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I'm just starting out with electronics and arduinos, but I want to ask if i'll be safe using an LM2596S DC-DC step down buck converter as the regulator for my arduino project?

I have a few to hand and i'll be using 12v supply for the project using the converter to step it down to 3.3v, or is this not a good idea?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That's perfectly fine, if you design and test it properly before connecting the Arduino. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jan 3 '16 at 1:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ The chip you chose is cheap ,well documented, has few external components ,and is great to begin with. \$\endgroup\$ – Autistic Jan 3 '16 at 2:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ If this is your first or third project, I would start with a linear regulator. Better chances to get it to work well. Or, a pre-built buck on a module. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Jan 3 '16 at 2:24
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Well, it works perfect in real world solutions. I connected RFID module to activate and power my car ignition system and works like a charm since I have been using it over a month in my car. I used this buck down converter from 12v to 5v for Arduino Nano.

Well, it works perfect in real world solutions. I connected RFID module to activate and power my car ignition system and works like a charm since I have been using it over a month in my car. I used this buck down converter from 12v to 5v for Arduino Nano..

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is perfect because I'm making an rfid door lock with the same rfid reader as you. I think I'll step 12v down to 5v and use that for the relay, then feed the 5v supply into the raw pin of my arduino pro mini. How did your rfid project go? \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Luke Blease Jan 5 '16 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah simply down it to 5v and power your pro mini and then use your pro mini's digital out pin to control the relay. Your relay, I guess, would work on 12v so your door lock should work fine. My rfid project is completed and working good with my car. The only problem I'm having now is that the rfid is messing up with my key less entry RF. So now it needs me to stand right in front of the door to make the key less entry system unlock the car doors. It used to work from 100 meters before. Not sure why this rfid frequencies messing up with car's door system which run's on RF as well of course. \$\endgroup\$ – Humayun Jan 6 '16 at 22:27
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Yes, assuming you have a well-designed regulator circuit, this is fine. The LM2596 is a very common IC.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is the module I have, I found a listing of it on ebay - ebay.co.uk/itm/… \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Luke Blease Jan 3 '16 at 1:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshLukeBlease Don't buy electronic components on eBay. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Jan 3 '16 at 1:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MattYoung I am aware of that, but it's just a listing of the same module I have lying around. I was hoping you'd be able to inform me of whether that specific module was suitable or not. \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Luke Blease Jan 3 '16 at 2:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JoshLukeBlease, if the ripple coming out of this doesn't meet spec., you should try following it with a linear regulator, you'll waste some power as heat in the reg, but you'll be in spec. for the ripple. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Jan 3 '16 at 2:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ That module might not be the pinnacle of good electronics design, but assuming you don't care too much about noise and give it substantial headroom on current, it will be fine. As Dave said, you can always throw a linear regulator at it to lower ripple. \$\endgroup\$ – uint128_t Jan 3 '16 at 4:27
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I have done some testing on modules like that. the claimed 3A is an exaggeration. At 3A they run very hot and they'll go into thermal shutdown after 10 minutes, at 2A or less they are quite well behaved.

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Yup that's fine, the arduino runs far below the max current output of the converter, and I've never had any problems with voltage stability affecting my systems in the past when using these chips with microcontrollers

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protected by W5VO Jan 5 '16 at 18:25

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