Elektor DIY LiPo Supercharger Kit (by GreatScott!)

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The Elektor DIY LiPo Supercharger/Booster (developed the electronics engineer/YouTuber GreatScott! and produced by Elektor) can charge a single-cell LiPo battery and protect it against the effects of overvoltage, overload, and short-circuits. Additionally, it can boost the battery voltage to 5V or 12V. The boosted output voltage is protected by an ‘eFuse’ IC outputting 1.52A at 5V or 0.76A at 12V maximum.

The charger part of the circuit needs a +5V power supply which can be connected through USB-C, or simply two wires soldered to pads on the PCB. In addition, other connections can be soldered to pads on the PCB or by using single pinheaders. This does not have the mating connector to the JST connector on our LiPo batteries. The battery (or a separate header) will need to be soldered in.

Note: This kit requires surface mount soldering which is a bit more difficult than through-hole. The pads are larger to allow for soldering with a soldering iron, but it does take a bit of skill.

  • 1x Mainboard pre-assembled with the four ICs
  • 15x Resistors
  • 3x LEDs
  • 13x Capacitors
  • 2x Switches
  • 1x USB-C on a breakout board
  • 2x Diodes
  • Battery - Single-cell lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery
  • Input Voltage - +5V / 2A max.
  • Output Voltage
    • 5V / 1.52A
    • 12V / 0.76A
  • LiPo Protection - XB8089D
  • Overcharge Detection - 4.250V
  • Overcharge Release - 4.10V
  • Overdischarge Detection - 2.50V
  • Overdischarge Release - 3V
  • Overcurrent Detection - 10.0A
  • Thermal Shutdown Auto-retry
  • Enable/Undervoltage Lockout
    • Rising: 1.2V (typ.)
    • Falling: 1.1V (typ.)

Elektor DIY LiPo Supercharger Kit (by GreatScott!) Product Help and Resources

Core Skill: Soldering

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.

4 Soldering

Skill Level: Experienced - You might be required to do some reflow or basic rework with SMD components. A heat gun, Heaterizer or other tools might be required, and a good understanding of SMD soldering as well as PTH soldering are required.
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Core Skill: DIY

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.

1 DIY

Skill Level: Noob - Basic assembly is required. You may need to provide your own basic tools like a screwdriver, hammer or scissors. Power tools or custom parts are not required. Instructions will be included and easy to follow. Sewing may be required, but only with included patterns.
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Core Skill: Programming

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.

3 Programming

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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Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

3 Electrical Prototyping

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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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

Based on 2 ratings:

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Nice little board!

Saw this in the May/June 2021 edition of Elektor magazine and thought it would be a great addition to my electronic tools. There are a lot of boards that boost a single-cell LiPo battery to +5VDC, not that many that do +12VDC, and this is the only one I know of that can do both +5 and +12VDC, the two most often-used voltages in my projects. The kit is nicely put together, the instructions are well written, and my board worked the first time I tried it after assembling it. The only minor issue I've got with it is that it would have been nice if the SMD resistor and capacitor footprints were just a little larger to allow easier hand-soldering. I will say that even with the footprints as-is, soldering them was not difficult. Nice little board!

Amazing kit, but challenging.

I'm not at all new to soldering, but I am new to SMD soldering. I bought three of these, destroyed two practicing (actually, I can probably troubleshoot, debug, and repair at least one of them, and potentially both, but I had two failures before I got the hang of it.)

My big take-away was this. Unless you already are skilled at hand-soldering SMD components, you should be using a rework station and solder paste for the resistors and capacitors. Everything else was a breeze to hand-solder, but the resistors, capacitors and LEDs were a tremendous challenge for me until I ordered some more solder paste and switched to using my rework station.

That being said, if you have solder paste and a hot air rework station (these are not that expensive for entry level, I think I paid $50 USD for mine) it is absolutely trivial to assemble this kit. Its features are unparalleled and studying its schematics diagram, and the Great Scott videos that led up to and explain this project, is a tremendous source of know how if you want to replicate the circuit's features in part, in whole, or modified.

tl;dr: Very appreciated kit, but either buy a spare or two or start with hot air rework station and solder paste.