PART FINDER FRIDAY – Bidirectional level shifters. Because the Arduino (and Basic Stamp) are 5V devices, and most modern sensors, displays, flash cards and modes are 3.3V-only, many makers find that they need to perform level shifting to protect the 3.3V device from 5V. Although one can use resistors to make a divider, for high speed transfers, the resistors can add a lot of slew and cause havoc that is tough to debug. For that reason, we like using 4050/74LVX245 series and similar logic to perform proper level shifting. Only problem is that they are only good in one direction which can be a problem for some specialty bi-diectional interfaces and also makes wiring a little hairy.
That’s why we dig the TXB0108 (and friends) level shifters. These guys perform bidirectional level shifting from pretty much any voltage to any voltage and auto-detect the direction. Only thing that doesn’t work here is i2c (because it uses pullups which confuse the chip). Its a little more luxurious than a 74LVX245 but if you just don’t want to worry about directional pins this is a life saver!
Comes only in SMT format, the TSSOP is most friendly to solder. We even have it in our Eagle library for immediate use!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.