switching regulator kit?

QualityKits has this nifty little $3 kit for regulating voltage at 6 or 9V: http://store.qkits.com/moreinfo.cfm/fk805
It uses a linear regulator (7806) though, and they don't have a switching version. So, if you draw much current through this thing, it's going to waste quite a lot of power.
Does anybody know of a similar kit for a switching regulator?
(Yes, I know this isn't too hard -- the regulator data sheets give circuits with suggested component part numbers -- but I don't yet have the ability to print circuit boards, except by having a service do it for me, which is pricey when you only need one. A little kit like this would be great for newbies like me.)
Thanks, - Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe Strout wrote:

Another route is to check out some of the surplus outfits for DC-DC converters and regulator modules. New they're a bit pricey (about $25-35, like from Jameco), so see if you can get some surplus units in the range you want. Look hard enough and you should be able to find some ready-made module in the <$10 range.
-- Gordon
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joe Strout wrote:

I have had OK luck breadboarding National Semi's "Simple Switcher" parts on perfboard and point to point wiring. I always seem to need more inductance than I calculate, but that is probably because of poor current estimates on my part.
As Gordon mentioned, you can often buy little switcher modules surplus. I got a nice one to run a 5V single board computer from Herbach Rademan for about $5 as I remember. It's hit or miss with surplus, but they are pretty common.
Regards, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's what I've been doing when I need a custom circuit board -- one of these days I'm going to have to invest in something better. Either a CNC mill (with which I can simply cut traces out of a copper-clad board) or an etching system or some such. Or, find an online service that's not too expensive for small quantities.

Good point. Still, this seems like something almost all of us will need sooner or later -- maybe we get by with linear regulators (as in Dave Cook's "Intermediate Robot Building" book), but our battery life would almost certainly be improved by a switching one.
Jon pointed out Dimension Engineering, which has some neat drop-in replacement regulators, for $15 plus shipping. That's not too bad, and in a small bot where space or weight matter, it'd be a great solution. I still wonder how much a kit based on something like the "Simple Switcher" and a PCB would cost, though.
Let's see, the regulator chip itself looks to cost about $4 from Jameco (for a 1A version). Then you need capacitors, an inductor, maybe a resistor or two, and a PCB. I'm not sure what inductors cost; the other parts shouldn't add up to a dollar, but the PCB would probably be at least $5 unless we got to high-volume production. So we'd be looking at $10 or so.
Hm. At that price, Dimension Engineering's $15 product is probably a better bargain (taking into account the value of our time!).
Best, - Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://www.dimensionengineering.com/DE-SW050.htm
Copied from another reply to an earlier thread, just in case you missed it...
Later, Jon
-------------------------------------------------------------- Jon Hylands snipped-for-privacy@huv.com http://www.huv.com/jon
Project: Micro Raptor (Small Biped Velociraptor Robot) http://www.huv.com/blog
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks -- that's neat!
Best, - Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.