Evaluating the ISL9237 Buck Boost Battery Charger

Added on July 06, 2016

Learn how to set up the ISL9237 evaluation board and connect the EVB to the GUI interface. Add an electrical load and measure output voltage and phase voltages without the need for a Li-Ion battery or emulator.

Related Resources

ISL9237 Datasheet ISL9237 Datasheet

isl9237.pdf (858 KB)
Jul 2016

ISL9237EVAL2Z User Guide ISL9237EVAL2Z User Guide

isl9237eval2z-user-guide.pdf (1.62 MB)
Jul 2016

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Video Transcript

ISL9237 Evaluation Board and GUI Demonstration

Hi, I'm Phil Brinkley, Central Applications Engineer with Intersil. Today I'd like to talk to you about the ISL9237 Eval Kit. When your order the kit, you'll receive a box like this one. In the box, it contains the board itself, USB stick with the necessary software, and some documentation on the user's manual for the board itself. You'll want to load the software, but for now I'm going to begin by demoing without the need of the software.

So what you need for the first part to check out and make sure your board is actually working is the board, you need a power supply, and some cabling, and oscilloscope nice to have but not necessary, and you need a multimeter.

Measure Output Voltage

So what we first want to do is connect the power supply to the board. Do that by connecting the ground to J2. And the positive to J1.

I'm going to turn my power supply on, and connect it to five volts.

As soon as you have it up and running, and the output is set to five volts. I'm going to measure the output voltage across VSYS, that is the upper right hand output connectors on the right. J3 and J4, and it should measure 8.39 volts or 8.38 somewhere in that neighborhood, if so, the board is working properly.

The second thing you can do without having to load any of the software is to add an oscilloscope in, and measure the phase voltages. So I'm measuring phase one, and phase two on the ISL9237 itself. So what I'm going to do now is increment my voltage output from five volts in, all the way up to about 15 volts, and then back down. As I do, you'll see the phase voltages change, and that will indicate the difference between boost mode, because right now we have five volts coming in, and eight volts coming out, or more than eight volts coming out.

We're on boost mode, and then it's going to move into buck boost mood, and eventually move into buck mode.

And so you want to see that if you have an oscilloscope, you can just slowly ramp the voltage up.

When I get to about seven or eight volts, it begins to move into buck boost mode. I started off in the boost mode, and when I get above 11 volts or so. It'll move into pure buck mode. So you can see the phases change.

So those two things are easy to do right out of the box, and you can make sure your board is working.

Using ISL9237EVAL2Z GUI Software

Next thing you can do is add the software piece in. You'll find that under start button, all programs, Intersil, and then the program name itself is called ISL9237 SMB Bus tool C3.

If you have any issues installing the software, go to the ISL9237 homepage, click under the resources tab, we have some FAQs, they help walk you through, maybe issues that you might run into a driver or such.

We need a mini USB cable. Plug the cable in to the board. Once you have that connected, you want to make sure that your computer is talking over USB to the ISL9237.

So you want to confirm on the upper right hand corner of the software that you have a green check mark. Right now, I have a red X box, so it means it's not connected. So I'm going to click on reset USB. And in my case everything is connected right, and the green check mark is now on.

To verify that your software is connected actually to your board, go to manufacturer ID, click read, and you should see 0049 for manufacturer ID. That's identified in the datasheet.

Last thing you might want to try is to add a load to the output. Now loads can be a lot of different things, if you have a battery emulator that would be probably one of the best things you could use. You might actually power a rechargeable lithium ion battery. In my case, I'm just going to use a 1-ohm power resistor. It's a cheap and dirty way to make sure that the device is doing what you think it's doing.

So I'm going to connect that to the VBAT, which is the bottom right hand output connector. It's J5 and J6.

In the software, choose one cell under battery cell configuration. I'm going to hit right all and then I'm going to measure the voltage across the battery which is the power resistor.

Right now, I'm reading zero volts, that's to be expected because the default in the software is zero amps on the charge current limit. If I change the charge current limit to say something like 1 amp, and click write all, the output voltage jumps to one volt, makes sense. I've got a one-ohm resistor, and I'm feeding one amps through it. I have a one volt across.

So that demonstrates getting started quickly with the ISL9237 Eval Kit. There's a lot of different things you can do in the software, and with the kit. Go to our website at Intersil.com and refer to the user's manual for further demos that can be done with this. Thanks for watching.