While designing USB Isolator I needed a 5V supply to power the device side. I picked Linear Technology LT1376-5 part which proved to be pretty reliable and mellow converter. I’ve had used this part for 3.5 years now, in a product and also in the kit and I haven’t had any serious issues with it. Some time ago I decided to put together another kit based on the same controller – at this time containing only PTH components to make assembly easier for beginners. This kit is now available at the store for $20 plus shipping and the following is a short overview of the capabilities.
The kit contains a PCB plus all parts necessary to build a DC-DC step-down converter. Voltage setting resistors to make output of 3.3V, 5V and 12V are included. The converter is capable of supplying 1A at any of the output voltages over 6-25V input voltage range ( 23Vmax for 12Vout), and can be pushed up to 1.3A if input and output voltages are close enough. Output voltage ripple is 50mv@1A.
The biggest advantage of switch mode supplies is efficiency. It is possible, for example, to step down from 24V to 3.3V without generating excessive heat even at 1A load. Also, switchers are fascinating circuits, fun to build and play with.
In addition to full kit, a bare PCB is offered for makers who prefer to source parts themselves. Eagle CAD files of the circuit are also available.