3.3v Mini Maestro 24-Channel USB Servo Controller


Is it possible to convert a Mini Maestro 24-Channel USB Servo Controller to 3.3v instead of the 5v it is designed for? Im thinking you would need to replace the micro-controller and the voltage regulator with 3.3v equivalents (assuming pic offers an equivalent that operates on 3.3v). Also the boot-loader would need to be uploaded to the new micro-controller.

Here is some background of my project so maybe you can understand why am trying to do this:

I am designing an electronics system for a hexapod. The system will need to be able to communicate wirelessly and control a total of 24 servos. I am trying to make the robot as small as possible so space and weight are at a premium. I have been unable to find another servo controller that compares to the size of the Mini Maestro and it would be perfect for my system if it could operate at 3.3v.

This is what I am currently planing to use for the rest of the system:

  • Single cell Li-Po battery 3.7v - providing power to the entire system

  • Arduino Fio (arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardFio) - Opperates on 3.3v. This would serve as the main control board of the robot interfacing between the servo controller and a XBee (for wireless control). The board can connect directly to XBee and has a built in charger for a Li-Po battery.

  • Pico servos - Designed for 4.8v but would be run at 3.7v, expect approximately 80% of rated output.


It is not practical to replace the microcontroller on the Maestro. You might consider using one of our step-up voltage regulators to boost your battery voltage for the Maestro. Also, if you are using serial communication, you will probably need to convert the 5V signal from the Maestro to a 3.3V signal for the Arduino. Since the Maestro is not guaranteed to see 3.3V as HIGH, I recommend using a level shifter (like this one by Spark Fun) to communicate between the Arduino and the Maestro.

- Jeremy