Can you push a voltage regulator?

I'm using voltage regulators in a circuit to multiplex an LED matrix. The way i've got it designed now each regulator would handle about 1.6A max current (with each light in the segment on). Unfortunately the parts I have can only handle 1.5A. Am i going to fry them if i try to send 1.6A through them?

Unless the regulators are expensive, wire one up and let it run to see if it fails, gets too hot, etc..

Unfortunately the parts I have can only handle 1.5A. Am i going to fry them if i try to send 1.6A through them?

You are going to fry them with a lot less than 1.5A if you don't use a heat sink. You probably won't destroy them, they should just shut down.

Don

You opening remark sounds like the regulator is being switched on and off. I hope you are not using it lie this.

I’m using it to supply a PNP transistor with 5v to switch with a shift register.

To clarify…

The circuit is powered with an 11v battery. I’m using Logic-level PNPs driven by a 595 to bit bang the rows of an LED matrix which draw current from the battery (at 11v) so to drive them through the shift register I need to step them down to 5v, which is what the voltage regulator is for.

When the entire row is powered it draws about 1.5A.

According to fig5 on this page, you can boost the current rating with a resitor

http://www.bristolwatch.com/ele/basic_power_supplies.htm

According to fig5 on this page, you can boost the current rating with a resitor

It's a transistor that does the boosting.

Don

In the end it is heat that will kill it --> ensure proper colling --> large heatsink

You are running your main power through your control system and that's where you have the problem. You don't have to do that.

GoForSmoke: You are running your main power through your control system and that's where you have the problem. You don't have to do that.

What do you mean?