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According to the Arduino Pro Mini spec it has Input Voltage of 5 - 12 V (5V model). Is it possible to input 12v by using any method other than usb? If so are there any downsides/limitations?

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If you want to feed 12v to the board then you should use the raw input which feeds the onboard regulator input and will step down the voltage to 5v (vcc).

enter image description here

You should not connect any voltage >5v to Vcc or USB directly

The location of the raw input pin on the board is

enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure how I didn't realise 12V via usb wasn't right :) Arduino Nano looses 3.3V pin when not powered via usb, is there anything similar with Arduino Mini? \$\endgroup\$ – DominicM Jan 21 '14 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DominicM You said you want to feed the board with a voltage 9-12v , you can do that from the RAW input. For a 5v version of the board there is no 3v3 so I'm nor sure what you are asking or how the USB input related to the question. \$\endgroup\$ – alexan_e Jan 21 '14 at 18:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's my mistake, I was mixing them up. \$\endgroup\$ – DominicM Jan 21 '14 at 19:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does 12v make the onboard regulator very hot? \$\endgroup\$ – Mike Causer Oct 6 '16 at 10:59
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You could also connect a diode to the raw input and the 12V to the diode. This drops a little voltage & prevents connecting the power in reverse. Not sure if it would damage the regulator to apply reverse voltage, but adding the diode doesn't hurt anything.

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