Longer answer, check national.com, find out that the LM7805 is discontinued, use LM340 instead, read it's datasheet and app notes and follow them.
If you are serious about doing stand-up engineering, your first stop is *always* the datasheet. If the datasheet says to use caps, use them. You'll never get in trouble for using parts the datasheet recommends. OTOH, omitting them and causing a high product failure rate is seriously unacceptable.
Mostly yes, but not always. I can't count how many times datasheets recommended to splinter up the ground plane under an ADC or some other part. The design engineers followed the advice, a layout was done, the noise performance was horrible and then he stood there with egg in the face. Not that I am complaining because I derive a good chunk of my income from cases like that ;-)
Tomas, regulators need caps for good performance. However, be very, very careful when you see the words "low dropout" or LDO in a datasheet. Run away, fast. If you absolutely have to use the part pay very close attention to the ESR requirements for the output cap or the thing will sing like a bird and possibly blow up anything downstream or itself. If there is no compelling reason to use an LDO then don't use one. The 7805 is safe but, as Jim said, it's a bit long in the tooth. The LM317 is the jelly-bean regulator du jour. You need two resistors to set the voltage but it's easy. If you want to be extra good give it a 10uF at the adjust pin for really good ripple rejection. But as Jim wrote, read the datasheet first.
I know you mean 2.2 microfarads here, but the m suffix literally means milli, not what you wanted to say. You should write that as 2.2 uF, with the u being a crude representation of the Greek lower-case letter mu, meaning micro.
In addition to the other posters' suggestions, read Bob Pease's book "Troubleshooting Analog Circuits." In it he specifically talks about using caps around one of the National regulators, I forget if it's the 7805 or the LM317, but he warns against using a tantalum for the output because the regulators weren't designed with that low an ESR cap in mind.
Yes, correct, it's old but not discontinued. You can buy the LM7805 from Digikey, plenty in stock (LM7805CT-ND). $0.13 if you buy 1k. I prefer the LM317 though, less part variety in the BOM since you can adjust the voltage and also very cheap.
If so, then yes, you are correct, I consider them to be commodity items which are freely available from multiple vendors, both in LDO and low cost (but higher supply voltage required, say 9V) variants.
Note (in case it makes a difference) that I'm speaking as a hobbyist here.
Was there a time when these were not commodity items, and if so, how long ago was that (I'm just curious) ?
Simon Clubley, clubley@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
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In the 30+ years I've been designing circuits, I can also recall 3 times that chip behavior was either broken enough or significantly different enough from datasheet behavior that I had to do a major redesign.
OTOH, the OP should get into the habit of studying the datasheet before asking usenet questions.
The output capacitor is definitively needed for stability as others have noted and the input capacitor may be needed, if there is a great distance to the main reservoir capacitor.
In the old days I tried to use a 7824 from a 35-40 V supply with a bulky high power resistor in front of it to dissipate most of the voltage drop, I had to add an electrolytic capacitor between the resistor and the 7824 to make it stable.
Most of them are only stable if the ESR of the output capacitor falls into a certain range. To add insult to injury the vendors often only state typical data, no guaranteed ranges. Not good IMHO.
So just imagine: You do a design, writing all this into the module spec. Another company lures you away, your old one hires a young lad fresh out of academia. Purchasing tells him taht this one capacitor is unobtanium or too expensive. So he finds a "better" one, much lower ESR. Phssst ...
There are more stable designs, touted as "AnyCap" and so on. But there you pay a premium for a performance that was normal in the days of ordinary regulators.
I don't know that one since I do not use LDO. If there ain't enough headroom for a regular version I use a switcher concept.
Take a few LDOs and read the section "Output Capacitor" in their data sheet. Chances are you find words such as "should" or "might". Many read like the disclaimer in a financial statement. If it blows up don't sue us :-)
Very necessary, they oscillate really well at around 55MHz IIRC if you don't fit them. Best advice? Read the datasheets, really, they will tell you what you need to do to get the best from the devices.
The graph showing min/max capacitance value for >0 phase margin vs. load current bears the colorful moniker "Tunnel of Death". You would typically want to navigate the tunnel of death near the center rather than too near the lethal edges.
Also, some older datasheets were written before extremely low-ESR relatively large value ceramic caps were popularly available so they fail to mention the negative effects of too-good caps, since few had ever seen a 10uF ceramic cap.
For the engineering inclined, here's a brief primer on LDOs and ESR:
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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