I am using this level shifter spark fun breakout board: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/using-the-logic-level-converter

My goal is to interface a 5V logic SPI LCD with a 3.3V logic micro controller. To start I have been testing the level shifter board to make sure I can get the correct levels. I apply 3.3 V from the micro controller to the TXI pin and get 5V on the TXO pin no problem. The issue is when I apply 0V to the TXI pin. This results in a 1.4V on the TXO pin. From the spark fun board schematic I see that it is using a MOSFET to apply the conversion and from my understanding when one side of the MOSFET is pulled low it enters into a conducting state and this should result in both sides going low. I don't understand why I'm seeing the 1.4V as opposed to just 0V.

If I'm stuck with the MOSFET going to 1.4 V for low-level logic should I expect my SPI LCD to treat 1.4 V as low-level logic and then operate correctly?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Applying 0V on the low side indeed turns the FET on. Have you tried measuring the output with no load attached? You may be seeing a voltage divider effect. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2016 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found the issue now. It had nothing to do with what I asked in the question. The 3.3 V power that I was supplying to the breakout board wasn't actually turned on. Once I fixed this the level shifter works as advertised. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2016 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Answer your own question as that will show the issue has been solved. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 19, 2016 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


Found the issue. I simply wasn't powering the breakout board properly.


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