I am a Road Tester of the TI-PMLK Buck Experiment Board: TPS54160 & LM3475.

It's an educational kit - board and book - to learn buck converter theory and practice.

Because it's an educational kit, I give minus points each time there's vendor lock-in .



I applied for the Road Test to check the educational value of the kit. The focus in this blog series will be on the Lab Manual and exercises.

In this first blog, I'll try exercise 1.


Power Management Lab Kit Buck Experiment Book


The manual is set up as a set of lab experiments.

All exercises follow the same steps: theory, set-up and measure. Each experiment closes with a review discussion and a dig into the results.


The first experiments of each kit review the basic behaviour:

"What happens with the efficiency of the regulator if we change input voltage, the load at the output or the switching frequency?"

I am actually going to do the test and will do an attempt to calculate that efficiency.


Lab Set-up


Lab requirements


The kit expects that you have a decent lab. I don't.

For these exercises that I'm doing here, my set-up will do.

You can get almost all educational value out of this kit with a modest setup.

If you're an electronics student, you can use your college or uni lab.

Home testers will have to be inventive and will have to learn how to perform measurements in a less optimal situation.

That's a good skill to have too.


Here are the recommended Lab specs for the kit:

  • DC power supply 0-50V/4A with dynamic voltage mode capability
  • DC electronic load 20V/10A with dynamic current mode capability
  • 4 digital multimeters with 4 1/2-digit resolution
  • 250MHz 4-channels Digital Oscilloscope + 2 current probes 20A/50MHz

I have none of these



edit: the author of the book has addressed most of these remarks.


My set-up for today's case will be:

  • Rigol DP832A DC power supply 0-60V/3A or 0-30V /6A
  • Mix of cement power resistors 0R1 and 1R, 10W
  • 1 digital multimeter Brymen BM235
  • RIGOL DS1054Z 50 MHz 4-channels Digital Oscilloscope, no current probes


Obviously, this is a much humbler lab than the one TI prescribes. If you feel that I can't perform this exercise correctly with my current set-up, feel free to mail me the missing instruments .


In the next blog post, it's connect and measure time. Hang on. In the meantime read the lab manual. You can download it from the element14 community.


Related Blog
1a: 1st Experiment Set-up
1b: 1st Experiment Lab Setup
1c: 1st Experiment Measure
2: Educational Value

Road Test: TI-PMLK Buck Experiment Board: TPS54160 & LM3475