Enclosure & Battery Kit for Raspberry Pi Boards Sells for $22

Orange Pi Development Boards

The easiest solution to power Raspberry Pi boards from batteries is to use a USB power bank, and if you want a neater solution, PiJuice HAT board is quite nice, but for something a little cheaper and available right now, Geekworm’s RPi PowerPack kit could be an interesting option with an acrylic enclosure, a battery board with a 3,800 mAh Lithium battery, a fan, three heatsinks, as well as a micro USB to USB cable.

Raspberry_Pi_3_Battery_Case
Complete kit, Raspberry Pi Board not Included

Key features of RPi PowerPack board:

  • 3,800 mAh Lithium battery good for around 9 hours on the Raspberry Pi 3.
  • Output current – 1.8A
  • Output voltage: 5.1V ± 0.1V
  • USB – 2x USB output port
  • Standard charging current / voltage – 1.0A/5.0V via 1x micro USB port.
  • Misc – On/Off switch (The battery still charges in off position)
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

The kit with the 3,800 mAh battery is sold for $22.43 on DealExtreme.

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onebir
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onebir

So this could work as a UPS?

tkaiser
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tkaiser

@onebir
Nope, no UPS mode possible since for UPS useage knowing battery capacity is a basic requirement and not possible here. You could only try to watch for voltage drops to trigger an emergency shutdown but if the step-up converters on the board always provide 5.1V until battery is empty this won’t work too. If you don’t know you’re running on battery you can not react.

Small ARM server + UPS == Allwinner A20 board πŸ˜‰

With Olimex A20 Lime2 boards by simply attaching a 3.7V battery you get an UPS solution that also powers a connected 2.5″ SATA disk. And in Armbian we provide many ways to monitor battery use with both legacy and mainline kernel (see eg. this thread here)

Jeroen
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Jeroen

Don’t think its inlcuded, it wouldn’t state: Supports Lithium battery up to 3,800mAh

onebir
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onebir

@tkaiser
Ta – any of the Chinese A20 boards work like that? (A lot cheaper, esp shipping where I am.)

tkaiser
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tkaiser

@onebir
A list of A20 devices is here http://linux-sunxi.org/Category:A20_Boards

Most of them feature a battery connector or solder pads but the only boards providing step-up converters to also power a connected 2.5″ disk when running on battery are Olimex’ Lime/Lime2 and Lamobo R1 (which has so many design flaws that I wouldn’t recommend it). With a Banana Pi or Pro for example you would’ve to take 5V from the board’s USB ports to get ‘UPS mode’ for a disk (confirmed to work, you find several threads in LeMaker forum)

theguyuk
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theguyuk
Theguyuk
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Theguyuk
onebir
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onebir

@tkaiser @theguyuk
Thanks guys; seems like ATM forgoing SAYA & using a USB HDD + Pi (clone) + power bank is the cheapest/easiest route!

ade
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ade

“With Olimex A20 Lime2 boards by simply attaching a 3.7V battery” => beaglebone also integrates a PMIC, which makes it easy to connect a li-po battery https://www.element14.com/community/community/designcenter/single-board-computers/next-gen_beaglebone/blog/2013/08/10/bbb–rechargeable-on-board-battery-system

“The kit is sold for $22.43” => can’t the ~same thing be achieved with a <1$ usb-lipo charger such as http://www.aliexpress.com/item/TP4056-1A-Lipo-Battery-Charging-Board-Charger-Module-lithium-battery-DIY-Mini-USB-Port-Free-shipping/1567407584.html ?

alexd
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alexd

You can just buy a cheap power bank with power “pass-thru” (or build one yourself) and connect a 5-3.3V regulator to the input of the bank (mains). The input can be safely fed to the SBC. A simple script monitors the GPIO pin and sets up a countdown timer to shut down the SBC safely before the bank drains. Simple and reliable.

Fossxplorer
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Fossxplorer

@theguyuk
Ofc it helps. Simple & Awesome!

zoobab
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Is there a way to know the battery level?

theguyuk
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theguyuk
onebir
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onebir

@cnxsoft
I think the upsd script does this. There’s sourcecode here – couldn’t figure out which language:

http://raspi-ups.appspot.com/upsd/upsd-1.2.tar.gz

Maybe someone familiar/interested could have a look to see how the script approximates the battery state? Since the link says this is GPL licensed I guess is could be put on Github, forked etc.

Ypnose
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Ypnose

Do you know where I can find a similar acrylic case (UK or EU would be nice), where I can stack 3 or more Raspberry Pi?

onebir
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onebir

@cnxsoft
Ah – thanks. A fixed time seems could be problematic in some cases, eg if power fails repeatedly before the battery can fully recharge…

fossxplorer
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fossxplorer

@onebir
Can’t we find a work around for that like e.g to do checks for uptime (cron) and somehow try to reduce it?

I mean this is a very simple and good idea that guy came up with πŸ™‚

onebir
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onebir

@fossxplorer
Sure – wouldn’t be hard to model battery charge & usage approximately with constants. Then allow a big margin for error. But I don’t know C, so better left to someone who does πŸ™‚

Theguyuk
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Theguyuk

@fossxplorer
Would a software eqvivalent of a egg timer work, where number goes down when Ethernet off but builds up to set top limit when Ethernet on. Crude but would work, just needs adjusting to represent real charge time?

@onebir only just seen your post on posting mine.

Ypnose
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Ypnose

@cnxsoft: Thank you for the links!

Ypnose
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Ypnose

@cnxsoft
Thank you for the links!

Fossxplorer
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Fossxplorer

@Theguyuk
Yeah πŸ™‚

wtn2002
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wtn2002

Thank you for link
but only charge this battery even if the switch is turned off, I think powerbank is better and sample.

Jimm
Guest

@zoobab Been wondering the same. Otherwise this isn’t much better than a battery pack.