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Problems with MicroView +5V and USB Programmer - SparkFun Electronics

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By Schema
I have a MicroView project I'm working on, where the MicroView is typically powered by a host computer (a Commodore 64 if it's relevant :wink:).

I've been powering the MicroView off of the regulated +5V supply provided by the computer, hooking it directly to Pin 15 (+5V) and this works perfectly.

However, I would also like to be able to program the MicroView in-situ with the USB programmer. Unfortunately, this causes +5V to be output from Pin 15 of the MicroView, this feeds back into the computer and causes issues (A C64 needs way more current than the MicroView can source, and it also needs 9VAC, and so on).

What are my options to work around this problem? (A similar issue exists when the MicroView is powered externally though VIN).

I've considered putting a diode in between, but this will drop the 5V to 4.3V when it reaches the MicroView. Will this be sufficient to power the Microview? Or should I just switch to VIN and take the inefficiency hit through the regulator? Or is there a better solution?

By scotta
Schema wrote:Any recommendations for a common part#?
How much current will the diode have to handle?
Do you want through-hole or surface mount?

For around 500mA or less with through-hole, a 1N5817 would probably do.

For surface mount, you'd probably want to look at forward current capability, low forward voltage, size and cost.

Note that usually a diode with higher than required current capability will have a lower voltage drop at low currents. Look at the forward voltage graph in the datasheet.