Description: The PowerCell board is a single cell LiPo boost converter (to 3.3V and 5V) and micro-USB charger in one. The board comes with a JST connector for a single cell LiPo battery, a micro-USB connector for the 5V charge input, and selectable 3.3V and 5V output pins (labeled ‘out’). There are also two charge pins broken out (labeled ‘charge’), so you can use another 5V power source to charge the batteries, if you don’t have a micro-USB cable.
We’ve also broken out the power-save and enable pins, so that you can have full control of the switching regulator. Keep in mind, if you keep your battery connected to the Powercell, it is recommended that you disable the switching regulator (pull EN low) in order to prevent the battery from discharging and reaching the under voltage cutoff on the battery itself. There is also an under-voltage lockout on the Powercell board which is tied to a solder jumper so that you can disable it if you like.
The micro-USB charger uses the MCP73831 and allows you to charge 3.7V LiPo cells at a rate of 100mA max. The reason for this is because the device does not request 500mA from the USB port and therefore it can only pull 100mA. If you want to charge at a faster rate, you will need to connect a separate power supply to the pins labeled ‘5V’ and ‘GND’ under the label ‘charge’.
The boost converter is based on the TPS61200 from TI and has solder jumper selectable 5V and 3.3V output, and an under voltage protection of 2.6V (which can be disabled via solder jumper on the back of the PCB).
Note: This board does not have reverse polarity protection, so please be sure to recognize the polarity of your connections!
Note: When you are finished charging your battery, it is recommended that you remove the battery from the Powercell, since the charge will slowly drain without proper management. Check out the Hookup Guide in the Documents section below to learn how to control the charging and regulator output.
Dimensions: 1.03 x 0.95"
Based on 6 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
Works well. Easy to get working. I combined with an LTC2955 power button controller to enable the TPS61200. Seems to charge fully and consistently. Provides good power at 5V.
5 of 5 found this helpful:
I really can’t figure out why Sparkfun is still selling this little guy for $20 bucks. Adafruit has a PowerBoost 500C for $5 less that has a entire load of features this one does not have. I can’t recommend this since good quality manufacturers are making similar products that actually has built-in protection that this one does not. You’ll spend more on this one and very easily burn it out.
Sparkfun should really redesign this with the TPS61090 boost converter from TI that Adafruit uses.
If this little guy was more competitive in it’s market it should be closer to $10. There’s no protection on this thing and I’ve blown the one I had already. If it used a better chip it would have reverse polarity protection, a higher current rating, and even thermal protection.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
I had to get a replacement due to the USB connection coming loose on the previous one. I have since then reinforced the mounting with hot glue. Hopefully this will last longer. The Size and function is still its best features!
I love this thing. Best power management device ever. Also a very good reference design if you want to design your own custom device with different specs.
On first use, plugged in USB cable and the jack broke off the board. Looked at the SMD pins and they were intact, like they were barely soldered in place. Instead of the micro, should use the mini connector, which can be mounted more solidly.