Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter Hookup Guide

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Contributors: jimblom
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Introduction

Do you have a 3.3V I2C or SPI sensor that might go up in smoke if connected to a 5V Arduino? Or a 5V device that needs a workaround to be compatible with your 3.3V Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi Zero, RedBoard Turbo, RedBoard Turbo or Arduino Due?

To get over this obstacle you need a device that can shift 3.3V up to 5V or 5V down to 3.3V. This is called logic level shifting. Level shifting is a dilemma so common we designed a simple PCB assembly to make interfacing devices a little easier: the Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter.

SparkFun Logic Level Converter - Bi-Directional

SparkFun Logic Level Converter - Bi-Directional

BOB-12009
$2.95
111

Though they're share the same shape and size, this bi-directional logic level converter shouldn't be confused with the more "uni-directional" version. This converter can pass data from high to low and/or low to high on all channels. It's perfect for level-shifting between devices that are sharing a data wire, like I2C or a one-wire interface.

Covered In This Tutorial

In this tutorial we'll take an in-depth look at the Bi-Directional Logic Level Converter. We'll examine the schematic and board layout -- explaining what each pin on the board does. At the end we'll go over some hookup examples to show how you might hook the board up for various interfaces.

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Working with Wire

How to strip, crimp, and work with wire.

How to Use a Breadboard

Welcome to the wonderful world of breadboards. Here we will learn what a breadboard is and how to use one to build your very first circuit.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.