voltage dividers


Here are some ideas of what you can do with the humble voltage divider. This elementary circuit has a few inventive uses. To be upfront, one of these uses is NOT as a voltage regulator. If you need a voltage regulated, get a voltage regulator! At some point or another, I’ve built all five of these voltage divider circuits. For me, the voltage level shifter is the most common.

  1. Measure Battery Voltage
  2. Signal Level Shifter
  3. Reference Voltage
  4. R-2R Ladder
  5. One Analog Input with Many Buttons

Regulator Types

Fundamentally there are two types of voltage regulators:  linear and switching.  The names come from how they operate and how they achieve voltage regulation.  Linear regulators tend to be a little cheaper to implement, but they aren’t as efficient as their more complex switching variants.

There are also some “cheap and dirty” methods that some designs use.  Below is a brief description and example of each.