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Turns a battery or wall adapter into a variable power supply! Useful for any electronic project. 3D printed case & software included.
Turns a battery or wall adapter into a variable power supply! Useful for any electronic project. 3D printed case & software included.
70 backers pledged CA$ 2,685 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

VConduit: First Programmable Power Controller project video thumbnail
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CA$ 2,685

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

4089b9ad1c019143b1662df34313941d original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

All of the possible case colors
All of the possible case colors

Product Description

All electronic projects require voltage control. VConduit is the ideal programmable power controller for simplifying any power supply set-up.

Combined with just a wall adapter, VConduit becomes a cheap adjustable power supply. With an output range of 1.2-25V and max current of 2.5A, VConduit can power anything from Arduinos and Raspberry Pis to multiple DC Motors. Simply connect the device to your PC and change the output voltage via our simple built-in app. Since VConduit is programmable, you can re-use it for every project! 

Check out our short video above to see a sample of project ideas that you can use the VConduit with.

VConduit is a compact, high-power, efficient and programmable DC-DC switching regulator with input/output filters implemented in hardware. VConduit is breadboard friendly - the lower end of the device hosts 3 SIL pins, ready to be plugged into any standard breadboard. If you would rather use a wired connection, VConduit comes equipped with tinned holes for soldering your own Vin, Vout and ground to the board. VConduit also has many safety features and great heat dissipation as it is a 4 layer PCB.

CAD Image
CAD Image

Traditional power controllers are limited by their input and output voltage range, overall wattage, adjustability once in a circuit, and their voltage inaccuracy due to their potentiometers. We have dealt with these issues by incorporating the best electronics into our design:

  • The DC-DC regulation is controlled by one of Texas Instruments LMxxxx series voltage regulators and due to its inherent efficiency, VConduit can reach an efficiency of over 95%.
  • The input voltage can range from 5-32V
  • The output voltage can range from 1.2-25V
  • The maximum current of 2.5A
  • The maximum power is 60W. 

By providing a very simple GUI to control the device, the user can accurately set their desired output voltage. Once disconnected from the PC, the device retains it's settings even without applied power.

For more information on VConduit please visit our website: www.imaginativediscoveries.com  

Choosing VConduit

VConduit is the first adjustable power supply which does not require any potentiometers or on-board buttons. Voltage can be adjusted using an intuitive, built-in app that connects with any PC. This method of control has three main benefits: safety, accuracy, and ease of use.

Safety is a necessary consideration for any electronic project. Having to turn a knob or press a button on a live electrical device can lead to costly accidents, but with a VConduit the voltage can be changed without ever needing to touch the board.

VConduit's accuracy trumps other power supplies which use potentiometers, as it is not affected by the inherent non-linearity of potentiometers. 

Some power controllers have buttons to change voltages, but this can be tedious and hard to use as the resolution increases. VConduit's intuitive GUI deals with this: the user may use a continuous slider or simply enter the exact desired voltage.

Software

Using the device is simple. Simply provide power to VConduit via MicoUSB and launch the software.

The input and output voltage settings can be configured with a built-in intuitive GUI (shown above). Once the user hits send, VConduit is primed for use - even when the PC is disconnected. 

The software supports multiple VConduit connections. Each device has independent controls, as shown below:

Typical Applications

VConduit can be used for a variety of applications due to its wide input and output range. Its high efficiency and wide ranges make it a suitable controller for batteries, wall adapters, or even bench top power supplies. It is also breadboard friendly, extendable with Vin/Vout/GND through-holes, and contains all the filtering required. This device is extremely useful for all electronic hobbyists, makers, and professionals alike. 

  • Microcontrollers - 3V to 5.5V
  • Arduino - up to 12V 
  • LED Setups - 1.7V to 2.2V
  • Motor Control  (DC)
  • Fan Control (DC)
  • DC Power Hub
  • Battery Life Extension 
  • Affortable Bench Power Supply (when combined with an AC wall adapter)

Technical Specifications

VConduit can be operated with or without a heatsink. Most applications wont require current greater than 1A, and they do not need a heatsink. 

The datasheet can be found here: Datasheet

Safety Features 

Over temperature shutdown protection: VConduit monitors the board temperature and shuts down when overheated for complete protection under fault conditions

Over current and short circuit shutdown protection: Self-protection with a two stage frequency reducing current limit for the output switch

Heat dissipation

VConduit is a DC-DC switching regulator and does not produce much heat. The board's design ensures further thermal relief by implementing a 4 layer PCB design. The first layer is split between Vin, Vout, GND, and signal voltages. The second layer consists of the GND plane (ground) which also doubles as a noise filter. The third layer is occupied by the Vin plane (input voltage), and the bottom layer is in place for the Vout plane (output voltage). With this design the board can handle 1A, 25W running through it continuously. If the user needs to draw more current, the addition of a heat sink is necessary. With a sufficient selection VConduit can handle 2.5A, 60W continuously. 

4 Layers Shown
4 Layers Shown

Using VConduit as a Fixed Output DC-DC Regulator 

VConduit is implemented using analog and digital circuitry. The main future is the DAC which controls the output voltage of VConduit. Once the voltage is set, the DAC's typical data retention is 200 years. To use the VConduit as a fixed output DC-DC regulator, simply set the output voltage once through the software and never worry about it again.  

Mechanical Dimensions 

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Risks and challenges

Any project always involves some risk, but through proactive planning, we can mitigate these risks and ensure a successful campaign.
PCB manufacturing risks are mediated by having two reliable sources. High quantity risks are planned for by working with a reputable Pick and Place company. Component ordering will be through two distributors to ensure product quantity. Lastly there can be shipping risks when shipping around the world. We plan on tracking shipments that are destined for remote places, at no extra charge.

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    This reward has the best price. Comes with one VConduit, a user guide, and first priority color selection for the case.

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    Four VConduits

    Comes with five VConduits, a user guide, and four cases.

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    Pledge CA$ 92 or more About $69

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    Comes with four VConduits, a user guide, and four cases.

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Funding period

- (35 days)