The picture below shows a normal use of the 78XX.
And this shows an equivalent circuit with the 79XX.
The pin configuration is for a TO220. This is the most common package.
The IC is protected against short-circuit and too high current. The current limitation is for TO220; 0,5, 1, 2 or 3 ampere
It is important to notice that the maximum difference between input and output voltage must be more than 2V. The capacitors at input and output terminals stabilize the circuit and prevent oscillation. The values are specific for the 78XX and 79XX models, according to the schematics on this page.
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