Let's Make Robots!

5v voltage regulation.

Is there a simple thingy that I can hook up to any voltage higher than 5V (within reasonable range) and always get 5volt out?

As I'm starting this project I'm using a 6V battery pack, but I believe I'll be switching to a 7,2V as soon as fundings allow it. And I do have an old 14,4V battery drill that might become a donor in the future. I can always remake the voltage regulator part as the project moves along, but it would be awesome if any of you knew of the ultimate solution for lazy people like myself who only picks up the soldering iron when it can't be fixed with tape or a lot of tape...

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I have a ton of ceramics I was going to solder together since I have a ton of them. I just need to decode the values I have most of them but one was 10 with a line under it. I haven't figured out that value yet. Also if I put them in parallel I am assuming I hadd the farads together to come up with the total? or would I need to put them in series?
Caps add in parallel, opposite of resistors. The 10 with underline is probably 10 pF, most of the digit ones work off picofarad values. Like a 223 would be 22000 pF or 22 nF or 0.022 uF. Letters like K and J refer to tolerance, how close they are to the marked value. Others can refer to temperature, etc.

This switcher goes from 6.3 to 30 volts to output 5 volts. 

This buck-boost goes from  2.6 to 14 to an adjustable output of 2.6 to 14 volts.

A dc-dc voltage regulator will regulate a wide range of input voltages to any other voltage with high efficiency. Unfortunately they can be expensive.

I've written a tip/walkthrough on making your own otherwise there is one in the component section.