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GPIO Protection - LED

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:22 am
by technion
Hey guys,

I'm just looking to build a GPIO protection circuit for my two in-use inputs as detailed here:
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Raspberry/Breakout.html
(using a zener and resistor)

Is it as simple as it appears to put a red LED between the zener and GND, to create a "error light" ?

Re: GPIO Protection - LED

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:31 am
by malakai
The light isn't really an error indicator meaning if you hook something up wrong it won't help. It's more of an indicator that you wired everything up properly and power is being routed to the led.

The overall protection of the board is to limit how much power could be routed to a pin. The Zener diode will ensure 3.3v is delivered and the resistors bring it down to 10mA.

Re: GPIO Protection - LED

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:41 am
by technion
Thanks.

I wasn't really talking about "his light", being the green one he talks about, but introducing another one.

PS Clearly this should have been in "other projects" rather than "other languages".

Re: GPIO Protection - LED

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:59 am
by aTao
technion wrote:Hey guys,

I'm just looking to build a GPIO protection circuit for my two in-use inputs as detailed here:
http://www.thebox.myzen.co.uk/Raspberry/Breakout.html
(using a zener and resistor)

Is it as simple as it appears to put a red LED between the zener and GND, to create a "error light" ?
Not quite...
The zener will permit max 3V3 (in this case), with a LED in series the limit voltage will increase, the LED will start to turn on at ~0V7 and go as high as 1V4 ~ 2V0 in some cases (meaning you have upto 5V0 going to the GPIO). If the input is really badly connected then the LED will blow and you then have no protection at all (in this circuit it would only take 12V)
Note also that the original circuit offers no protection against negative voltages.

By far the best way to protect your RPi is to use a driver or buffer component that is more rugged and more expendable. You can buy darlington driver ICs with 8 chanels on for 60pence from CPC http://cpc.farnell.com/jsp/search/produ ... tt=SC08607. This will also give a simple level conversion as well as driving moderate loads (each output can sink 500mA with package total of 2A5)

Re: GPIO Protection - LED

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:18 am
by technion
aTao wrote: Not quite...
The zener will permit max 3V3 (in this case), with a LED in series the limit voltage will increase, the LED will start to turn on at ~0V7 and go as high as 1V4 ~ 2V0 in some cases (meaning you have )
Thanks, that's an awesome answer (glad I didn't try it).

I was just looking to make the unit look more "professional" with an error led that at least did something :p I'll hunt for somewhere else to put it.