A buck converter is a device that steps down DC power from a high voltage to a lower voltage in an efficient way. This is a much better way of converting power than a linear regulator which bleeds excess power off as heat. Because a buck converter is more efficient it’s a great solution for battery powered applications.
This buck converter is programmable. Rather than operating at a fixed output voltage that voltage can easily be changed. By default the module is configured to run at an output voltage configured by its potentiometer. By rotating the potentiometer and monitoring the voltage the exact voltage setting can be used.
A set of pre-determined voltages are also able to be set. This is done by cutting the small trace labeled “ADJ” and then bridging the desired voltage setting with solder. The available fixed voltages are:
Short bursts of up to 3A of current are possible and sustained current of 3A is possible with extra heat dissipation. A sustained current of 1.5A is recommended.
The efficiency of this circuit varies with input and output voltages but can reach as high as 97.5% when converting 6.5V to 5V at a current of 0.7A.
The module has an enable pin that can turn the power output on or off using a switch or microcontroller. High (2-5V) is on. Low is off.