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Electronics All-in-One For Dummies, UK Edition by Doug Lowe, Dickon Ross

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Chapter 2

Working with Mains Voltage

In This Chapter

arrow Examining how mains-voltage wiring works

arrow Making safe connections with mains-voltage circuits

Mains voltage is the voltage that’s available in standard residential or commercial wall outlets. In the UK, this voltage is supposed to be around 230 VAC (volts, alternating current), since harmonisaiton with other European countries. Mains voltage used to be 240 VAC in the UK and, in some places, it still is. In fact, mains supply voltages do vary a bit in practice but they will generally be around 230-240 VAC, and we refer to it as 230 VAC in this book. In other parts of the world, the voltage is often lower or occasionally higher.

In the US, mains voltage is often called line voltage.

warning_bomb.eps Unlike the voltage available from household batteries, mains voltage is dangerous: if you’re not careful, it can kill you. So, avoid connecting your circuits directly to the mains voltage and use an adaptor to step down voltages for your circuits instead.

In this chapter, you learn about ways to use the mains supply safely so that neither you nor anyone else gets hurt.

Adapting the Mains Supply for Use in Your Projects

Although batteries are a convenient ...

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