SparkFun Level Shifting microSD Breakout

The SparkFun Level Shifting microSD Breakout is quite similar to the SparkFun microSD Transflash Breakout, but with the included level shifting hardware, this board allows you to utilize a microSD card at Arduino’s SD library’s top speed on a 5V system. With this small breakout board, that is not much bigger than your fingernail, adding mass storage to your project will never be easier.

This breakout is also a bit unique in that it level translates all of its outputs back to the level of the hardware it’s connected to.

SparkFun Level Shifting microSD Breakout Product Help and Resources

SD Cards and Writing Images

June 4, 2015

How to upload images to an SD card for Raspberry Pi, PCDuino, or your favorite SBC.

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Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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Looking for answers to technical questions?

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  • "this board allows you to utilize a microSD card at full speed" -- a dubious claim, as this breakout board uses a legacy SPI interface, instead of a native SD interface which cards require for full-speed operation.

    • You are correct, I requested that be touched up. I did have to purchase a UHS card to test this 'as fast as it would go'. U1 cards are only guaranteed to work up to 10MB/sec. 'Standard' cards that I had around were the bottleneck.

    • Sorry about that, I'll see about getting that cleared up. You are correct, this board supports Full Speed SPI, but not native SD (which is expensive to use).

  • This microsd breakout can be use and in sparkfun edge board ?

  • I bought this MicroSD board and am having trouble working with the ArduCAM-Mini-5MP-Plus OV5642 Camera Module. After I initialise the camera, I'm unable to initialise the MicroSD board. However, if I initialise the MicroSD board first, I'm not able to initialize the camera. Is the SS or CS spoilt so I can't switch it off (HIGH). Is there any datasheet to specify the SPI Mode ? Will there be a conflict of initialisation since the SCLK of the SPI is different for the board and the ArduCAM?

  • is this board compatible with teensy 3.2?

  • Can you answer how much current the device takes? especially in 3.3v mode ?

  • BAH! With the money I spent getting PARTS for ONE sd card interface a month ago, I could have bought FIVE of these complete ones. What a waste. Some sort of "warning, you will viscerally regret spending money on this product" warning would have been timely.

  • Sparkfun! Please accept my long distance high-five from Canada for this one. I know this is another great Sparkfun product and I haven't even bought one yet! On a related note, I have a film canister with 5-10 micro SD cards that have lost their magic smoke. If anyone has a use for these, please get in touch. ;oP

  • In the hookup guide, the last bit of code you guys show cuts off at "void initializeCard(void){ ..." I was not sure if this was intentional or not.

    • Yes it was, but I'm not even going to bother trying to justify it. You can now copy and paste the code from the guide. Thanks!

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5

Based on 7 ratings:

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1 of 1 found this helpful:

perfect for my new data acquisition system

It arrived really quickly, the only thing I had to get some pins for trying it, I thought they were included. In any case, they are always really cheap in your habitual Chinese supplier.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Unreliable holder

Bad connection between the holder and the card causing intermittent errors.

Sorry to hear you're having problems with this. If you contact our tech support team, they should be able to help you resolve it.

works great

No problems getting this running and logging data with my Particle Electron and code from:

Smallest microSD breakout I've found

It works as it should, which is nice enough. More importantly for my purposes (building small dataloggers) it's the smallest microSD breakout I've come across, which is really nice for tucking into small enclosures.

the level shifting thing is a misleading nam e

I was looking for a bi-directional level shifter but this ain't it. Will use this thing in another project.

It's level shifting in that it allows you to connect a 3.3 volt SD card to a 5 volt system. It level shifts the card, not other devices you might have connected to your SPI bus. If you're looking for just a bi-directional level shifter, checkout part number BOB-12009. :-)

Small, simple, and useful

Exactly what I needed for a quick and permanent prototype. The included level-shifter on the bottom of the board makes it compatible with both 3V and 5V circuits.

Made it so easy to write to an SD card!

I used this on my AVC vehicle to figure out the length of straights and direction of turns, as well as figure out how sensor data looks while the car is on the track.

This breakout plus Sparkfun's SD arduino library makes it super quick and easy to keep logs.

A couple of things to watch out for: *If you had been using your uSD card in a Raspberry Pi, the SD library won't know how to handle it. Reformat the card and you'll be fine. *Small writes normally take between 10 and 20 microseconds on my card (using a teensy 3.2), but occasionally hundreds of milliseconds.