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Description: If you need to charge LiPo batteries, this simple charger will do just that, and do it fast! The SparkFun USB LiPo Charger is a basic charging circuit that allows you to charge 3.7V LiPo cells at a rate of 500mA or 100mA. It is designed to charge single-cell Li-Ion or Li-Polymer batteries.

The board incorporates a charging circuit, status LED, selectable solder jumper for 500mA or 100mA charging current, external LED footprint, USB input, two pre-installed JST connectors for SYS OUT and BATT IN, and (back by popular demand) a barrel jack connector.

There is also a ‘SYS OUT’ with a pre-installed JST connector which allows you to connect the charging circuit directly to your project so you don’t need to disconnect the charger each time you want to use it.


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Customer Comments

  • Breaking out the D+ and D- lines of the USB connector to solder points would be a nice feature on a board like this.

  • Is it possible obtain the same product but with a micro-B USB port instead of the (deprecated) mini-B USB port? Thanks

  • Hi All, The hookup guide says this about the jumper pads on the board… “As an advanced trick, you can short both pads to the center (connecting both resistors in parallel) to set the charge current to 60mA.”

    Can someone verify this is indeed true? 60mA? I’m a little skeptical because one is 100mA, the other is 500mA… 100 + 500 = 600… Logically, I would assume jumping both would be additive, but I am not an EE. I’ve blown up enough circuits to conclude that electrical engineering is more magic than logic.

  • What sort of current can be drawn from the sys out jack as I would like to run a 1A 5v booster circuit from it

  • Can I use this to have the battery charge the USB device (like an iPhone or something)? Instead of the other way around?

    • No, sorry. That’s am entirely different circuit, and charging iDevices requires authentication in most cases.

      Just buy authentic, overpriced apple accessories to avoid a headache!

  • Is there a board like this that I can use on AA (NiMH) batteries? (with the sys out option)

  • Question:

    What JST connector series is used?


    2-pin JST-PH connector - 2mm spacing between pins.

    Buy Cables Here

    Search - 2-Pin JST-PH

  • Hi. Which is the max output current supplied by SYS OUT?


    • The charge current plus whatever the battery can supply. Note that the battery will only charge if you draw less than the charge current, otherwise the battery will discharge.

  • I want to charge at 100ma.

    All I have to do is solder a small wire between the middle pad and the pad juxtaposed to the 100ma pad, correct?

    Thanks, Doug

    • Even better, you don’t need a wire! Just remove the solder connecting to the 2k resistor (500mA side) with solder wick, and add a blob to"jumper “ the pads on the other, 100mA side!

  • Will this charge 18650 cells?

    • This will charge a 18650 battery IF it is 3.7V and a li-poly or li-po battery. It will charge at a rate of 500mAh. So if your battery is 5000mAh is will take 10 hours to charge. As noted above by IgnacioV, “the battery will only charge if you draw less than the charge current, otherwise the battery will discharge.”

  • I’m trying to connect a Sanyo am-7d08 panel using the barrel jack it came with.

    I’m not sure if it would burn out the charger and also can the included USB jack charge a cell phone for example? Or is it just input?

  • What would be the best way to make/get one of these at higher voltages? The best option I’m thinking is resizing the circuit and putting it on a breadboard….I’d appreciate any ideas.

  • Will this board still power SYS OUT if the battery is disconnected but a wallwart or USB is plugged in?

  • It doesn’t look like this charger has undervoltage protection, right?

  • On PRT-11231 it says it cannot pull more than 100mA from the USB connector without a chip negotiating with the host for more current (USB standards). Does this one have the same limitation? It doesn’t have a chip to request higher current. Or does it just assume you’re powering from a powersupply like a wall-wart that supplies 500mA-1A/5V?

    • this appears to be the same, but it really depends on the USB host. some will give the 500ma, or more, without negotiation, especially USB hubs.

  • this one makes me happy.

    some phone and camera batteries have three contacts. can i still use this if im really careful?

    what would you suggest?


    • As long as the phone battery doesn’t have some kind of protection circuit that forces it to use a “known” charger (don’t know how common this is, if it even exists :D), I don’t see any problems with using this. Can’t stress this enough though, Li-Ion and Li-Poly are very dangerous, even if you know what you’re doing.

      Check below about the third pin.

    • 3 wires means it’s multi-cell (the 3rd wire is for load balancing). This is definitely not a load-balancing circuit.

      • Most camera and phone-batteries are single-cell (3.7 volt) and the third pin (often in the middle if I’m not mistaken) is for either 1-wire communication or internal temperature sensor.

  • I looked at the datasheet for the MCP73831T, and it looks like it does not have a problem that I’ve run into with some other chips, to wit, after roughly 24 hours, they completely turn off charging the battery, and if left on for several weeks the battery can completely discharge even though the lights indicate it is fully charged. (The solution turned out to be to briefly unplug the USB periodically, e.g., once a week.)

    This datasheet for this chip mumbles something about an “Automatic Recharge”, so hopefully will avoid this problem.

  • I am wondering if anyone can provide some tips on the selectable solder jumper? I have the single-cell, 110mA batteries, part number PRT-00731. I’d like to connect the two on-board resistors in parallel to tenderly charge the batteries at 60mA. I am just wondering if there is a simple way to jump the traces without using solder. Maybe a miniature clip or something like that?

    • Both resistors in parallel would give around 600mA, not 60mA! I think you mean you want to put them in series, but I don’t know if any micro grabbers that would reliably grab resistors to accomplish that without solder.

      My suggestion is to replace the resistor with a 16k ohm resistor to get 62mA or an 18k resistor to get 56mA. You can get the surface mount resistor for pennies plus shipping at digikey, then you just need the soldering iron, solder, some braided solder wick, tweezers, and a head mounted magnifying glass.

      I know that’s not what you asked, but when you get to the point that you want to modify boards, you should really spend a few hours watching YouTube soldering videos, then jump in and see that it really isn’t too hard. Trying to macgyver surface mount resistors just isn’t going to turn out well without solder!

    • Did you ever find out a solution? I’m wondering this too.

  • What happens if the power source (from the barrel jack for example) cannot supply 100mA? Will the battery just take longer to charge? If, for example, I wanted to charge a Li-ion battery using an inductive charging technique that doesn’t quite supply 100mA, could the battery still be charged with this product, or would something else work better?

  • Made a comment I can’t delete. Moved it to PRT-10161 where it belonged. Issue with charging LED not going out, see other post. May or may not apply to this model.

  • cb / last year / 1

    It is not mentioned here, but you need a walwart of “A supply voltage of [VREG (typical) + 0.3V] to 6V is recommended”. (from Page 11 of the MCP73831T datasheet) There is a schottky diode in series with the barrel jack connector so, in this case, the voltage range for the walwart is [VREG(typical) +.5V] to 6.2V, (assuming Diode Vf = .2V).

    • VREG is 4.2V, and the exact part no for the lipo charger is MCP73831T-2ACI/OT

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Related Tutorials

LiPo USB Charger Hookup Guide

May 1, 2014

How to charge your LiPo batteries with the USB LiPo charger. Plus how to modify your charger to set the charge current.