Monday, June 23, 2008

Powering your Technological Arts NanoCore C32 Development board

To help keep my series of articles on microcontroller development on Mac OS X concise, I've decided to spin-off somewhat tangential topics into their own posts.  Here's mini-post on powering the Technological Arts NanoCore C32 development kit.

Jumper JB1

This Tech Arts development kit is compact and has relatively meager power requirements for a microcontroller board running at 24 MHz.  In addition, the devkit uses a LM1086 Adjustable LDO Voltage Regulator and provides a jumper (JB1) to conveniently switch between 3.3V and 5.0V operation.  I loaded up the basic "helloworld" example from Part 1, and measured the power consumption at both voltages with and without a serial cable connected:
  • 3.3V, 16.7mA w/o serial port
  • 3.3V, 68.0mA w/ serial port
  • 5.0V, 17.6mA w/o serial port
  • 5.0V, 76.2mA w/ serial port

Left/Top: 5.0V operation (JB1 open), Right/Bottom: 3.3V operation (JB1 closed)

While hacking code in the lab, using a wall-wart is fine, however, the low power requirements of this devkit give you a variety of options when taking your project on the road.  I've powered my board using the following:

A standard AA battery pack provides around 6800 mAh - 12,000 mAh of battery life.  

Alternate view

A generic 3.7V, 0.2W solar panel, which gives you a laaaarge number of mAh.  
Remember to set jumper JB1!

Cell-phone battery packs are great sources of power.  This is an
old Envoy 3.7V 900mAh Li-Ion cellphone battery pack I had lying around.  
I use the Sparkfun MAX1555-based charger to recharge the battery pack.  
The usual warnings about Lithium-based rechargables apply!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

loving the post, hope you post more my friend. espically if you have any tutorials for the nanocore .. looking forword to it.

theory meets application.