PGCPSU is a Tiny LiPo PSU Module (Crowdfunding)


Last year we wrote about a two dollars USB 18650 battery shield that allows you to easily power your board over USB using a 18650 LiPo battery. But if you need some more flexibility, and extra features such as reverse polarity protection, PGCPSU, which stands for “Pretty Good Cheap Power Supply Unit”, may be worth looking into. PGCPSU key features & specifications: Power Input – micro USB input or pin header for charging (4.7V to 6V max.) Power Output 5V rail providing at least 350mA, and up to 650mA 3.3V rail providing at least 400mA, and up to 800mA Safety Integrated battery protection including reverse polarity protection Over-discharge, short circuit/over-current protection Power Efficiency High efficiency even at low load, important for long battery life Low quiescent current (49uA for the 5V rail + 57uA for the 3.3V rail) Enable/disable pin for the 3.3V rail with selectable default state solder jumper Charging –  Quick charging at up to 1.9A (fully charges …

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$100 Reolink Argus 2 is a Wire-Free IP Camera with Optional Solar Panel

Reolink Argus 2 Security IP Cam

This morning I had a look at battery-powered IP cameras since they avoid the hassle of wiring power and/or Ethernet around the house. I could remember I covered Immedia Blink IP camera with up to 2-year battery life back in 2014, and the company did very well since it got acquired by Amazon, and Blink IP security camera is now sold on Amazon US for $99.99 and up. It’s probably one of the best, if not the best options, for low-cost battery-powered cameras but the problem is that they only ship to a limited number of countries. Last year, there was a new entrant with Eufy Evercam outdoor IP camera with up to one year of battery life, but again it’s not easy to purchase from overseas, and the price starts at $279.99 for a single camera system. I also covered a solar and battery powered IP camera made by Wanscam a few years ago, and it could do the …

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ESP32 CoinCell is a Tiny, Coin Cell Powered ESP32 Pico D4 Board

ESP32 CoinCell

ESP32 boards can easily be powered by batteries, either through an external USB battery shield, or direct connection to an ESP32 board fitted with battery charger circuitry. But Miek Rankin has done something a bit different, as he designed ESP32 Coincell board based on an ESP32 Pico D4 SiP (System-in-Package) powered by a rechargeable LIR2450 coin cell battery with 100mAh capacity. ESP32 CoinCell board specifications: SiP – Espressif Systems ESP32 Pico D4 Wifi/Bluetooth processor Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 150 Mbps Bluetooth 4.1 LE On-board antenna Display – 0.69″ OLED display with 96×16 resolution USB – 1x micro USB port for charging and debugging (via CP2102N USB to TTL chip) Sensor – LIS3DHTR accelerometer Battery / Power Supply SE5218ALG-LF 500mA LDO power supply SL4054ST25P LiPo battery charger Socket for  for LIR2450 (3.7V/100Mah battery) Consumption – 0.45mA in sleep mode Dimensions – Small If you don’t connect the battery, the board can still be powered through the USB port. No battery …

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iMortor 36V-X Wheel Converts your Bike into an Electric Bicycle for $200

Electric bicycle wheel

This post will be a little off-topic, but I’ve just found out an interesting product I did not know existed. You’ve probably all seen electric bicycles, but YUNZHILUN iMortor 36V-X wheel allows you to convert your existing bicycle into an electric bicycle with up to 50 kilometers range by simply replacing the front wheel. The electric motor and battery are all built into the wheel, and GearBest sells for $199.99 plus shipping to customers based in Europe. iMortor 36V-X specifications: Wheel Size – 26″ Range – 25km mileage in pure electric power mode. 40 – 50km in “moped power mode” Motor – 30V 240W permanent magnet brushless DC motor Control driver – FOC (field-oriented control) intelligent drive controller Thumb gear shifter with 5 gears Smartphone Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0 and USB for charging. Battery – 36V 115.2Wh lithium-ion battery Dimensions – 66.00 cm ∅ x 10.00 cm Weight – 11.57 kg Materials – rubber tire, aluminum alloy hub, ABS motor shell, …

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Shelly H&T is a Battery Powered ESP8266 WiFi Temperature & Humidity Sensor

Battery Powered ESP8266 Temperature Humidity Sensor

WiFi and long battery life do not usually go hand-in-hand, but as we’ve seen recently, companies have managed to design battery powered WiFi cameras that are said to last up to a year on a charge. So for simpler WiFi devices it should be feasible to last over a year, and that’s what “Shelly H&T” – an ESP8266 based battery-powered WiFi temperature and humidity sensor has apparently achieved, with claims of up to 16 months battery life. Shelly H&T specifications: Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (Wifi 4) Sensor – Temperature & humidity  Battery – 1x CR123A battery good for up to 16 months Dimensions – 35 mm Ø sphere with flat top/bottom  The firmware supports MQTT, and a Rest API, and works with Alexa, Google Home, and home automation suites like OpenHAB, Home Assistant, or Domoticz. The sensor is “open source ready”, meaning you’ll be able to flash your own firmware through the serial interface as shown below. The device …

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LiFePO4wered/Pi+ is a Safer and Longer Lasting UPS for Raspberry Pi (Crowdfunding)


We’ve already covered several UPS solution for Raspberry Pi boards, but LiFePO4wered/Pi+ is a little different because instead of relying on LiPo (Lithium Ion Polymer) batteries, it comes with LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate) battery which are said to be safer and longer-lasting albeit at the cost of lower capacity. LiFePO4wered/Pi+ specifications: Two battery size options: 18650 size – 1,500 mAh 3.2 V LiFePO4 cell with up to 2A max continuous load current 14500 size – 600 mAh, 3.2 V LiFePO4 cell with up to 0.75 A max continuous load current Smart charge controller – Over-charge protection, auto-adjusting charge current, customizable maximum power point (MPP) voltage Smart power manager: I2C communication Power manager and daemon – work together to ensure clean shutdowns and provide over-discharge protection Continuous monitoring – input voltage, battery voltage, output voltage, and load current On/off button Green PWR LED & Red CHRG LED Wake timer – Wakes up RPi as needed for low duty cycle applications. Real-time …

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Pi-Zero-UpTime is an UPS for Raspberry Pi Boards and Clones

Pi-Zero-UpTime UPS for Raspberry Pi

Since for a headless Raspberry Pi it makes no sense to use a large UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to keep it running in case of power failure,  I bought and tested a Raspberry Pi battery kit a couple of years ago. The kit included an acrylic case,  a battery charging board, and LiPo battery and it worked most of the time as a UPS. “Most of the time” means the switch from mains to battery would not occur fast enough maybe 10% of the time (it depends on the load), so the Raspberry Pi board would reboot. The kit also did not include a GPIO / I2C interface to report the charge level of the battery, so you would not be able to safely power the board when the battery is almost fully depleted. In recent years, it’s become more and more difficult to get batteries shipped from overseas, so a design based on standard batteries like rechargeable 18650 batteries …

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Tri-Panel Waterproof Solar Power Bank Sells for $25

A few years ago, I purchased a power bank with a solar panel, but it only came with a 1.5W panel, and I found it took around 10 to 20 days to charge the 8,000 / 10,000 mAh battery in sunny Thailand, allowing me to charge the phone 4 times. So the rate of charge was not quite enough for self-sufficiency, and while I placed the power bank on a roof outdoors, it was not ideal since it was not waterproof, and I forgot to remove it sometimes when it rained, but it still survived for over two years… Solar power bank are mostly useful if you go outdoors in places without electricity for a few days, or if you have a project that would benefit from being powered that way. Depending on your requirements, a faster rate of charge and waterproofness may be useful features to have and that’s exactly what IPRee waterproof solar panel charger kit offers with …

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