New ATX Breakout Board PCBs (with some improvements!)

Hello everyone, I’ve got some good news today!

I released a newer version of my ATX Breakout Board. After receiving a lot of requests, I also printed some PCBs (10x blue, 10x red) and will print more after thorough testing of the current revision.

Features and additions added from the older version:

  • Thickened many traces, removed pin headers in the middle of the board and added one behind each binding post (up to 5 output pins per voltage line, with no risk of burning any traces).
  • Added resistors to the USB ports (on the back of the board). You may want to use them for USB identification, as they are cheaper and easier to find than the TPS2513. Adafruit link for more info: https://learn.adafruit.com/minty-boost/icharging
  • Moved LM317 so that you can mount it horizontally + used a footprint with longpads, should you want to solder wires to an external voltage reg + heatsink.
  • Prototyping area added at the top left of the board. Not sure if it will ever come useful, but I had some empty space there. You have easy access to the 3V3 and 5V lines.
  • Moved/rearranged several parts (pot, switch, LEDs) in order to draw shorter and cleaner traces.

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LSF0204 breakout board: a bidirectional, multi-voltage level converter!

Hello everyone!

I needed a small, fast and reliable multi-voltage level translator (mainly for connecting ESP8266 boards to the Arduino, got tired of resistor networks pretty quickly) so I built a breakout board for TI’s LSF0204(D).

Datasheet and info here.

The LSF0204 is a nice little chip. It can translate up to 4 signals to and from the following values:

1.0 V ↔ 1.8/2.5/3.3/5 V.
1.2 V ↔ 1.8/2.5/3.3/5 V.
1.8 V ↔ 2.5/3.3/5 V.
2.5 V ↔ 3.3/5 V.
3.3 V ↔ 5 V.

Here’s a picture of the board design:

Board layout

 

It’s very easy to use: connect the reference voltages to VA (1.0-4.5V) and VB (1.8-5.5V), and your signals to A1/2/3/4 or B1/2/3/4. It will translate and output them to the opposite A or B pins.

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Building a 3-channel, high power RGB LED driver

Hey guys,

I built another board, which is a 3-channel (RGB) LED driver based on an inexpensive chipset called PT4115 (you can find them on eBay or Aliexpress).

The circuit is very simple and looks like Sparkfun’s PicoBuck. However, I used beefier components and a different chip. You may say it’s pretty much the same thing, but I made it to learn some more about PCB design.

Datasheet here. LED current is set through a sense resistor. The output current I is equal to 0.1/Rs. I wanted ~300mA for each channel so I chose a 0.33 ohm resistor. If you want 350mA, choose a 0.27ohm resistor.

Each channel can be controlled via PWM (you can solder male/female headers on the board), for example with an Arduino.

You can input up to 30V and control 3W/10W/20W LEDs.

The bare boards.

The PCBs.

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Building a better breakout board for ATX PSUs.

13/07/2015 UPDATE: PCBs of the new version have arrived. Blog post and store link!

30/06/2015 UPDATE: New version released, x20 PCBs printed and coming in the mail. New source files and details on GitHub (click me!) – available for sale in a couple of weeks

13/11/14 UPDATE: Eagle files have been uploaded, you can find the link at the bottom. Thank you for your interest!

Many people over the internet have already found out the usefulness of having an ATX PSU, often salvaged from old computers, on their bench. It can be quite easily converted into a lab bench power supply (owners of a real one, please don’t kill me).

There are lots of videos on how to add binding posts to your PSU and how not to, but I didn’t like any of these solutions. I tried the first one, but my power supply was so small and tightly packed that wires and binding posts wouldn’t fit right in it.

I then came across Sparkfun’s and Dangerous Prototypes’ ATX breakouts. While I didn’t like the Sparkfun one, the one from Dangerous Prototypes convinced me a bit more.

Yet, I felt like it lacked some features I needed. I wanted some USB ports to power my rPi and charge my Nexus 5, and an adjustable voltage output. Furthermore, my PSU had a 24-pin ATX connector.

While I still consider myself a beginner in the enormous world of electronics, I decided to look up some guides on how to design a PCB (this time I’ve gotta thank you, Sparkfun! Both yours and Adafruit’s libraries and tutorials rock!) and have a try at it.

Fast forward some days later, my very own ATX breakout board was born.

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