The SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter is a handy power accessory board that allows you to fine tune the amount of power your project receives. This converter can take an input voltage of anywhere from 3-16V which can then be regulated to an output voltage between 2.5-9V. With the switch on the bottom of the board, you can set the common output voltages of 3.3V and 5V, but we've also added a custom setting that allows you to solder a resistor based on your custom voltage needs. The GPIO pins have also been broken out along the top of the board for even more control!
In addition to the voltage control, the SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter uses a switching DC/DC converter, which is more efficient than a linear regulator. More efficiency means less energy is wasted in the form of heat. With built-in overtemperature protection and an optional heatsink, you can achieve up to 95% efficiency rating.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
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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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Having all those Sparkfun QWIIC boards available, with their libraries, saves a lot of work when developing a complex project. However, I discovered that my Redboard Turbo started to have problems when I hit my seventh QWIIC attachment. I used THIS board, the Buck-Boost converter, to beef up the 3.3 volt line on the QWIIC bus. Suddenly all those problems went away. My project already uses two of these, and I'll be getting a third one now. Good stuff.
The board could be a little smaller. But it works perfectly.