Instead of a barrel connector try...

Ken YapKen Yap wrote 08/07/2019 at 15:06 • 2 min read • Like

I never understood why many PCB projects continue to use barrel power connectors for 5V supply. Here is what I prefer:

This is a female micro USB connector on a tiny breakout board that you can buy for 10 to 20 cents each quantity 10. The inter-hole spacing is 0.1 inch and this board can be placed flush on top of a reserved space on the edge of your PCB and soldered in place with a couple of wires for the power and another couple for the shield connection. You don't have to use the data lines.

USB wall warts are widely available, you probably have a few in your box from old mobile phones, as are USB to micro USB cables. Sure a barrel connector can handle higher current but seeing as phone chargers and connectors often go up to 2A, that's enough for most small projects.

You can buy the female connector by itself cheaper if you are up to soldering those 0.05 inch spaced pins. Just make sure you have the connector picked out before you select the PCB footprint as there are various shapes.




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Ken Yap wrote 08/07/2019 at 20:39 point

But the minimum load requirement is a power supply issue not a micro USB connector issue per se. In my experience most USB wall warts work fine with a few mA load. I've got one trickle charging an old phone turned into an alarm clock which is drawing 10 mA and the voltage is 5V. It's an old SMPS too, used to power a zip drive. There are a whole heap of small modules you can buy that use USB for power so it's not a new idea.

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