Monday, January 16, 2012

5V Regulated Breadboard Power Supply

     I recently got a PCB for this Breadboard module for 18-pin PIC16F microcontrollers from Raj and was looking through the tutorials on his website and thought it would be a great place to start learning about PICs. I have programmed PIC chips using PicBasic Pro, but I have never used C to program them. I knew having an easy to use power supply for prototyping would come in use, but I didn't have one. I know that Sparkfun and Adafruit each have their own solutions, but when I saw Raj's Regulated Power Supply for Your Breadboard, I knew I could easily make my own with parts I had in stock. Check after the break for how I did it.

Working product

     I bought a few of these ProtoBoards a while back as I was placing an order on iTead Studio's iStore. I think I bought them because they were offered at a discount, but even at the current price of $0.99, they are a steal because they are very high quality. The reason that I used these is that their size is perfect for this project because their top and bottom holes line up exactly with the power rails. I used some male headers that line up the power rails to hold the circuit in place. I also added some male headers to the top so I can use female-to-female jumper wires to power projects. After I had placed the parts and built the circuit, I used a utility knife to strike a breaking line and after I had gone deep enough, I was able to snap the circuit board down to size.

Using the top male headers and female-to-female jumpers
to power another circuit

The original size of the ProtoBoard

Circuit from

     I used the above schematic to build my circuit. The only difference that I made is replacing the 9V DC adapter with a 9V battery. I would have used a 9V DC adapter if I had one, but I don't have one with me at school. It's more portable this way anyhow. Below are pictures of the top and bottom of the circuit. I might put some liquid electrical tape on the bottom to ensure that nothing with get shorted together that shouldn't be. Also on the bottom is a single male header along the edge that I put in just so the circuit wouldn't move as I pressed the power button down.

Top of the circuit

Bottom of the circuit