XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converter

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rowan194
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XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converter

Post by rowan194 »

I've been trying to get my XU4 working with this DC-DC converter: http://www.dx.com/p/152998

It powers a C1 with all 4 cores @100% without problem, but it seems that 5V @3A continuous is not sufficient for the XU4 (it reboots when starting the third instance of burnCortexA9)

Does anyone else here use a relatively cheap DC-DC converter for their XU4, similar to the above, but with sufficient capacity?

Also, has anyone done an oscilloscope trace to see the peak power the XU4 consumes? Just out of curiosity.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by phaseshifter »

sorry dunno what happened there try this...
http://www.banggood.com/DC-DC-Step-Down ... 69200.html
Last edited by phaseshifter on Sat Aug 08, 2015 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
necessity the mother of all creation and invention..!!!..check out the world ...long live rock and roll.....

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

phaseshifter wrote:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NG6 ... ge_o05_s00try look at this one rowan... but you will have to do a search as amaz does not ship to aussie land if you cannot find a supplier i will go into my mail and get you the guy`s url where i got mine..
That URL seems to be munged - is it from a forum? You need to copy the link itself, not just the truncated text the forum shows.

Re the mention of cheap LM2596 regulators in the other thread, at first I thought there was no chance of them working with an XU4, but after checking the data sheet and seeing that the LM2596 can provide a peak current higher than the rated 3A it may be possible (the one in the OP limits at precisely 3A, which is not quite enough). I'll see if I can wire up one to give it a try.

For some contrast, I have a C1 at load 5.9 (ie overloaded) and the power draw is only 0.72A, or about 3.6W... a fair bit less than its big brother. :)

I've ordered these two units to test out:

http://www.dx.com/p/242235 - similar to the LM2596S units, very minimalist, will probably require heatsinking.

http://www.dx.com/p/242230 - not sure of internals, but I like the extra capacitors and generous heatsinks. Screw terminals are also handy. This may be able to run two XU4s.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by phaseshifter »

they ship to aussie land...
necessity the mother of all creation and invention..!!!..check out the world ...long live rock and roll.....

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

Update: the basic LM2596 board does work. I was able to run 8 instances of burnCortexA9 (load 7.90) without any instability. Checking with a multimeter shows a sustained current limit of just over 3.5A with this DC-DC converter (haven't measured actual consumption, but it would probably be just over 3A)

Image

Even though this converter works, I don't think it's practical for the XU4's power requirements. I've attached a small heatsink to both the bottom of the board, and one to the top of the chip, but they both still get too hot to touch.

Will report further when I receive the higher rated DC-DC converters.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by gnubbel »

Hiho,
Here are my experiences with dc/dc converters. I used the “stress” tool to simulate high load with some USB devices (wifi and USB RF module). The maximum load measured was approx. 3.6A.

Pololu 5V, 9A Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V90F5
-no problems, Temp. at 40°C

Pololu 5V, 7A Step-Down D15V35F5S3
-not suitable for not stabilized power sources, for my quadcopter application the protection circuit is too sensitive (power supply cut off during stress peaks)

Pololu 5V, 5A Step-Down Voltage Regulator D24V50F5
-is working but the PCB temp is too high, I’ve measured 100°C after 30 min stress test.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

Image

Now testing the XU4 with this DC-DC converter. Looking promising so far - running a CPU intensive application, I cannot perceive any heat on either heatsink, and there's only a tiny bit of warmth on the tab of one of the TO220 devices. I think with this converter, cooling the XU4 is going to be more of an issue. :)

Available from: http://www.dx.com/p/adjustable-step-dow ... 12a-242230

Datasheet for XL4016E1 8A 180KHz 40V Buck DC to DC Converter: http://www.xlsemi.com/datasheet/XL4016%20datasheet.pdf

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by odroid »

Looks great and very affordable price (US$7~).
But it seems to be heavy if it is 76gram.

Anyway, thanks for your nice finding. :)

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Zenta »

Hi,

I'm new to this forum. I have a similar question about powering XU4 using an UBEC. I've several of the Turnigy 5v/6v 8A (const) 15A(burst) UBEC's. I've done some voltage measurements during a constant load using a power resistor (4R7 ohm) and I measured the voltage to be about 5,17v. I'm then wondering how critical the min/max voltage requirements are for the XU4? I've read on the forum that it was about 4,6 to 5,3 volt for an Odroid C1.

Would you recommend using an UBEC like this for powering XU4?

-Kåre Halvorsen aka Zenta

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

It seems the XU4 is very liberal with the "5V input" requirements.

I ran my XU4 at 4.5V for a couple of hours at CPU load 200% earlier today - no problems at all. I took it as low as 3.5V, and it was still running, but it crashed after a few minutes.

I'm not sure about how much over 5V you can go but at a certain point the protection chip kicks in (my XU4 took 19.98V by accident)

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Zenta »

Thanks for your reply! Sounds good then. I did a 30min test using the Turnigy supplied by a lab power supply at 11.1v (equally to a 3S LiPo), I noticed the current was around 0.5 to 0.9 amps.

Image

-Kåre Halvorsen aka Zenta

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Raymond Day »

I can't find this on line but Radio Shack has a DC to DC converter 3 to 12 volts at 2.5 amps. It don't come with a tip but you can pick what size you want and get a free tip when you buy it. Cost about $20.

Got 3 of them because using power from battery's that charge up with solar power.

Got this photo of them.

Use the 5 volts for a USB powered hub. One 12 volts to power a 6TB WD Green Hard drive and the other to power a 256GB SSD and a 3TB WD green hard drive. I made a Y cable for that. It works good.

They closed a lot of Radio Shack stores now have to drive fare to get one. Looks like they don't sell them on line.

-Raymond Day

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by sert00 »

rowan194 wrote:It seems the XU4 is very liberal with the "5V input" requirements.

I ran my XU4 at 4.5V for a couple of hours at CPU load 200% earlier today - no problems at all. I took it as low as 3.5V, and it was still running, but it crashed after a few minutes.

I'm not sure about how much over 5V you can go but at a certain point the protection chip kicks in (my XU4 took 19.98V by accident)
WOW! 20v on the xu4...i remember the old u2 wasn't so much liberal about input requirements...a little over-voltage spike might burn it..probably newer boards from HK has improved their protection against over-voltage with good IC
2x Odroid-U2
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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

sert00 wrote:
rowan194 wrote:[...] (my XU4 took 19.98V by accident)
WOW! 20v on the xu4...i remember the old u2 wasn't so much liberal about input requirements...a little over-voltage spike might burn it..probably newer boards from HK has improved their protection against over-voltage with good IC
Yep, 20V the very first time I powered it on. I forgot to check/set the output voltage of the DC-DC converter, so it basically passed through the input voltage with only a small drop. I thought for sure that I had fried my brand new XU4. Happy that the protection did its job and "ignored" that excessive voltage, and it's working just fine still.

I guess you may not be so lucky if the voltage gradually increases, or there's a sudden spike...

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by odroid »

The over-voltage / reverse-voltage protection circuit has been used since the U3 model was introduced.
So the old U2 could be damaged easily.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Raymond Day »

I think I found the best at lest for me running mine on solar power from battery's. It's a power supply made to ran a PC in your car. Can buy it here:

http://www.mini-box.com/M4-ATX?sc=8&category=981

Cost about $80 and can get a case for it too. Has a USB so can set and monitor it. Can set what voltage coming in and were it will cut off it boost the power. So like my batter's deep cell type.

Got mine set for "Min. VIN voltage while all rails ON" set to 6.98 so then it should switch to the power supply on the Ignition in if the battery's get lower then that. I have not seen that yet but guess it will work.

I cut all the wires off. But not the grounds, 5 volts, and 12 volts. The power switch too left.

It's been about a month for me having this and it's working very good.

-Raymond Day

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by odroid »

Looks great even it is pricy little bit. :)
Could you monitor the input/output power status on XU4?

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by glenenglish »

Try adding a 1000uF 6.3V low ESR electrolytic cap to the input (back of connector)- that will provide energy for the really big slurps and ease the difficulty for yoru DCDC converter.
Be aware there will be a capacitance limit for the DCDC converter to start up- migh tbe only 100uF , might be 10000uF.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Raymond Day »

Here is the info it shows and how you can set it on the USB port to this PC power supply.
M4-ATX car PC power read outs.jpg
(80.93 KiB) Downloaded 3751 times
Can see the power in is just 6.83 volts but it cheeps the 5V and 12V good. Says it can go down to 6 volts and still keep the 12 volts.

I got a "No. APS-415" adjustable DC power supply it in 3-15 volts and I have it set for about 6.5 volts. So if the battery's go down under that it will use the AC power.

It's working good. Can see by the drop down menu can set a lot of high and low limits on it.

Today the Sun should be out a lot and charge my battery's back up good.

Got it with the case too and I put a switch on the fan because it's just 35 Celsius. Says it will shut down if temperature goes up to 85 Celsius and I am way lower then that. I guess because I am not using a lot of amps from it.

-Raymond Day

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Raymond Day »

The Sun has been out and now it's up to 11.02 volts in from my last post. It has to charge and power my server at the same time.

The USB port shows the Voltage In good.

In 2 hours and 4 minutes from posting this.

-Raymond Day

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by Raymond Day »

If you want to buy that PC power supply they have a coupon for 10% off till 11/16/2015

HDDK-XJHE-1Q37

It would cost $74.53 then here is a link right to were to buy it.

That should help if some one wants this. It's very nice to power a PC with 12 volts and boost the power down from 6 volts.

-Raymond Day

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by glenenglish »

I would not run the input to the XU4 any more than 5.5V

The switcher chip is probably designed for 5.5V or 7V 'absolute maximum ratings'

and the input capacitors will likely be 6 or 10V types.

Yes, it would probably survive >6V, but the lifespan will be shorter.

On the low side, it will probably run down to 3.5V, just above 3.3, BUT the input current will be way way up (because it is a constant power device)
AND
the as input current will be proportionally, up, causing a HUGE overdissipation of the BUCK pass transistors in the chip
And remember the RdsON parameter of the pass FETs goes up proportionaly with temperature.

you have been warned !:-)

5V means 5V fellas ! (probably +/- 10%)

Golly, give a hobbyist an inch and he takes a mile :-)

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

The mini-box M4-ATX is a great PSU for x86 motherboards - I've been running four here 24/7 (including one machine with 8 hard drives) for more than five years, on my 21V DC system. But I really think it's overkill (both in purchase price and power conversion efficiency) if you just want a simple 5V output from a higher input.

The converter I posted above ( http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f ... 25#p104322 ) has been working flawlessly for my XU4 and also a couple of C1s, dropping 21V input to 5V output. Just checked and the output is still a rock solid 5.00 - 5.01V, both when it's idling with nothing connected, and booting the hungry XU4.

One thing these cheaper DC-DC converters lack is more sophisticated output protection, eg overvoltage or overcurrent lockout. If a cap fails or the switching IC goes haywire on your $10 converter, you may find your more expensive XU4 suddenly lets out all of its magic smoke.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by kbalisciano »

https://www.pololu.com/product/2865

Have a few of these so we can run the ODROID off of batteries. We load it around 90-100% for the whole life of the battery and have seen great results.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by 0xFFFF »

I'm using a "Buck 12V to 5V 10A" from eBay. I've used these a number of times in the past without any trouble.
The XU4 seems to run fine.
*Nothing* goes over my head...! My reflexes are too fast, I would catch it.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by rowan194 »

I'm starting to wonder whether these cheaper boards are just using "functionally identical" but inferior knockoff regulators. For example, there are a number of LM2596HV boards available, which can take up to 55-60V input, but it seems this IC may not actually exist, and they're just standard LM2596 chips that have been remarked as LM2596HV. Even worse, when the standard LM2596 fails due to excessive voltage it fails "closed" (pass input to output) rather than just dying and not putting out anything. See this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLwJb4MVbls

I also looked up pricing of TI and On Semi LM2596 products. Even in 1000+ quantity, they're a little pricey - the single LM2596 part costs more than the complete boards (which include PCB, regulator, choke, caps, resistors, assembly, postage...) sell for. Unless there are significant discounts for bulk purchases of the LM2596, I don't see how the companies manufacturing these boards could possibly be using genuine parts.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by The_Ponderer »

This is probably what I'll be using. I use their usb step downs with no hickups.

http://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converter-St ... B00CE75K0W

They are inexpensive and seem to work well at least as far as I have found with the usb versions.

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Re: XU4 very hungry - trying to find suitable DC-DC converte

Post by glenenglish »

as long as the switched mode PSU has a low battery disconnect, that will be OK.
Most of the chips available have a shutdown input/ enable input that has a fairly well defined threshold so it is also used as a low voltage cutout function.

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