12V, 500mA Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V5F12 by Pololu.
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This micro sized step-down voltage regulator is perfect for supplying 12V power (from a higher voltage source like 4S or 5S LiPo) to your FPV gear that needs specifically 12V range. Power 12V flight cameras, LED lights or other gear that can only run on 12V.
The compact (13×10×3 mm) D24V5F12 synchronous buck voltage regulator takes an input voltage of up to 36 V and efficiently reduces it to 12 V while allowing for a maximum output current of 500 mA. This regulator offers typical efficiencies between 80% and 93% and has a very low dropout, so it can be used with input voltages as low as a few hundred millivolts above 12 V. The pins have a 2.5mm spacing, making this board compatible with standard solderless breadboards and perfboards.
The buck regulator has four connections: Shutdown (SHDN), input voltage (VIN), ground (GND), and output voltage (VOUT).
The SHDN pin can be driven low (under 0.4 V) to turn off the output and put the board into a low-power state. There is a 100 kΩ pull-up resistor between the SHDN pin and VIN, so if you want to leave the board permanently enabled, the SHDN pin can be left disconnected. While the SHDN pin is being driven low, the current draw of the regulator is dominated by the current through the pull-up resistor and will be proportional to the input voltage. (At 36 V in it will draw about 360 μA.)
The input voltage, VIN, powers the regulator. Voltages between 3 V and 36 V can be applied to VIN, but the effective lower limit of VIN is VOUT plus the regulator’s dropout voltage, which varies approximately linearly with the load (see graphs of dropout voltages as a function of the load). Additionally, please be wary of destructive LC spikes (see below for more information).
The output voltage, VOUT, is fixed and depends on the regulator version: The D24V5F12 version outputs 12 V.
The four connections are labeled on the back side of the PCB and are arranged with a 2.5 mm spacing along the edge of the board for compatibility with solderless breadboards, connectors, and other prototyping arrangements that use a 2.5 mm grid. You can solder wires directly to the board or solder in either the 5×1 straight male header strip or the 5×1 right-angle male header strip that is included.
The efficiency of a voltage regulator, defined as (Power out)/(Power in), is an important measure of its performance, especially when battery life or heat are concerns. This family of switching regulators typically has an efficiency of 80% to 93%, though the actual efficiency in a given system depends on input voltage, output voltage, and output current. See the efficiency graph in pictures.
In order to achieve a high efficiency at low loads, this regulator automatically goes into a power-save mode where the switching frequency is reduced. In power-save mode, the switching frequency of the regulator changes as necessary to minimize power loss. This could make it harder to filter out noise on the output caused by switching.
The dropout voltage of a step-down regulator is the minimum amount by which the input voltage must exceed the regulator’s target output voltage in order to ensure the target output can be achieved. For example, if a 5 V regulator has a 1 V dropout voltage, the input must be at least 6 V to ensure the output is the full 5 V. Generally speaking, the dropout voltage increases as the output current increases.
When connecting voltage to electronic circuits, the initial rush of current can cause voltage spikes that are much higher than the input voltage. If these spikes exceed the regulator’s maximum voltage (36 V), the regulator can be destroyed. In our tests with typical power leads (~30″ test clips), input voltages above 20 V caused spikes over 36 V.
If you are connecting more than 20 V or your power leads or supply has high inductance, it's recommended to solder a 33 μF or larger electrolytic capacitor close to the regulator between VIN and GND. The capacitor should be rated for at least 50 V.