I finished building Arduino USB Host Shield prototypes. Functionality has been tested, errors found, fixed, and 1.0rc boards ordered. Title picture shows two prototypes, 3.3V sitting on top of Arduino Pro from Sparkfun and 5V on top of Duemilanove (bought at Sparkfun also).
As you can see, the biggest amount of errors has been made in 5V part of the circuit. To be honest, I’m not quite sure all of them are fixed. At some point I decided to stop messing with temporary fixes and order a board – if anything is still not right, I will find out later.
One of the goals of this build was to test 3.3V to 5V DC-DC converter (schematic). You can see it populated on 3.3V shield. It can be used on 3.3V-only systems to provide power to Vbus. This converter is designed around LTC3426, delivers ~700mA (slightly more than needed for powering Vbus) and runs cold with 90-94% efficiency. Output ripple was measured at 25mV. Note of caution: you should expect stability issues when powering such setup from USB (for example, during development) – in one of my tests Arduino was regularly rebooting during USB drive connect.
Another nice detail about power. Duemilanove and other boards using FTDI USB to serial converters provide 50mA of 3.3V, which is plenty for MAX3421E. It means that 5V to 3.3V converter is not needed when using the shield with newer Arduinos (level translators are still necessary, however).
I am expecting new boards back from BatchPCB in 3-4 weeks. In the meantime, I’m hoping to finish USB keyboard support code and maybe start working on digital camera control. Stay tuned.
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