The SparkFun Battery Babysitter is an all-in-one single-cell Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery manager. It’s half battery charger, half battery monitor, and all you’ll ever need to keep your battery-powered project running safely and extensively.
The Battery Babysitter features a pair of Texas Instruments LiPo-management ICs: a BQ24075 battery charger and a BQ27441-G1A fuel gauge. The charger supports adjustable charge rates of up to 1.5A, as well as USB-compliant 100mA and 500mA options. It also features power-path management, guaranteeing power to your project even if the battery has died. The self-calibrating, I2C-based BQ27441-G1A measures your battery’s voltage to estimate its charge percentage and remaining capacity. It’s also hooked up to a current-sensing resistor, which allows it to measure current and power! It’s a handy IC to have, if you ever need to keep an extra eye on your project’s power draw.
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 a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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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: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 6 ratings:
Work realy fine. Exemple code work well to and permit and quick use.
Great documentation and videos. Very well thought through. Easy to hack as well.
But looking for documentation; beyond that, the build quality is excellent on the rash of products I just ordered! Arrived exactly on time!
The big thing I wish I had gotten was a list of practical connectors that pair with the board. I need to find connectors to solder onto my battery terminals, etc.
Very much looking forward to plugging this into my setup once I find the de-facto documentation.
This will serve as the cornerstone of my battery based projects
Would be nice if it included a step-up DC/DC to provide a constant 5V output, like the "SparkFun LiPo Charger/Booster - 5V/1A", while retaining the coulomb counter/fuel gauge - especially for the price.
My main concern is that the copper pour on the bottom of the PCB around the charging IC is very small, so that spots gets rather hot when charging at 1.5A from a 5V source. This should've been a 4 layer board with a solid copper pour on the bottom side and lots of vias to conduct that heat away.
In any case, the coulomb counter is very useful to minimize power consumption in a battery powered project.
P.S. - The hookup guide claims the default charge rate is 1500mA - it appears to be 100mA.
Thanks for the feedback and review. In terms of the charge rate listed in the hookup guide, you are correct. By default, the switches should be in the ON position from the supplier which would set it at 100mA. Our production does not adjust the switch under the test procedures since it is under the pick-n-place yellow film.
I verified it against the boards on storefront and checked the schematic. The tables (for the “Charge Rate” and “Power Path Operation Modes”) and associated paragraphs in the tutorial have been adjusted to reflect this information.