Voltage regulator wiring connects the device to a circuit. It consists of one input, one output and one ground wire that attach to a corresponding pin on the regulator. The input wire, connected to the input terminal, receives voltage from the circuit. This voltage is routed through the regulation mechanism to the output terminal and back into the circuit via the output wire.
A voltage regulator, when correctly wired into a completed circuit, moderates the output voltage to a fixed amount, if the input voltage is 2 volts or higher. A positive 5 volt regulator, for example, outputs 5 volts to the connected circuit if the input voltage is 7 or more volts. Attach the ground wire to the circuit ground to create electrical potential difference, creating current in the system.
Voltage regulators are used in both alternate-current and direct-current electric circuits to maintain a constant voltage output. They are commonly used in computer power supplies, automotive alternators and electrical power distribution systems. Though the capacity of a regulator varies in these different applications, the function remains the same, to provide a steady voltage regardless of the draw on the system.
There are two fundamental types of voltage regulators: linear and switching. The former has a hardwired voltage preset that it compares actual output against, while the latter connects to the power supply of the system and periodically cuts power as needed to maintain constant voltage.