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I'm trying to reduce power consumption on an MP3 module controlled by an Arduino. The MP3 module specs are:

  • 3.2-5V (typical 4.2V)
  • <1A peak current, 20mA on standby (which is too much on batteries)

In my prototype, I use a simple diode to lower the 5V regulated from Arduino by around 1V. I also have 1k resistors to adapt logic level on serial communication.

DFPlayer module

Basically my idea is to use a mosfet as a switch, so that the arduino can enable/disable power supply to the MP3 module, either on high:

mosfet high

Or on low side:

enter image description here

My questions are:

  • Are the circuits above correct?
  • What are some good options of widely available mosfets? IRL540?
  • How do I pick the gate and pulldown resistor values?
  • In low-side configuration, do I still need the TX/RX resistors?
  • Should I add a ceramic capacitor to eliminate any noise from speakers/sudden change in current, and what sort of value?
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The first circuit will not work, you need a P-Channel MOSFET to switch the top rail with a pull-up. Note the logic inversion here, you pull the line low to turn on the power.

schematic

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

You need to add some bulk capacitance to compensate for the diode which will introduce some interesting noise on the power line.

The gate resistor needs to be small, the pulldown/pullup needs to be large as shown in the schematic above.

In low-side configuration, do I still need the TX/RX resistors?

Yes. The resistors prevent the signals from trying to power the device. 1K may actually be small. When you park the player you should also "park" those data lines in whichever state doesn't pass current to it.

What are some good options of widely available mosfets? IRL540?

Advising on devices is beyond the scope here, but you need a device with a gate threshold under 2.5V here and on on-resistance in the 10s of milliohms range. If the player is drawing 1A that resistance, and power lost in the MOSFET adds up.

Should I add a ceramic capacitor to eliminate any noise from speakers/sudden change in current, and what sort of value?

Now that is a whole other can of worms. It depends on how the module itself handles power on. You may find it internally sequences power up properly, or you may discover the speaker "pops" every time you turn the module on and off. If the latter is the case you may need to add and control another device to disconnect the speaker while you toggle the power to the player.

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