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Arduino DC-DC converter? Answered

I have an Arduino project which drives a set of 12V LEDs using NPN transistors, I had been using the linear regulator on the Arduino to convert 12V to 5V for the Arduino and Ethernet shield, however I have some IL1205 DC-DC converters which could also be used, personally I think the IL1205s are the better option as they seem to dissipate less heat then the regulator on the board.

Are there any other solutions to this, It would be ideal of I could power the entire project from a single 12V power supply, it also has to run continuously so must either produce little heat or be easy to dissipate the heat away from.

Also because of the circuit I have to bridge the -Vin and -Vout terminals of the converter (for the transistors to work properly) I assume there is no problem in doing so.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Got to depend on your load. If its less than 2W, it should be OK. You should be OK commoning the grounds.


Haven't measured the load but should be below 2W (I think the IL1205 is rated for up to 5W) as it only powers the Arduino (ATmega 326) and Ethernet shield, I assume the linear converter was only getting that hot as it had to dissipate just over the load.
I think I will use the IL1205 rather than the linear converter as it appears to be much more efficient and hence dissipates less heat.
Unintentionally my case has quite a nice air path if I wanted to use a cooling fan as well, but I will at least see how it goes without, it will be easy to add later if I think it needs it.

I read the spec at only 2W, but you should be fine running an Arduino on 2Watts !!!