The Best Power Supplies for Your Dev Board

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The right power supply is crucial for minimizing complications when working with development boards. We outline the recommended power supplies for the most popular dev boards and kits on the market today.

If you’re running a project that involves the full usage of your dev board, a standard USB power supply or generic external power supply might not be enough. These recommended power supplies let you take full advantage of your board. We’ve grouped them by power supply usage, so you’ll know if you can use the same power supply for multiple development boards. 

1.) The T5989DV Power Supply

This power supply from the Raspberry Pi Foundation has an output of +5.1V DC with a nominal load current of 2.5A. Its output connection is USB male, and it has over current, over voltage and short circuit protection. This power supply is very reliable and versatile – you can even change plugs depending on your region.

Recommended Boards:

Raspberry Pi 3 Model by Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model 3 is one of the most popular devices out there right now. The RP3 is the latest single-board computer from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and it can do just about anything a desktop PC can do.

The RP3 needs to be powered by a +5.1V micro USB supply. When it comes to running simple projects, power from your laptop will most likely be enough, but when you tackle those bigger, more ambitious projects, you’ll need that reliable power source to prevent you from running into problems. 

Tessel 2 by Seeed Technology Limited

The Tessel 2 is a versatile development board that integrates with plug and play modules to take your projects to the next level. Some of the modules include servos, relays, climate readings, accelerometers or IR. The board is powered by a 580MHz MediaTek MT7620n processor and complemented by a 48MHz Atmel SAMD21 coprocessor.

The Tessel 2 needs to be powered by a 5V DC micro USB supply. The current supplied to the board can vary depending on what you are using it for; if you want to power multiple tasks at the same time, you’ll probably want something bigger than the 1A starting point.

Discovery Kit for STM32F411 Line from STMicroelectronics

This discovery kit helps you discover entry level microcontrollers from the STM32 F4 series to develop your applications. It includes an ST-LINK/V2 embedded debug tool, a gyroscope, an e-compass and digital ST MEMs, an audio DAC with an integrated class D speaker driver, an OTG micro-AB connector, LEDs and push-buttons.

The discovery kit will need a 5V DC micro USB to power it up. Similar to the Tessel 2, the current you will need can vary. The more complex your design gets, the more current needs to flow to the discovery kit, Use the T5989DV power supply for constant and reliable power no matter the project.

See related product

Raspberry Pi Power Supply | T5989DV

Raspberry Pi Foundation External Plug-In Adapters View

2.) The 276 Power Supply

This 276 power supply from Adafruit will output a clean regulated 5V DC at up to 2A. Its output connector polarity is center positive with a diameter of 2.1mm x 5.5mm. This adaptor is great for projects that involve the use of many LEDs or servos. 

Recommended Boards:

BeagleBone Black Wireless from BeagleBoard.org

The BeagleBone Black Wireless has access to all the same popular open source options as the standard BeagleBone Black single board computer but now comes with built-in wireless networking capabilities. It replaces the 10/100 Ethernet port with an onboard 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With Cloud9 IDE and the BoneScript Library compatibility and third party support for Android and Ubuntu, the BeagleBone Black Wireless makes development easy.

The BeagleBone Black Wireless needs to be powered by a 5V DC adapter with a standard 2.1mm power plug that has a center positive. You need at least 1A of current to get this board running, which means that the 276 is a perfect fit.

SF2+ Development Kit by Arrow Development Tools

If you need something with a bit more punch, then the SF2+ Development Kit is a great resource to consider. This dev kit with a Microsemi M2S010 System on Chip FPGA is great for applications that involve advanced security, high reliability and low power in industrial, military, aviation, communications and medical fields.

This FPGA needs to be powered by a 5V DC adapter. One thing to note is that the brand new kit comes with a power supply that is also transferrable to other boards with similar specs. 

Beaglebone XM from BeagleBoard.org

Another popular BeagleBoard! The BB XM delivers a powerful performance with its AM37x 1GHz ARM processor. This allows you to quickly develop your project, and since BeagleBoard.org has taken community input into account, they have greatly improved on previous generations. It is compatible with various software, including Angstrom Linux, Android, Ubuntu and XBMC. The 276 power supply can help you get the most out of it. 

See related product

5V 2A Switching Power Supply | 276

Adafruit Industries External Plug-In Adapters View

3.) The 798 Power Supply

This 798 power supply from Adafruit has a center positive output connector polarity and a cylindrical female output connector type. It has an output of 12V and 1A, with more voltage than the 276 but less current.

Recommended Board:

Arduino Uno R3 from Adafruit Industries

The Arduino Uno R3 is still going strong with their latest version that has an improved USB interface chip. This is the 3rd revision of the UNO, and it features a few minor updates. The popularity of the Arduino Uno is due to its open-source electronics prototyping platform with easy-to-use software and hardware. With many modules to accompany the Arduino Uno, it’s one of the most go-to products for DIY projects.

The Arduino Uno R3 should be powered by a 9 to 12V DC adapter, and its current output should be rated at a minimum of 250mA. However, if you’re going to be using the Arduino for bigger projects like powering many LEDs and motors, you’ll probably want something to be outputting around the 500mA-1A output range, which makes the 798 power supply a must.

See related product

Plug-in Adaptor (12 V

Adafruit Industries External Plug-In Adapters View

4.) The WM24P6-12-A-QL Power Supply

This power supply by Autec Power Systems provides a fixed output voltage of 12V and a fixed output current of 2A. Its output connector polarity is center positive with a cylindrical female output connector type. It has overload, over voltage and short circuit protection.

Recommended Board:

DragonBoard 410C from Arrow Development Tools

This dev board features the Qualcomm® Snapdragon 410 processor that supports Android 5.1, Linux based on Debian and Win10 IoT Core advanced processing power, WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS, all packed into a credit card sized board. You can use this board for various applications, some of which include robotics, cameras, medical devices, smart building or digital signage. The DragonBoard has a lot of capability, and the WM24P6-A-QL is a great fit.

Now you can choose the best power supply for your dev board. Remember: Always check the minimum and maximum voltage/current input your device can take and choose accordantly. Even though the outputs look the same, their voltages and current can be different, and they can potentially either cause harm to your board or fail to provide enough power for your next great project.

See related product

WM24P6-12-A-QL

Autec Power Systems External Plug-In Adapters View

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