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Old 20th July 2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Default Battery vs. line power sense

A question about devices (USB stick, laptop computer, iPod, etc.) that can be powered from a battery, or from line voltage:

What is the basic sense circuit that tells a device whether it is being powered from a battery, or from wall voltage? I am curious as to how the device "knows" where its power is coming from.

-RT
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Old 20th July 2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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A diode circuit will work, and the higher source voltage is where the power will be from. There are other circuits too but the basic idea is the highest voltage delivers the power.
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Old 23rd July 2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Hmmm, good question and good answer there.
thanks, bob.
i remember the highest voltage delivers the power.
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