positive output terminal.
The - terminal is the negative output terminal.

If you set the supply for, say 15 V, you'll get 15 V between the + terminal and the - terminal.

The GND terminal is chassis ground and isn't connected to the + or - terminals. Nor is it servoed to be the center point between + and -.

If you need a split supply, like +/-15 V for op-amps you need two of these HP supplies. Or as Sofaspud points out, you can make a virtual ground.
If you want to get a supply that supports split supply, I suggest looking at the HP6237B. It has three outputs. 0~18V and +/-0~20V with a common terminal providing the reference point for all three. It also sports a chassis ground output that I normally don't use.

~Tom
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Old 12th November 2012, 03:39 AM   #5
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Why did I start babbling about voltage regs?
Be nice... don't answer that.
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Old 13th November 2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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I would be able to purchase another 6206B for cheap. Can I connect the negative terminal to ground on one and the positive terminal to ground on the other one then connect the grounds of the 2 supplies to now have a dual power supply with negative and positive rails plus ground? The manual is not clear about this.
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Old 14th November 2012, 12:54 AM   #7
macboy is offline macboy  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michouthefirst View Post
I would be able to purchase another 6206B for cheap. Can I connect the negative terminal to ground on one and the positive terminal to ground on the other one then connect the grounds of the 2 supplies to now have a dual power supply with negative and positive rails plus ground? The manual is not clear about this.
Yes you can do that. The power supply output is floating and either (or neither) terminal can be connected to ground.
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