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Topic: power supply (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


I have never designed a board before, but i noticed that most boards use a voltage regulator.  

I build robots and efficiency is a big deal for me, i would like to make a board that uses something like a buck converter for stepping down power from the main battery, as this would be alot more efficient than dumping the extra voltage into the ground.

my question is wether the fluctuating voltage would be a problem for the microcontroller? can it deal with the fluctuations with no problem, or is there a way to compensate for this?  or is this the reason everyone uses a voltage devider?



Feb 01, 2010, 04:25 am Last Edit: Feb 01, 2010, 04:26 am by Osgeld Reason: 1
it needs to be pretty stable, you could use a ldo such as a lm2940ct in addition


The arduino is a pretty small consumer of power.  Say 100mA max, for typical usage.  If you have a 12V source voltage, you're putting in 1.2W (12V@100mA) and taking out 0.5W (5V@100mA), for an awful 42% efficiency.  But say you had a 90% efficient switcher there instead; it would be consuming .56W, so you would be saving a whopping .65W or so...

A GOOD buck switching regulator ought not have much in the way of "fluctuations" at the output, after all the filtering is done (including that done on the arduino.)  An intermediate idea, if you have (say) 24V batteries, is to make tgw SW regulator for the arduino produce 9V at high efficiency, and the arduino linear regulator take that and smooth it further (less efficient, but less loss now that source and target voltage are closer.)

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