As one of the smallest systems around there are so many amazing things you could do with the Raspberry Pi if it was self-powered and portable. That’s exactly where the PiJuice comes it! A fully uninterruptible power supply HAT that will always keep your Raspberry Pi powered.
The revolutionary PiAnywhere technology contained in every PiJuice HAT - is the best way to take your Pi off the grid! The on board real time clock (RTC) will let your Pi know what time it is even with no power input or internet connection. Alongside this is an integrated microcontroller (MCU) chip which will manage soft shut down functionality and a true low power deep sleep state and intelligent startup.
You will be able to always keep track of the charge levels and other info with the two built-in RGB LEDs, trigger events and scripts with the three programmable buttons and since the PiJuice will use up to just five of your GPIO pins (just power and I2C), the rest are free to diversify your project. The stacking header allows you to continue to use your existing HATs and add-ons with the PiJuice.
Not directly compatible with the Pi Wedge, the battery pack is too close to the headers for the notch on the ribbon cable that is used.
In the instructions, it specifies to attach a pogo pin for the wake function, but it doesn’t line up with the new Raspberry Pi 3B+. You can add a bodge wire for the functionality of the pin; however, the manufacturer recommends plugging in the power to the PiJuice directly, bypassing the need for the pogo pin.
Whether it's for assembling a kit, hacking an enclosure, or creating your own parts; the DIY skill is all about knowing how to use tools and the techniques associated with them.
Skill Level: Rookie - Basic hand tools are required and instructions will allow more freedom. You may need to make your own decisions on design. If sewing is required, it will be free-form.
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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: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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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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I bought this hoping that I sould use it with a Zero V 1.3 (not a W!) to do some presentations (demonstrating that a $5 computer is a serious computer). First minor problem is that I had to remove (unscrew) on of the standoffs to get access to the Zero’s HDMI connector – not a biggie, but could have been mentioned in the documentation.
More significant is that it goes from 97% capacity (never does reach 100% capacity) to down in the 40’s in about half an hour, so I can’t use it to provide all the power for a roughly 1 hour presentation. (I have a Ethernet/USB Hub, and a “generic” USB mouse and keyboard, attached as well.) Not sure if buying a new BP7X locally would improve it enough to be worthwhile.
Even more significant is that, in my humble opinion, it’s FAR too easy to accidentally hit the “ON” button. I might be able to rig some sort of protector for the button, but this is a serious problem. Taking out the battery pack would cause the RTC to lose the time & date, which would also be a problem.
It’s also annoying to have LEDs flash at all when the unit is turned off and not attached to an external power supply. (I can just picture the raised eyebrows of a TSA agent…) I’ll have to remember to turn off the LEDs (in software) before air travel, then use the aforementioned Ethernet connection to log into it at the other end and re-enable the charge indicators. (I’d suggest a “firmware” enhancement - if the Pi is turned off, and no external power is connected, turn OFF the LEDs, but if one of the other buttons is pressed, show an indication of charge for 1 second.)
This unit has some interesting and useful features, but does have a few problems as well.