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I want to start using the GPIO pins but I am worried about short circuits or using too much amperage and frying my raspi. What are the Min/Max Voltage and Current values rasppi can handle? What is the typical voltage and current? How sensitive is raspi to short circuits and things like that?

I have seen boards that are designed to 'protect' your raspi:

I don't really want to 'extend' the usefulness of my raspi I just want to protect it from getting fried by my GPIO pins. I'm intending on making a buffer circuit that will prevent my raspi from getting damaged from experimenting with the GPIO pins.

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You will get a lot of wild speculation amongst the replies. While data on the pi's gpio's is limited, most modern ICs will tolerate temporary shorts between a driven output and ground, the supply rail powering it, or another output. What they often will not tolerate is even brief connection to a higher voltage supply, such as a 5v pin on the same connector. – Chris Stratton Oct 16 '12 at 4:20
To be safe, use a breakout board. If you don't want to buy one then it's trivial to create your own protection circuit – Jivings Oct 16 '12 at 6:59
Provided you aren't using extremely high speed protocols, just using 1K series resistors may be a good balance of protection and simplicity; any jury-rigged solution (especially if it has active devices requiring power) runs the risk of introducing additional places for accidental shorts... – Chris Stratton Oct 16 '12 at 16:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can refer this link http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals . this would help you.

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Links to external sites are not complete answers according to the StackExchange guidelines. It's good to link to your source, but the facts must be included in the answer. There is nothing more frustrating than an answer that links to a 404. – Bruno Bronosky Jul 8 '13 at 6:13

from: http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_peripherals#General_Purpose_Input.2FOutput_.28GPIO.29

GPIO voltage levels are 3.3V and are not 5V tolerant. There is no over-voltage protection on the board - the intention is that people interested in serious interfacing will use an external board with buffers, level conversion and analog I/O rather than soldering directly onto the main board.

from: http://www.mosaic-industries.com/embedded-systems/microcontroller-projects/raspberry-pi/gpio-pin-electrical-specifications#rpi-gpio-input-voltage-and-output-current-limitations

These are 3.3 volt logic pins. A voltage near 3.3 V is interpreted as a logic one while a voltage near zero volts is a logic zero. A GPIO pin should never be connected to a voltage source greater than 3.3V or less than 0V, as prompt damage to the chip may occur as the input pin substrate diodes (shown as parasitic FETs in Figure 1) conduct. There may be times when you may need to connect them to out-of-range voltages – in those cases the input pin current must be limited by an external resistor to a value that prevents harm to the chip. I recommend that you never source or sink more than 0.5 mA into an input pin.

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0.5mA seems overly conservative, and would make the RPi useless for interfacing with most sensors, which typically draw at least a couple mA. These docs say the RPi is configured by default to sink/source 8mA and can be configured to sink/source up to 16mA. – Cerin Aug 31 '15 at 16:08
@Cerin, you are correct that I quoted the conservative number. Did you notice that you linked to the same document that I quoted (but without the anchor)? If people want to push the envelope, they need to read that document and learn more than I am teaching here. I point them in that direction. I just don't want to be responsible if they source more than 50mA cumulatively. – Bruno Bronosky Aug 31 '15 at 23:14
The 8ma and 16ma figures refer to pins configured for output. 0.5ma is for pins configured for input. Just ensure that there's always at least (Vss * 2Kohm) resistance between Vss and the pin then no more than 0.5ma can ever flow in to the input. – AutomatedMike Nov 6 '15 at 12:05

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