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What is A PCB Mount Transformer

Simon / 2021-05-30

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A PCB mount transformer is an elemental component of running computer boards. Through induction, a board mount transformer transfers power from one circuit or device to another. The device is compact, reliable, and durable as long as you treat them carefully.

The PCB mounted transformers are located somewhere above the circuit board surface, providing whatever current transformation or voltage transformation you require.

This article highlights every important aspect you should know about a board mount transformer.

pcb mount transformer

What Is A PCB Mount Transformers?

A PCB mount transformer is a device designed to be mounted on or integrated with computer boards and generally transfers power from one circuit or device to another.

It is also known as a board mount transformer, circuit board transformer, or PCB transformer. A PCB mount transformer does not have a sophisticated cooling mechanism, so it tends to come with a rating for minimum and maximum temperatures at which it should run. As long as you diligently maintain between these stipulated ranges, your PCB mount transformers should last you decades.

These gadgets come in varying capacities and sizes, ensuring sufficient options for almost any imaginable product. In addition, a PCB transformer is often an inexpensive investment, making the printed circuit board an economically viable means to produce electronic components.

It is used in various applications and can step the voltage down to a safer level, making them indispensable.


A PCB mount transformer consists of a primary and secondary coil wire. It also includes a metal core, mounting brackets, an outer casing, and connecting terminals. It is designed with light material to be mounted easily over a chassis or a computer board. The transformers are mostly integrated circuits and are manufactured using semiconductor fabrication technology.


Types of PCB Mount Transformers

A PCB transformer has a simple and compact design that makes it practical for applications that require little space for components. The size of a PCB mount transformer is exceedingly significant for functionality.

Fortunately, PCB mount transformers come in many varieties and sizes with a form factor embedded on a computer board. The most common types include:

1. Audio Transformers

These transformers are well-suited for data and voice transmission-audio transformer frequency response range from 300 Hz to 20 kHz.

2. Balun Transformers

These transformers are intended to balance an interface line to an unbalanced line. The unbalanced line is one conductor carrying a current and ground, while a balanced line is a couple of conductors carrying equal current in opposite directions. The Balun name is derived from the terms applied to balanced and unbalanced lines.

3.  Autotransformers

These are unique power transformer types with only one winding. You can obtain different voltages by connecting or tapping at certain points along the winding. These transformers are generally utilized in low-power applications.

4.  Current Sense Transformers

They are generally utilized to detect and measure current. Current sense transformers come in two basic variations

  • Transformers designed and utilized to measure current precisely in accurate instrumentation application

  • Transformers designed and used in switch-mode power converter type applications.


5.  Interface Transformers

These are intended for communication application where signals are isolated.


6.  Line Output Transformers (LOPT) and Flyback Transformers (FBT)

They are designed to generate a noticeably high output voltage (usually in kilovolts order) from a relatively low input voltage. The Flyback is a topology using the kickback of an inductor to convert the input voltage to the transformer to an intended output voltage. The input energy (in the conductor) generated by the input voltage is first stored then transferred to the output (a process known as the discharge cycle). These transformers are generally utilized to produce high voltage to drive CRT's.

7.  Lighting Transformers

They are intended to supply suitable power to lights and lighting systems.

8.  Power Transformers

These transformers convert one voltage to another at a high power level. They are utilized in electronic circuits and feature different types and applications. These transformers are often considered to be those with 300VA ratings and below.

Power transformers generally supply power to an electronic device power supply, for example, power amplifiers in radio receivers.

9.   Medical Transformers

Their applications include hospital biomedical equipment. Design, construction, and usage of medical transformers are subject to safety rules, laws, and guidelines.

10. Switch Mode Transformers

They are designed for DC-DC converters. They provide the energy storage element to transfer energy from input to output. They are also used in switching power supplies.

11. Resonant Transformers

These transformers function at the resonant frequency of either the primary or secondary coils. The transformers are used for discharge lamps, arc welding, and more.

12. RF Transformers

These are low-power gadgets usually utilized for impedance matching that operate over the microwave spectrum or radiofrequency.

How Transformers Work

The core function of a transformer is converting and transferring power from one circuit to another. It is practically used to reduce or increase the voltage or current of a signal.

The device consists of two non-interacting inducting circuits known as the primary and secondary circuits. Once a voltage is applied to a primary circuit, a magnetic field is produced that induces a separate magnetic field in the secondary circuit, generating a voltage in the secondary.

The secondary's induced voltage value depends on the ratio of numbers winding turns in the secondary to the turn numbers in the primary.

Determining and specifying your intended application is vital when choosing a board mount transformer. This is partly because the design and characteristics of transformers depend on their use.

For example, a medical transformer should feature a large isolation to protect health personnel and patients from possible electric shocks. Moreover, a power transformer should be rated to manage large power amounts.


When choosing a board mount transformer, you should note that the form factor is vital since transformers are integrated with computer boards, and the space available is often restricted. The other few key perimeters vital to specify when choosing a PBC mount transformer include primary voltage rating, secondary voltage rating, power rating, and the operating temperature.

PCB mount transformers are essential for transferring power from one circuit to another. They come in different types, each with unique functionality. Ensure you understand your power needs before purchasing a transformer.

Most importantly, proper usage and care for your PBC mount transformers increase its lifetime up to decades.