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Thrifty voltage regulator

Based on a Labs project | October 2011 | Find it here
Thrifty voltage regulator
One of the drawbacks of a threepin voltage regulator is that the input voltage needs to be 2.5–3 V higher than the output voltage. This makes these integrated regulators unsuitable for battery power supplies. If, for instance, the output voltage is 5 V, a 9 V battery could be discharged to 7.5 V or thereabouts only. On top of this, most of these regulators draw a current of about 2 mA. Special low-drop versions sometimes offer a solution, but they are not ideal either.
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