Testing a DC-DC Converter Module


I needed a 5V rail for a project that would be sourcing current for a USB battery charger from a 12V wall adapter. At these kinds of loads (<= 1A) a linear voltage regulator like the LM7805 is impractical, as it has to drop a lot of voltage, and dissipate a lot of power. That’s why I opted to use a buck converter instead.

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MSP430 VFD Clock – Manhattan Style



I wanted to do a follow-up to my last clock build, the MSP430 Analog Gauge Clock, reusing some of the code from that project, and I had an IV-18 vacuum florescent display (VFD) tube that I bought on Ebay. Also, I  wanted to finish the project before Christmas break was over. That didn’t happen. But I did manage to get the code written and most of the hardware built. I didn’t have the right parts on hand to build a boost converter to provide the 50V or so needed to drive the VFD, and school was about to start, so I decided to put that off until later, as adding an open-loop boost converter circuit using a PWM signal from my MSP430 would be pretty trivial. I’ve finally finished the project, and decided to do a write-up.

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