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X-Treme Inrush Current Limiter

A controlled start for Big Electrolytics & Co.

X-Treme Inrush Current Limiter
This all-analog, microcontroller free (!) project got designed in response to cries for help from a diehard model plane enthusiast on the Elektor staff, who likes to fly large high powered models. One problem he ran into was self-destructing power connectors when connecting the battery pack to the plane (i.e. the motor controller). Every time the damage was due to heavy sparking, due in turn to of high inrush currents. Those were expensive sparks as it turned out, because the connectors are 6-mm diameter, gold plated types. Clearly an inrush current limiter is called for to ensure a controlled, spark-free initial current flow rather than a thump and a small explosion. Such a regulator did not drop from the skies however, and took some time to develop at Elektor Labs.
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Gerber file

CAM/CAD data for the PCB referred to in this article is available as a Gerber file. Elektor Members can exclusively download these files for free as part of their Membership. Gerber files allow a PCB to be produced on an appropriate device available locally, or through an online PCB manufacturing service. Elektor recommends its business partner Eurocircuits as the company of choice for its own prototypes and volume production in selected cases.

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The BOM (Bill of Materials) is the technically exhaustive listing of parts and other hardware items used to produce the working and tested prototype of any Elektor Labs project. The BOM file contains deeper information than the Component List published for the same project in Elektor Magazine. If required the BOM gets updated directly by our lab engineers. As a reader, you can download the list here.
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(All 0.25 W, 1%, SMD 1206)
R1 = 2.74kOhm *
R2 = 1.5kOhm
R3,R6,R8 = 3.3kOhm
R4,R5 = 470kOhm
R7 = 1.8MOhm
R9 = 10kOhm
R10 = 0Ohm
C1,C2 = 10µF 10% 25V, X5R, 1206
C3 = 470nF 10% 100V, X7R, 1206
D1 = 1SMB5925B zener diode, SMB (Newark/Farnell # 1894811)
D2 = PMEG6010CEH, Schottky diode, NXP, SOD-123F (Newark/Farnell # 1510694)
D3 = SM6T12CA, TVS diode, STmicroElectronics, SMB (Newark/Farnell # 9885870)
D4 = HSME-A401-P4PM1, LED, green, Avago, PLCC-4 (Newark/Farnell # 1058419)
IC1 = LT1716CS5#PBF, comparator, Linear Technology, SOT-23-5 (Newark/Farnell # 1417738)
T1,T2,T3,T4,T5,T6 = IPB017N06N3, N-MOSFET, Infineon, TO-263-7 (Newark/Farnell # 1775519)
T7,T8 = 2N7002, N-MOSFET, Diodes Inc., SOT-23 (Newark/Farnell # 1713823)
K1-K4 = high current connectors, male & female pairs, gold plated *
Heatsink, ½ brick form, Aavid Thermalloy type 241204B92200G, dim. 60.96mm x 57.91mm x 11.4mm (Newark/Farnell # 1703176)
PCB 120733-1
* user configurable component, see text

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