Ah, Gotcha.  
Yeah,the gumstix itself has a switcher, I can see the itty bitty teeny weeny little inductors. :)
So yup, using a higher voltage source would just generate a lot more heat. Keeping the voltage of the source lower would help, and keeping the current higher would help keeping it from sagging and causing problems.

Thanks, Dave.

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 5:07 PM, Dave Hylands <dhylands@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi Rick,

On Wed, Aug 19, 2009 at 2:33 PM, richard dorfner<rdorfner@gmail.com> wrote:
> WIth linear regulators that would be true, re heat dissipation, but these
> are (I thought) using switching regulators which are pretty efficient.
> Also, with linear regulators, unless they are low drop out regulators, you
> tend to need a bit higher voltage than the regulator's rated voltage or they
> go out of regulation and start to sag (voltage wise) which can cause all
> sorts of issues with reliable system operation.

All of the regulators on the robostix are LDO (Low Dropout linear),
which includes the one providing 5v to the gumstix. I think that the
gumstix itself uses an onboard switching regulator, but most of the
daughtercards use linear regulators (I haven't seen the Palo).

Dave Hylands
Shuswap, BC, Canada

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