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LiPo batteries are a great way to power your projects. They’re small, lightweight, and pack a pretty good punch for their size. Unfortunately, even the best batteries eventually run low on power and when they do it’s often unexpected (and at the worst time). Don’t be caught by surprise next time your board suddenly powers-down! The SparkFun LiPo Fuel Gauge connects your battery to your project and uses a sophisticated algorithm to detect relative state of charge and direct A/D measurement of battery voltage. In other words, it tells your microcontroller how much ‘fuel’ is left in the tank. The LiPo Fuel Gauge communicates with your project over I2C and an alert pin also tells you when the charge has dropped below a certain percentage.
We don’t have an official library for the SparkFun LiPo Fuel Gauge, but this library and example code seems to work OK.
This skill defines how difficult the soldering is on a particular product. It might be a couple simple solder joints, or require special reflow tools.
Skill Level: Noob - Some basic soldering is required, but it is limited to a just a few pins, basic through-hole soldering, and couple (if any) polarized components. A basic soldering iron is all you should need.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 6 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I’ve received my new fuel gauge in the mail just days after ordering. I am thrilled to say that it works great. I had previously purchased five of these from ebay and none of them worked. DO NOT BUY THESE FROM EBAY!! I can darn near guarantee that they will not work. All I did to make this work was connect the SDA, SCL, B+ & B-. Uploaded the same code I had used previously recommended by Arduino and written by Luca Dentella; http://www.lucadentella.it/max17043-libreria-per-arduino/
I will try the spark fun code some other time. I did this in just 3 minutes an am in a hurry to get back to other projects. Thank you Spark Fun!
1 of 1 found this helpful:
I bought this to interface with the Sparkfun weather shield so that I could monitor my solar / LiPo powered outdoor weather station. Without this board, I was not effectively able to determine the charge state of my battery. I have so far tested it indoors (without solar cell) and it seems to be doing its job very well. Monitoring the true state of charge on a LiPo is no easy task, but this board seems to know what it’s doing. As I test, I hooked up my weather station and monitored a 2Ahr cell for over 24 hours, watching the charge state go from 90% to about 66% which is very believable given what I know about the station current draw. Pretty nice $10 add-on for my weather station.
Using it on a Cypress app and seems to do its job.
It would be useful to breakout the 1k battery sensor from VCC. In my application I’m using one of these with a particle io photon. The vcc for the particle is 3.3v but the battery can range from 3.2 to almost 4 volts so they need to be separated. It would also be helpful to have the battery through holes in line with the other through holes.
These batteries are good at one thing, powering that circuit. But unlike a motor vehicle they can’t tell you when a fill is needed. That can. My only gripe is one of, “Why is AVR code shown?”
Using this in a homemade remote control to monitor the LiPo battery. Works as described and I love the I2C interface - saves me some pins for other things.
Excellent - would recommend for anyone wanting to check on charge/voltage (static use) or monitoring (dynamically, in-circuit)!