A better DC voltage regulator?

Not a regular Digikey shopper, so pardon my ignorance. Having trouble finding what I want here.

I have this:
…but I’m 100% certain I’ve had at least two voltage drops below 12v, because it’s connected to a Synology and I’ve had to reformat RAID drives a couple of times. Voltage drop is the #1 reason.

Regardless, I’m looking for a higher quality 12v regulator. The Amazon item is 8-40v regulated to 12v. Is there a product here on DigiKey that is along those lines? The one from Amazon, too, gets a little hotter than I’d like. (Considering that I’m almost always in the 13-14v range, not sure why, but I’m not an electronics expert.) I’d like one that vents, if possible. If not, I can rig up some sort of fins-heatsing-mounting or something behind it. Oh, and it has to be at least 60 watts.

Any recommendations? (Also, sorry if wrong category… didn’t see a “Voltage Regulator” category!)

Hi CaptainPalapa,

What is your actual input voltage range? Is it truly 8V to 40V, and what is the source of that voltage?

Just trying to expand the options, depending on what your true requirements are.

Well, we are full-time RVers. We have a nice Victron system. But for the Synology, I’m running a 14AWG (I think…) from our 4x100ah Battle Born 12v lithium batteries up to my “tech cabinet”. There I have a Blue Sea fusebox, and I run a line to the regulator and then to the Synology (DS1522+). I would guess we COULD have momentary drops in voltage (maybe because not a dedicated line), but I don’t have any kind of data logging going on here. I mean, I could even be wrong about the voltage drops, but a) that thing I have is hot and b) I don’t mind upping to a better regulator. To be clear, that source line to the fusebox, there are other things on it, but they’re all pretty low power. The Synology is the beast-iest.

In theory, we could have as high as 14.4 volts, I would guess, when the batteries are being charged via the Victron Multiplus, with power sources of 30/50 AC amp shore power or via our 4x190w solar panels.

Did I answer your question? I’m a programmer, so I know just enough to be dangerous!

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OK. So, I am not an RV-er and have no familiarity whatsoever with any of the brand names you are throwing out there.

Sounds like you have a parallel set (4x) of 100Ah lithium batteries with nominal voltage in the 13.xV to 14.xV range running some distance to a fuse box and from there to your NAS device (I had to look up Synology). You also have your batteries connected to an AC powered charging system as well as a solar charging system. I don’t know what your maximum current draw is from your NAS unit. Is it approaching 6A, or is it well under that?

At a minimum, you may have a lot of noise in your system from the various charging systems, other loads on your batteries, and depending on the nature of the current draw from your NAS system (if it tends to draw current in surges rather than at a smooth steady rate, that can have a significant effect), then there is greater likelihood for fluctuations in the voltage, and a low-end DC-DC converter like the one you have, is less likely to be able to react to those fluctuations very well. The longer your cables and the smaller the wire gauge, the more pronounced the problems can be.

Three things might help this:

  • Noise filtering - cleans up voltage spikes which might affect downstream devices
  • Added capacitance - creates a reserve of charge to help maintain a steady voltage during peak current draw
  • Better DC-DC converter - will react better to line and load fluctuations

Your instinct is right to start with a better DC-DC converter, as a good one will tend to compensate for deficiencies in the other two areas.

So your max input is less than 18V, and your minimum is probably in the 10V range, depending on how severely the voltage can sag.

Here’s a link to some DC-DC converters rated for at least 100W (8.3A @ 12V) and which can take an input range of 9V to 36V. Note that they all have heatsink fins, so placing them in an area with good airflow will give better results. If they run hot, adding active airflow can only help. Pay attention to orientation when you mount these, as they will typically cool better in a specific orientation. In general, having the unit mounted on a side wall with the fins oriented vertically, so the air flows between the fins from bottom to top, will give best results.

Based on skimming the respective datasheets, the TEP 150-2412WI appears to have the best internal filtering, which means it’s more likely to provide a clean output without having to add external filtering. All of them should have an external fuse added upstream from the device. They recommend a 30A slow-blow type.

That’s great info, I will check that product. I have a W1209 hanging from the ceiling of the cabinet and wired to big ol’ gaming fan. Some temperature I set a while back (and can’t remember, because Celsius) triggers the fan to run until the cabinet cools down. My Pepwave Max Transit Duo (dual cell sim for Internet) can get a bit hot (but only draws 1amp DC). You could be completely right about the noise, I mean… there’s two wifi routers (grr, can’t get rid of one), 16-port switch (again, 1amp), etc. I don’t think I have any AC powered, so that power bar is off.

I would probably orient horizontally as that would be the likeliest airflow. A lot of times, I just leave the cabinet door open. Unfortunately, I kind of only have so many options, especially based on where I can run power cables, and where I have roof access for cell antennas, solar inputs, all that stuff.

Here’s an older pic. The big unit, bottom right, is the old Drobo I had before the Synology drive. (Sorry about that, I’m usually in geek/tech forums!)

The little wall mounted Intel NUC computer, it’s off now, since I have cabilities with the Synology that preclude the need for it. That’s less power usage and heat. Not seen, between that tiny computer and the door frame is the current regulator.

I only include that detail for your potential curiosity’s sake. And because I didn’t include it sooner.

Thanks for the info!

That one you linked was pretty pricey, I’m sure it’s completely worth it. This one, which is under $100, is more in my budget.

Hi CaptainPalapa,

The only issue I would have with the RSD-60G-12 would be if it supplies sufficient power for your unit. Is 60W enough under all scenarios?

Also, above 55°C (131°F) it needs to be derated linearly down to 60% (35W) at 70°C (158°F) unless mounted to a large metal surface. It’s not rated for operation at all above 70°C.


Above 5A, it will protect itself by current limiting to 5A by reducing the output voltage. If your load tries to exceed 5A, it will see reduced voltage until it’s draw is at, or below 5A again. I generally like a fair amount of margin with something like this - thus my recommendation for 100W+ units. Even if the lower power unit works fine, it’s making it work a bit harder, which might reduce life a bit. In particular, aluminum electrolytic capacitors (contained in all but the most high-end supplies) have much greater lives when run well below the max temperature and current limit. In any case, it’s a trade-off, and if your average load is well below 60W, then this unit ought to be just fine.

1866-4401-ND is a similar priced option that has higher current & power handling @102W and will generate less heat, however it does produce more noise @120mVp-p compared to 50mVp-p as the option you selected. We do have DC Filter Modules listed here that may help reduce noise on the output of the DC power supply. David_1528 would be of more help regarding the selection of these.

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