I would like to build simple and small power supply for my projects with microcontrollers. This supply should be powered by two Ni-MH batteries and output should be 5V (maximum current 500mA).

I know there are plenty of them on the Intenet (MintyBoost from Adafruit and cheap ones from China on eBay) but I want to build one by myself.

The LTC3400 looks very good but not cheap. Do you know any other step-up converter (Vin 1.8V and less, output current 500mA and more)? By cheap, I mean circa $1.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There you go; LM2623 for starters. Good luck soldering :) Also, click here for more.. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2013 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Microchip has some good stuff in that voltage range too. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 13, 2013 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Olin's right about Microchip doing some nice switching regulators - I use the MCP1603 parts quite regularly. However these are buck regulators and don't have a 5V fixed option anyway. I just had a quick look on Farnell and didn't notice any MC parts that fit for this requirement. It may be worth a look on their website though.

The cheapest 5V boost regulator I am aware of that can work down below 1.8V at 500mA is the NCP1450 from ON Semi. It's £0.63 in qty 1, can source up to 1A, and can startup with low as 0.8V with no load. It comes in a nice and small 5-pin SOT-25 type package.
I haven't used it, but I saved it whilst searching for another regulator as it looked like a nice part. ON Semi make a lot of decent cheap parts in this category.


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