A benefit to mobile electronics is the spill-over we get in the form of really cool modules to build our designs. In this case, we're talking about DC-DC Step-up boosters using the AeroSemi MT3608 IC. Simply Plug in the USB-Micro or attach it to your input voltage, and twiddle the trimpot until you get the output voltage you need (but it has to greater than the input). There's also step-down (with display), full-range (step up and down) DC-DC converters with different prices and size factors, but by limiting to one function, you save space and cost.
Dropping voltage is a relatively easy process, but creating a higher voltage out of a lower voltage almost seems like alchemy. The MT3608 uses a clever boost circuit with an inductor to turn a low input voltage into a usable higher output voltage. But as any good alchemist (or engineer) knows, there's always a cost involved: You may get more voltage, but the trade-off is a little-less than proportional output current. That means if you start with an input that has low voltage and a set current ability, you get high voltage and even lower current on the output. Keep this in mind, and you'll be fine!
To summarize, the positives are:
- It's efficient
- It can source a good amount of current
- It's inexpensive
- It's simple to adjust to get your desired increase in voltage
The negatives are:
- Your selected voltage output HAS to be higher than the input
- It creates the voltage with an inductor, which by it's nature creates a bit of noise on teh power line
- It can only work within the limits of physics, which means the power out (volts*amps) of it will always be lower than the power going in (volts*amps).
- AeroSemi MT3608 High Efficiency 1.2MHz 2A Step Up Converter design
- 2A maximum output current
- 2.0 to 24VDC input voltage range
- 28V maximum output voltage (trimpot adjustable)
- 93% peak efficiency (~200mA output current at 5Vin, 12Vout)
- 36 x 17 x 14mm
- [Data Sheet]: Aerosemi MT3608 datasheet
1x2A Booster DC-DC Step-Up module