Join Date: Feb 2010
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A regulator normally takes an input voltage and steps it down to somewhat lower, with the ability to keep that lower voltage stable by adjusting how much voltage it drops. There is generally a minimum drop across the regulator for it to work properly, below which the output voltage also falls off.
A stabilizer, or DC-DC converter, is a sort of switching power supply whose output happens to be around the same as the input, but "switchers" can even step voltage up (I use one with 12V in to 48V out to run a POE WiFi unit), so you could get 12.5 V out with an input of 10-17 (or wider). Naturally, they are more complex, and more expensive, than simple regulators.
1998 Jeanneau SO45.2