Simple adapter board turns a USB-C power supply into a variable voltage source

Simple adapter board turns a USB-C power supply into a variable voltage source

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Being able to turn a USB-C supply to a variable power supply is certainly a big deal for a simple ingenious board like the ZY12PDN board shared by Keneth Finnegan on his twitter handle recently. The ZY12PDN is a simple STM-powered adapter board that turns a USB-C supply to a universal power supply for almost any electronic device.

We know that a USB-C, when it comes to power delivery, allows you to negotiate for 5, 9, 12, 15, 20 volts, with supply up to 100W which makes it possible to charge devices like laptops, phones, tablets, but the simplicity with which the ZY12PDN achieves it, brings lot of possibilities to the table.

The ZY12PDN, a USB-C power delivery trigger board uses the USB-C power delivery protocols to negotiate the level of voltage you want. The ZY12PDN has an STM32 microcontroller that helps in negotiating for the PD protocol. It also has, on one of its sides, a USB-C connector and on another side, header pins, USB-A connector and landing patterns for screw terminals.

Unlike some other USB power delivery adapters that need I2C communication for configuration, this power adapter board makes use of a push-button for setting the voltage you want to negotiate. “Finnegan” has created a video, that shows how the device works since the board does not come with any instructions. He explained that the board must first be configured anytime it is powered up with a sequence that helps to program the board, forcing it to stay powered-up in the desired mode. When connected, the USB power delivery uses a separate communication channel that automatically determines which becomes the supply and which the sink after which they negotiate the power profile they want to use in terms of voltage and current limits.

Some specifications of the board include:

  • Voltage: 3 – 20 volts
  • Current: 0 – 5A
  • Power: 100W
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.7 X 5.2 X 0.3 inches

The board is currently being sold alongside a decoy fast charge trigger detector on Amazon for $15.99, or eBay.com or Aliexpress.com. While technical information available for the board is limited, more details about the board can be gleaned from Kenneth’s video above.

About Emmanuel Odunlade
Email : emmaodunlade@gmail.com Website :

Hardware Design Engineer | #IoT Consultant |All things #ML | Entrepreneur | Serial Writer | Passionate about Innovation and technology as tools for solving problems in developing countries. Spare time is spent around writing and advocacy for the growth of the Maker/DIY Culture in Africa.

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2 Responses

  • Pat Prell
    3 June, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Any clue how they supply the stm uC with power when the PD output can go up to 20V? surely its not using a linear reg and dropping up to 15v across it?

    • 4 June, 2020 at 10:40 am

      It seems we need a schematic to check for this. I am not sure if it’s available.

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