Some tips for modifying your system


We have discussed many schematics and have worked with many of you to improve system performance. We've all learned a lot in these back and forth discussions via telephone and email. Here are some tips based on these experiences.

The tab is LIVE with Vin!

Superpower SPJ and SPL have the mounting tab of the output transistor connected live to Vin. This is DIFFERENT from LM78xx devices, which have the power tab connected to ground. If you replace an LM78xx with SPJ or SPL, you must use an insulator to mount the output transistor to a heat sink.

Use cheap stuff first

Superpower are expensive. Yes, they are worth it but the last thing you want to do is replace one due to a careless meter probe short circuit! When you build or modify a regulator circuit for the first time, use a cheap monolithic part until everything is working as expected. If possible, tack solder a LM78xx, LM79xx or LM1117, measure the output voltage and even power up the system to be sure all is working as expected. This way, if there are any wrong connections the damage is to a low cost part not the Superpower. Then power down and solder in the Superpower.

Remove the spacer if you wish

The leads/pins/legs come with a black spacer. This is to keep the leads properly set when they are attached during manufacture. If you wish, remove it before you solder Superpower to its PCB.

Remotely mount the output transistor

SPJ regulators have a TO-220 case output transistor. This can be removed from the PCB and mounted to a chassis or heat sink, connected by 3 wires. Keep the wires as short as possible, but up to 5 or 6 inches (12 or 15 cm) should be OK. The emitter is the output pin and the load can be wired directly to the emitter rather than to the SPJ output pin. The mounting tab is live and connected to Vin so it needs a mica or Silpad® insulator. Mount a 100µF capacitor near the output transistor, from emitter to ground.

To remove the transistor, it's usually easier to use a flush cutter and clip the device leads, then remove the solder and pins from the holes. The epoxy on the front of the PCB protects the circuit while you do this.

Find more information on separate mounting of the output transistor here, including wiring diagrams to keep high current off the Superpower PCB.

Send us a schematic or a photo

If you have questions, send us a schematic or a photo. We've become good at long distance problem solving. Especially if you're replacing a LM317 or LM337, you can send a photo and we'll try to help with which resistor to remove and which one to short across.

The king is dead,
long live the King!

SPX has replaced SPZ

  • Variable output 5V to 30V
  • World's lowest output impedance
  • Better ripple rejection (135dBV@60Hz!)
  • Faster step response
  • Same low noise
  • Same TO-220 size physical form factor
  • No thermal pad needed
Order now from our store.

Measurement Videos

We have a new page with videos showing how we characterize our (and others') voltage regulators in the lab.

SPHP—1000 Watts for your music server!

SPHP, a 10A Superpower with adjustable output voltage from 5V to 100V

  • Same low noise
  • Same blazing step response
  • Same great ripple rejection.
Just lots more current and much higher output voltage. For sale on our order page See more information in the data sheet here.

Build a power supply

A PCB and parts list for building a compact dual positive or positive+negative power supply are on this new page.

Transformer Calculator!

Use the Belleson Transformer Calculator to calculate the minimum Vrms voltage of a transformer for your Superpower based supplies.

It's Official

We're proud to announce the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent 8,294,440 to the Superpower design.

Use the Superpower regulator in...

  • Headphone amps
  • DACs
  • Buffers
  • Clocks and reclockers
  • Preamps
  • Microphone preamps
  • Phono stages
  • Phono motors
  • Tube preamps and input stages
  • Line powered guitar effects boxes
  • Anywhere an extremely clean, quiet, dynamic power source is needed