Why use these instead of just DIYing a switching regulator layout? After all, we’ve covered many great DC/DC controllers on EYE on NPI! Well, to start – laying out and specifying switching regulators is a real pain for folks who are not experienced with some of the pitfalls and it’s very very easy to make a mistake that can smash your regulator or have noisy
output or have less efficiency/output than expected. For some high current outputs, you may need to update to 2 oz copper, 4 layer boards, or have heat sinking vias. If your board is large enough, making the whole thing 4 layer or 2 oz just for the regulator outweighs the cost savings of DIY.
And of course, it’s adorable that these li’l DC/DC bricks are pin-and-size compatible with the standard 78xx regulators that have been used since the beginning of time.
That makes them a good choice when repairing or upgrading existing designs. The GAPTECH LC78’s have much much better efficiency, allowing folks to use a wide range of voltages without worrying about heatsinking or air flow.
I’m a huge fan of these kinds of upgrade modules, because they solve a problem neatly and easily. These have a massive 3 Amp output, a non-trivial amount of current to manage with a linear or DIY switching setup. At that current range these could work great for robotics, large quantities of LEDs, running single-board computers, etc. all in a compact module.
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.