Episode 7 Column
Episodes 7 and 8 (next episode) will be covering the different operation modes (constant voltage/constant current) in DC power supplies. We figured that this would be the most difficult part to explain when planning out this comic book. By difficult we don’t mean in a technical sense, but from the perspective of simplifying it in a way that is easily understood by people without electrical backgrounds.
Generally speaking, electronic measurement instruments are not easy to use (although we would rather not admit this). It is highly unlikely to simply “figure them out” by playing with them (although there may be some geniuses among you) and using them properly usually requires a background in electronics, a thorough reading of the manual, and a proper understanding of measurement principle and operation method.
However, Naoto’s childhood friend, Nao, says something to the effect of “as long as I can get it to power my device I’m satisfied.” As we mentioned in episodes 1 and 2, this is the unfortunate reality for how many DC power supplies are used nowadays. It’s beneficial from a tools standpoint in that they can simply (at first glance) be picked up and used without much thought, but it’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you have no idea why the instrument stopped working the way you intended it to.
There are a wide range of potential reasons why your DC power supply would stop working the way you wanted it to, but one of the most common causes is a basic misunderstanding of the “operation mode” (constant voltage/constant current). We go deeper into this subject in episode 8, but one of the main misunderstandings that many DC power supply users have is that you can switch operation modes arbitrarily (with a switch). A DC power supplies’ “mode” is a bit different from the standard modes you see in other machinery. For those of you that don’t know what I mean by this, consider yourself lucky that you haven’t encountered any problems thus far! They say that everyone’s luck has an “upper limit,” so please take a look at episode 8, learn how to avoid the common pitfalls of power supply usage, and try using your good fortune elsewhere!
By the way, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank Nao Kondo and Nanami Saito of the up-and-coming TRYBOTS robot creator team for allowing us to use their likeness and penguin robot design, as well as Japan’s “hardware startup holy ground” DMM.make AKIBA for letting us borrow their facilities to use as the setting for this chapter and the next. We deeply appreciate your cooperation!