Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month
Cheap as chips Very small Good soldering quality Meets the stated specifications with ease with the exception of current Very low noise, measured 20mV at 5V 200mA load Complete and working module, no additional work required.
The stated max output current of 3A is theoretical, the LM2596 CAN output 3 amps but at that point you would fry the module because of insufficient heatsinking. For loads up to 500mA no heatsinking should be required, but you should test this before you use it in a project. No current limiting.
Back of the PCB is 95% groundplane so if you where to scrape off the soldermask on the underside you could potentially heatsink the entire board that way, with care taken not to short out the +in and +out connections to eachother or to ground. Trimpot is easily replaceable to a larger pot for mounting on a front panel, just desolder the trimpot and solder in wires going to a larger pot.
DX currently sell a similar LM2596 based module with a red soldermask, this one has an additional capacitor and inductor for filtering and is only like 10 cents more expensive. DX also currently sell another similar module with screw terminals and dip switches for fixed voltage ranges in addition to a pot, good for lab use I suppose.
I'm ordering another 5 or so in the near future for battery powered projects, excellent module for hobbyists and makers.
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