Hello Arduino community,
Me again with what I'm sure is either another basics question or a misunderstanding on my part.
As I understand it, linear voltage regulators will take a higher voltage input and then output a specific voltage. For instance 9v input can be clipped to 5v with a 5v regulator. The excess voltage is converted to heat to reduce the voltage which means you have to attach a heatsink depending on how many watts you're burning off.
From what I read, a potential divider set up does exactly the same, but with 2 resistors instead of a regulator. It also doesn't need a heatsink, as it doesn't generate any heat to clip off the voltage. Is that right?
If it is correct, this sounds like a cheaper way to take a higher input voltage and output a lower voltage (in the sense it costs 2 resistors which costs maybe 50p, while a regulator costs about £1.50 + some capacitors to smooth out the Vin Vout). Is the voltage regulator just easier to setup for reducing voltage (as you don't have to work out the 2 resistor values) or is there something that the regulator does that a potential divider set up won't do (where the potential divider setup is 2 resistors in series)?
Does a voltage regulator allow you to draw a higher current for instance?
Thanks, hopefully this isn't a completely ridiculous post :P