Welcome back to the Digilent Blog!
You may have noticed awhile back that Digilent released a set of PowerBRICKs, which, as the name implies, are powerful little components that can produce a variety of voltages all while being run right from the USB port on your computer.
Based on the PowerBRICKs labeled voltage (3.3V, 5V, 9V, or 12V) users may get a corresponding negative or positive voltage of the labeled value from the PowerBRICK. But while all of the positive voltages are commonly used in a variety of everyday applications, what can you use the negative voltage for?
The biggest thing that this negative voltage supply that PowerBRICKs enable are differential analog circuits. Perhaps you have an operational amplifier that needs to swing between two voltage ranges around a 0V point or a bi-polar stepper motor that you want to get as much torque as you can from it.
Take the Soda Can Theremin demo for example. This project needed three different reference voltages: 5V, 0V, and -5V. The 5V version of the PowerBRICK is able to provide all three of these voltages, as well as more than enough current — at least for this particular application.
What sort of project do you think a PowerBRICK would be perfect for?