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Help with Buck Converters

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Kyosho_Tom
(@kyosho_tom)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Hello all,

I am currently working on a project that requires several different voltages. I am using a 12v/3A power supply, but I also need to power a Raspberry Pi & Arduino Nano with 5v. I have 2 types of buck converters here, the LM2596 and Mini 360. I am wondering which of these would be the most efficient and produce the least amount of heat? I should also mention that size is not an issue. I am more concerned with heat & efficiency. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I am still a beginner to electronics. Thanks,

Tommy


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@kyosho_tom I have used LM2596 in my RV to convert 12V to 5V a few times. No noticeable heat. I can't get (out of stock) any Mini360's to try but I assume they will be similar. I always keep a heat gun (like the kind for reading tires) handy to check.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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jBo
 jBo
(@jbo)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 102
 

@Kyosho_Tom - I am definitely a beginner myself, but have found Bill's article and video to be very helpful. I've returned to it several times to remind myself what converters might be suitable for a given project:

Powering Your Electronics Projects – Voltage Regulators and Converters

This helps a lot. In addition, for the ESP32-CAM Robot Car project, I used an LM2596. There was no excess heat. Granted, that project was just 2x18650 battery, or 7.4 V max, but the LM2596 should handle it.

To be honest, though, I would just test it, with some LEDs, or with an inexpensive Arduino Nano clone. I have received a great deal of help and good advice from this forum, but I also just like to prove things to myself.

Good luck! jBo

P.S. When I somehow wired a converter backwards, it did indeed create a great deal of heat, very fast. I am confident this is not what we are discussing, and we shall never mention it again.

In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they're different.


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@jbo @Kyosho_Tom I too was thinking it might be backwards, it is labelled on the board in fairly small print.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Kyosho_Tom
(@kyosho_tom)
Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thank you Guys for the input. I just love tinkering with electronics, I just wish I knew more about it (Or started at an earlier age) but it has been very satisfying so far. I decided to try the LM2596 over the Mini 360. Those Mini's are super tiny!!! 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@kyosho_tom I have used a few of the LM2596 modules, but would love to try some Mini 360's, the trouble is I can't find any to buy in Canada.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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Kyosho_Tom
(@kyosho_tom)
Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

@zander I ordered mine from Aliexpress awhile ago. whenever I order from China I try to make it a decent sized order since it takes 4-6 weeks to arrive. You just can't beat the prices though. They all come from there any way, so if you are not in a hurry, its a great place to get them. I got 10x for $4.77 and free shipping!

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32614063352.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.21ef1802nGmiXK


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7115
 

@kyosho_tom Wow, that's a great price. I paid a little more but get them in a month instead of 8 weeks. It's cheaper to ship from China than to a place 20 miles from where I am and the China delivery uses our postal service too. Crazy.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
My personal scorecard is now 1 PC hardware fix (circa 1982), 1 open source fix (at age 82), and 2 zero day bugs in a major OS.


   
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