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Cypher
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Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:21 am

Hey there, I feel like we need a topic about batteries, since everyone seems to struggle while looking for a battery for their project...

Actually, that's my case!

I bought a 10,000mAh @3.7V battery pack with pass-through charging, but I didn't know the voltage would drop low enough to make my device stop working...

I'm looking for a battery with pass-through charging, that won't drop the voltage below 5V when plugged, and power a Pi2B, my 7'' touchscreen, a Wi-Fi dongle and a pair of 3.5W speakers (using HiFiBerry and an amp)...

Does anyone know such a great battery I could use? I'd like it to be pretty compact, I don't need a huge capacity, just the mentioned power specs.

Thanks for any proposition!
Last edited by Cypher on Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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BMS Doug
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:42 am

you need a step up voltage regulator to go with your battery, The adafruit PowerBoost 1000 gives a 1A output at 5V (no battery included).

There are many USB powerbanks available, these give a regulated 5V output and some of them have large battery capacity, pass through charging isn't always specified (so you should ask before buying if it isn't clear).
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RaTTuS
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:44 am

How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

1QC43qbL5FySu2Pi51vGqKqxy3UiJgukSX
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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:43 am

BMS Doug wrote:you need a step up voltage regulator to go with your battery, The adafruit PowerBoost 1000 gives a 1A output at 5V (no battery included).

There are many USB powerbanks available, these give a regulated 5V output and some of them have large battery capacity, pass through charging isn't always specified (so you should ask before buying if it isn't clear).
Indeed, it looks to be exactly what I'm looking for! I'll look into it a bit later... Thanks a lot! I'll tell you if it fits my needs when I'm sure!
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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:46 am

BMS Doug wrote:you need a step up voltage regulator to go with your battery, The adafruit PowerBoost 1000 gives a 1A output at 5V (no battery included).

There are many USB powerbanks available, these give a regulated 5V output and some of them have large battery capacity, pass through charging isn't always specified (so you should ask before buying if it isn't clear).
The problem is, as I said in the riginal post, that the battery's output voltage drops while charging, even though it features pass-through charging (It actually works with my phone)

That drop made the Pi suddenly shut down, setting the "dirty bit" to 1 (which means it could actually corrupt data)
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BMS Doug
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:55 am

Cypher wrote:
The problem is, as I said in the riginal post, that the battery's output voltage drops while charging, even though it features pass-through charging (It actually works with my phone)

That drop made the Pi suddenly shut down, setting the "dirty bit" to 1 (which means it could actually corrupt data)
The biggest issue that I can see is that you are supplying the Pi at 3.7 volts, not the recommended 5V, which is why Rattus recommends that you use a 5V powerbank and I suggested the 5V output PowerBoost module.

I'm not sure if the PowerBoost is capable of supplying enough current for your project, the 2A output powerbanks might well be a better choice.

Most of these powerbank solutions have a 3.7v battery and a step up converter, when the battery voltage dips the output doesn't because it is stepped up from battery voltage by the converter.
Doug.
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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberies: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:19 am

BMS Doug wrote:
Cypher wrote:
The problem is, as I said in the riginal post, that the battery's output voltage drops while charging, even though it features pass-through charging (It actually works with my phone)

That drop made the Pi suddenly shut down, setting the "dirty bit" to 1 (which means it could actually corrupt data)
The biggest issue that I can see is that you are supplying the Pi at 3.7 volts, not the recommended 5V, which is why Rattus recommends that you use a 5V powerbank and I suggested the 5V output PowerBoost module.

I'm not sure if the PowerBoost is capable of supplying enough current for your project, the 2A output powerbanks might well be a better choice.

Most of these powerbank solutions have a 3.7v battery and a step up converter, when the battery voltage dips the output doesn't because it is stepped up from battery voltage by the converter.
Sorry, the way I wrote it was unclear... It's a 5V output, but the battery has a capacity of 10,000 mAh @3.7V, because that's how the large-capacity batteries are often rated... It has a 5V/2A output, and a second 5V/1A output
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BMS Doug
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:46 am

Ah, sorry I misunderstood, so the problem is that the powerbank you have doesn't have a seamless transition between battery power and passthrough power?

Perhaps add a capacitor to cover the switchover period?
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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:29 am

BMS Doug wrote:Ah, sorry I misunderstood, so the problem is that the powerbank you have doesn't have a seamless transition between battery power and passthrough power?

Perhaps add a capacitor to cover the switchover period?
The problem is not just in the transition, it just keeps a voltage too low for the Pi... as long as it is charging. The moment I pull the plug, it starts running just fine again! The poweboost may help, I'll give it a try!
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JimmyN
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:43 am

The problem is your power supply rather than the battery. It can't output enough to charge the battery and run the RPi, so the voltage drops and the RPi reboots. You've got a RPi, screen, wireless, and speakers and apparently that works OK, but when you start drawing an additional amp or more for battery charging your power supply is not up to the task.

So rather than a better power bank what you really need is a power supply that can provide 2 amps for the RPi, plus another two amps at least so you have a little headroom, to charge the battery while the RPi is running.

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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:45 am

JimmyN wrote:The problem is your power supply rather than the battery. It can't output enough to charge the battery and run the RPi, so the voltage drops and the RPi reboots. You've got a RPi, screen, wireless, and speakers and apparently that works OK, but when you start drawing an additional amp or more for battery charging your power supply is not up to the task.

So rather than a better power bank what you really need is a power supply that can provide 2 amps for the RPi, plus another two amps at least so you have a little headroom, to charge the battery while the RPi is running.
Just ordered a new power supply that should fit these requirements, I needed a new one anyway... I'll tell you more when it comes!
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joro_tz
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:58 pm

Cypher wrote: Just ordered a new power supply that should fit these requirements, I needed a new one anyway... I'll tell you more when it comes!
Hi Cypher, so what happened? Did the power supply solve the problem for you?

Anyone knows which pass-through power bank works for such case?

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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:14 pm

Hi there,
It did, kind of... The power supply works, but it's pretty sensitive to touch, gets pretty hot and can't always keep up with the power draw of both the raspberry and my 7'' backlit 1024*600 display under high CPU load. It should be fine with only the Raspberry to power, though! Just don't forget to isolate it from the other components correctly.
Hope that helped.
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solar3000
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:20 pm

ummm what about the cable? Did you already try different ones?
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Cypher
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:11 pm

solar3000 wrote:ummm what about the cable? Did you already try different ones?
Nope, just one classic short micro USB wire for each of the PI and screen, with a modded double USB A connector to power it all... Do you think that would really make a difference?
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stderr
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:38 pm

Cypher wrote:
solar3000 wrote:ummm what about the cable? Did you already try different ones?
Nope, just one classic short micro USB wire for each of the PI and screen, with a modded double USB A connector to power it all... Do you think that would really make a difference?
You're kidding, right? Dodgy USB cables, whether they can't deal with the current or can't properly transfer the data are a huge problem, especially when you use the absolutely lowest cost parts.

d3fault
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:44 pm

Cypher wrote:
Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:14 pm
Hi there,
It did, kind of... The power supply works, but it's pretty sensitive to touch, gets pretty hot and can't always keep up with the power draw of both the raspberry and my 7'' backlit 1024*600 display under high CPU load. It should be fine with only the Raspberry to power, though! Just don't forget to isolate it from the other components correctly.
Hope that helped.
Thanks for mentioning the make and model of the battery that worked for you. SIKE!

The PowerBoost 1000 solution makes me giggle because now there are 3 batteries involved xD.

Can anyone recommend a make/model of a usb battery pack that youve tested/used and that has high mAh (10k+) and high amp output (2.4A would be nice) that does pass through charging without a voltage drop and without requiring another IC/battery (PowerBoost 1000). Im willing to spend up to $100 on a known good one. I have neither the time nor the money to read about and test the tens of thousands of [mostly poorly made] battery packs on the market. My experience is that finding one with just a stable 5V (not even while pass through charging) is hard enough.

Edit: also need to be able to charge the battery (input) faster than the battery discharges (output). I want to run my pi 24/7 until the battery EOL. an input of 2A is probably sufficient (ignore what I said earlier about wanting 2.4A out), but tbh I need to test my setup to give a better figure. 1A input is probably too low and 500 mA input is definitely too low.

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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:00 pm

d3fault wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:44 pm
Thanks for mentioning the make and model of the battery that worked for you. SIKE!
You start out by throwing shade at a fellow forum member, and then ask everybody to take time to give you assistance and advice. How's that working out for you?

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Imperf3kt
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Re: Batteries and Raspberries: Not the best friends

Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:03 pm

I have no issues so far with my slim12000 Dual
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