Petulance – rising

Maxim make a most funky, tiny little one-chip, any voltage in, five Volts out power supply. It’s tiny (10 mm by 4 mm) and does everything ever that a power supply could need to do. Nearly.

The usual NZ stockists don’t stock it. Ordering it from the US will be pricey. But hey, Maxim normally sell these things by the thousand, and give out samples of ones and twos for free, in case I need thousands later. So I send off my request for samples to the NZ distributor and … hear nothing back. For a while. Oh woe is me.

Meanwhile, I’ve found that one of the bigger US stockists now does NZ ordering. The kit still comes from the US, but shipping and min order is much less, I guess coz they can bundle up a whole day’s worth of orders and send it in one box to here. After a few weeks, I give in, wave the credit card at them and two nice, shiny MAX710 chips are ordered. You can see where this is going, yup.

The ones I’d paid for arrived at home yesturday. As did the free samples.

I know I’m being petulant to be ungrateful for free stuff. But hey, it’s my birthday on friday, whereupon I get to be utterly, astoundingly, tediously petulant, coz it’s my birthday, dammit. So I’m just getting in practise, ok?

13 thoughts on “Petulance – rising”

  1. See, when I go to the Maxim site, it says I can order direct rather than having to go to the distributor. It also mentions that they ship out of the Philippines, rather than the US (logical, given there are precious few wafer fabs in the USA).

  2. The ones I’d paid for arrived at home yesturday. As did the free samples.

    I’ve long since figured out that the most sure-fire way to find that stupid tool that you’ve been tearing your workshop apart for DAYS to find, is to buy another one. The old one will then magically appear, in a totally obvious and non-hidden spot, as soon as you’ve mangled the packaging on the new one.

    Same principle at work here, i suspect.

  3. When you say *any* voltage in — what’s its minimum input voltage? coz we were looking at trying to build stuff that ran down to 0.6V and boy does it get tricky and lossy.

    1. 1.8V, so not really “any”. It’s not for single cells, but +1.8V to +11V is pretty aweseome.

      Now, running everything off a single lithium battery at 3.7V has a conceptual elegance, and I note that there’s microcontrollers like the Parallax Propellor that are happy at 3.3, the LED drivers I’m using can run that low, and green/blue LEDs run at 3.2. Still, regulated power makes life so much easier, and anything with a lithium battery is going to need some form of power management, so hell, putting a step-up to 5V in there somewhere isn’t that tricky these days.

      (Not that I know much about these things.)

      As an aside, what power source is giving 0.6V? I was of the understanding that most micropower generators (piezos and the like) didn’t have a problem producing high enough voltages, just not much power. But I’ve not been following this closely.

      1. Small solar panels. We were hoping to come up with something that could do useful stuff with tiny panels, basically little zigbee-based autonomous dataloggers you could just leave around an office to monitor temp, humidity, motion, to make smart buildings that handle lighting and heating needs better. And not have to run any wires for the sensor network.

      1. Yeah, all we use is Schottky anyway, but it’s still horrible because the diode drop just sucks up everything and what do you do with what’s left? You figure your efficiency, at *best*, is going to be VIN – diode drop/VIN, so you’re just screwed no matter what.

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