Tag Archives: breadboard

IR2110 based power stage circuit



I started to build up the Open-BLDC circuit on a breadboard. Then a problem occurred. The low side works as it should but the high side just did not. After several hours of trying and reading the data sheet of IR2110 I gave up and asked Federico again for help. After some time we found an application note AN-978 from International Rectifier. This explained everything. You need to select very carefully the Boot capacitor. This is the one between VB and VS pins of IR2110. It is providing the charge for the gate of the high side MOSFET when you turn it on.

For testing you can take a big capacitor, so that when you manually switch on the high side you see something happen. I took a 330uF capacitor and it is enough to turn the high side MOSFET on for about 30 seconds. Still you have to be careful because the capacitor only gets charged when the low side MOSFET is turned on. So after turning on the power the capacitor is not charged and you have to turn the low side MOSFET on first, then turn it off again and finally switch the high side on.

In the final design one should probably select the right bootstrap capacitor. The equation for calculating that value is described on page 6 of the International Rectifier application note AN-978.

You can probably get rid of the capacitor and the diode if you connect VCC directly to VB. The problem you get then is that when the current on VS gets higher then 12V you get a problem. But I may be mistaken. Correct me if I am wrong.

Conclusion: read the damn application notes and I still have problems with understanding the electrical engineer talk! ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope this helps someone. You can see my circuit for one half bridge attached to this post. And a picture of my breadboard.

I use the two LEDs to see what happens with the MOSFETs. They are glowing a little when both sides are off. The one connected to 12V is switching off when the high side is on and the one connected to GND switches off when the low side is on. I love LEDs! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers Esden

Breadboard Adapters

I am currently working on building a breadboard prototype of Open-BLDC. I will write about that in more detail in a separate post. I had a problem there. The Olimex STM32 board has two dual in line connectors that just don’t fit on a breadboard. There are some adapters that you can buy for money, for example from Number Six. But that would cost me too much time and money.

So I decided to build my own adapters with parts that I had ling around and a prototype board that I got from Uwe. (Thanks Uwe I will buy one and give you a replacement as soon as possible!) It was a lot of fun building the adapters. They are really easy to make!

Step 1
Just cut out piece of prototype board with the length you need and four holes wide.

Step 2
Solder a dual in line connector to the copper side of the board. Just don’t push the connector completely into the holes so that you can reach the copper with your soldering iron.

Step 3
Solder two single line pin connectors on the other side of the board, right and left of the dual connector.

Step 4
This is a bit tricky. You can use some wire to connect the pins of the DIL (Dual In Line) with the single line connectors. But I found out it is much easier just to put a bit more solder between the pins and let them connect. You may have to try one or two times. Having some desoldering wick around is a good thing if you happen to solder together wrong pins. ^^

Step 5
Profit! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I appended some images you may consider more or less useful. I should make one more adapter to document the build process. :/ I am sure there will be such an opportunity soon.

Cheers Esden

Selecting parts for Open-BLDC power stage prototype

The other day I ordered parts to build the first prototype of Open-BLDC on a breadboard. It is a bit different animal then the board designs I already have because it needs legged parts.

The main problem is to find the right MOSFETs and driver chips for this application. As I have no electrical engineering background I did not really understand the values that were listed in the data sheets. I asked an electrical engineering friend and he helped me with locating the most important values. Thanks Federico!


I realized that the most important values for MOSFETs are:

  • Drain to source voltage
  • Gate to source voltage
  • Continuous drain current
  • Input/Output capacitance (turn on/off time)

The MOSFET I selected is not perfect but should do for this first prototype. It is the IRF1010N from International Rectifier.

Drain to source voltage
In my case as I am using the standard three cell LiPo batteries used in models. I need something above 12V. The smallest ones are 20V but the one I could get from Reichelt was 55V. That is still OK.

Gate to source voltage
For example the high side MOSFET has 12V attached to source. When the gate is driven low, the voltage difference between gate and source are 12V. In many cases that is a problem. Because when you charge your battery full the voltage difference gets even bigger or even worse when you try to use a battery with 4 cells instead of 3. Most MOSFET that I found have only 12V specified as gate to source voltage. It still probably works with more because of tolerances but still it is probably not good. The MOSFET I am now using for the prototype has ยฑ20V in the specification. That should work.

Continuous drain current
This one will get more important in the future. It is telling how much current the MOSFET can put through. For the prototype that is more or less a functional test of the circuit it does not matter so much. But in the future when I want the controller to support up to 20A continuous current this one will get very important. The IRF1010N is specified for 85A at 25ยบC and 60A at 100ยบC. So this values are meant for applications where you have a heat sink attached to the MOSFET’s. I will try to avoid using heat sink. I could calculate the exact number but the rule of thumb is that one should take 1/10th of the value. This means that with this MOSFET I will be able to run at about 6A to 8A. As the lab power supply, I have access to and will use for the prototype, can only deliver 2A that should be more then enough. There are several other values that are connected to this one. Like drain to source on resistence, thermal resistence, power dissipation aso. One can use them to calculate the exact amount of current the part can put through. But I think it is too early to make all the calculations yet.

Input/Output capacitance (turn on/off time)
This is a set of values that tell how fast the MOSFET can be switched on and off. It will also get more important in the future when selecting the right MOSFET for the final design. For now the 76ns rise and 40ns fall times should be enough. They will probably get even lower because I am using a dedicated half bridge driver chip.

Half Bridge Driver

I did a lot less research here. Thankfully there are not as many half bridge drivers out there as there are MOSFETs. The one I selected is the IR2110. It would be a bit big for the final design because of the additional leads. But it should be OK for this prototype. The problem I had here is that I have 3.3V digital input from the microcontroller and I want to drive the MOSFETs with 12V. As it seems the other drivers that I considered don’t recommend that. That is why I had to choose this one. I hope that I will find something that is smaller and still supports the 3.3V input.


Selecting parts is a very tiresome endeavor. The shops only have a subset of the parts that are available out there. I wanted to order all parts from one shop that is somewhere in Germany. I could probably get better parts ordering from Digikey but it would cost more. For the next stage of Open-BLDC development I will have to select better parts. But first I how a feasible circuit should look like. That is why I am going for the breadboard test first.

If you find any mistakes or I misunderstood something here feel free to tell me.

Cheers Esden