FLIP Platform

A platform to create IOT devices for 12-48v battery systems.
Marketing render of the FLIP-C3 as first prototype boards are ordered. 23.04.04

Current State

Last updated: 23.04.25
  • First batch of 10 ordered
    • Found that LDO circuitry will not work
  • Ordered 10 switching buck PCBs based on LMR16020 IC
    • Ordered as a separate circuit for analysis before integrating into C3 circuitry - the LMR15030 (3a version) might find its way as a backback or an alternate part pick
    • Design should fit in same space as LDO circuitry and not drastically encroach on z-height.
    • Delivered 4/25 to VDBX mailbox in Oakland.

Design Philosophy

The FLIP platform is a set of standards between circuit designs with the intention of easy install within 12-48v lithium battery systems. It designed as a modular system to create IOT hardware for modern open-source automation systems. The platform will consist of mainboards which have processing and network capabilities and the modules which will provide or interface with switches, lighting, sensors, relays, dimmers, etc.
The mainboards should be able to power themselves and basic modules from the an on-board buck regulator. Additional power modules can be placed in parallel with the base moule built into the mainboard.
I2C should be considered a high-priority interconnect due to its capability for easy expansion and daisy-chaining. In as many situations as possible, modules should be able to function as either tethered I2C device or with a FLIP mainboard installed. A standalone device (mainboard with module) should be able to connect to it's mainboardless version of itself via the Qwiic & Stemma QT compatible connector. In some cases, smaller boards could stack infinitely, limited only by the available I2C addresses. We've currently coined these smaller boards as backpacks.
  • Power modules should be tolerant to 60v DC input which covers up to 16s Lifepo4 systems.
  • USB-C with 5v LDO regulator as alternate power input allows for alternate power options.
  • Standardized 2.54mm dual header layout between boards
    • Passthrough stacking pin/socket headers included
  • Stemma QT & Qwiic compatible SH 1.0 connectors
    • I2C & UART
  • Home Assistant as target platform
    • ESP32 for Wifi and Ethernet
      • ESPHome Firmware
    • EBYTE Modules for Zigbee (future)
      • PTVO Firmware
    • Thread (Future)


The first mainboard for the FLIP platform is an ESP32-C3 board that can be deployed on any battery system up to 16s LifePO4.
  • On-board 2A buck-converter tolerant up to 60v DC
  • Low-profile press-in wire connector for DC input
    • Reverse polarity protection.
    • 24-18AWG Solid
    • 22-20AWG Stranded
    • 2x2P 2.54mm pass-through header for stacking
  • ESP32-C3 designed for ESPHome and Home Assistant.
  • USB-C input for alt power and programming
    • Reverse current protection from DC input via diode
      • Allows for programming in place while protecting both devices.
  • LEDs on-board
    • WS2812B RGB - GPIO8
    • Purple(?) LED - GPIO10
  • UART and I2C on Qwicc/Stemma QT compatible headers (SH 1.0-4P)
    • I2C: SCL0/SDA1
    • UART: RX20/TX21
  • Boot Button GPIO9
  • Reset Button ENABLE


The ESP32-C3 is considered a market replacement for the ESP8266 while bringing some features from the ESP32. It's a RISC-V platform with Wifi & Bluetooth plus support for Ethernet PHYs including the LAN8720 and W5500, though support for both are limited in ESPHome.
It is likely that the C3 will not be enough as the platform grows and requires more of the processor. Our early planned product line should be more than covered by the capabilities of the C3... the biggest concern being limited to one I2C.

Future Products

  • Switch Panel (Unnamed)
  • PwrTool Family
    • Large main system shunt
    • Small Handheld coulometer with XT60, PP45, screw-in, etc. connection options
    • Branch Manager - Smart power distribution panel
      • 8x High power p-channel mosfets
    • Lighting Director - PWM Mosfet controller for DC lighting devices.
  • Backpacks - should be the same size as the FLIP itself.
    • PWM mosfet 4x via direct connection to GPIO
    • RS485 to TTL for Solar Chargers
    • 3A+ Switching power supply
      • 16020 has a 16030 pin compatible 3A version but will require external component selection. Good for LED control board?
    • RGB Addressable LED control (with DC buck?)


  • 23.04.30 - Switching Buck Regulator
    • LMR16020 - tested to work from 5 to 58v with only FLIP-C3 as load
      • higher voltages seeing upwards of 0.6v wobble on output
      • output is up to 0.7v higher at 58v input vs 5v input
    • Missed output ground on test board and poor placement of VREF
  • 23.04.18 - LDO circuitry is not going to work, back to the drawing board.
    • Design and order tester for switching buck
    • Remove LDO circuitry from FLIP-C3 and reconsider footprint size.

Version History

0.9.0 - LDO Circuit was a bad idea, EN pin not pulled-up