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Step Up Buck Converter Question - Electronoobs Q&A

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+3 votes

Hopefully posting in the right place, I've embarked on a bit of a project, ultimately i wanted to create a mass USB charger with a built-in backup power supply.

I've achieved the backup power by using an Emergency Light Circuit to switch to back up power when the mains electric isn't detected.

The Emergency Light outputs 3.7v and so ive got a Buck converter to step it up to 5v. My question is this: The Buck converter ups the Voltage to 5v DC, which is perfect to power the USB hub i have BUT that means that the 7 ports are sharing 5v. Can i attach multiple wires to one buck converter to increase the amount of 5v supply or would i need to add multiple power sources?
asked in Circuit basics by (180 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
Best answer

You can share the 5v with more than one device, yes. A boost (not buck, a buck is a step down one) converter will try keep the output voltage at the voltage you configured it to, independent of load. However, you need to make sure your boost converter can handle the amount of current you are going to draw, and the source (3.7v one) should also be able to supply sufficient current. 3.7v sounds like a single cell lithium battery, not sure what kind of Emergency light you have, but it is likely they are not meant for large current draws either, escpecially if that voltage drops to something like 3v. And if you are using a XL6009 or an MT3608, you should probably not try to charge more than one device for example. They are not suited for high input/output currents. Quick calculation: 5V 3A output is 4.05A at 3.7v and 5A at 3V, neglecting efficiency losses.

Simply connecting multiple converters together is not possible either, since there is no way for them to share the load between them, you would need to design a load sharing circuit, which would be interesting to try, only this doesn't change the current the battery has to supply.

Hope this helps.

answered by (880 points)
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