Our RedBoards are great. But don't they sometimes seem a little BIG?!
Enter smôl, a new range of boards which are both small in size and small on current draw. It's a smôl world!
The smôl Power Board AAA is an intelligent power board for the smôl ecosystem. Designed to boost the voltage from one or two AAA or AA cells up to 3.3V, you would expect this board to have a TPS61200 regulator on it, and indeed it does. (That's the same regulator we use on our LiPower - Boost Converter.) But you probably wouldn't expect it to have an AVR ATtiny43 microcontroller on it. So why have we included one?
This is an intelligent power board for smôl. The power board takes control of the 3.3V power for the whole smôl stack. The processor board can then instruct the power board to put the entire smôl stack into deep sleep for a pre-defined interval. Sleep intervals of 10's of milliseconds to several days are possible. In deep sleep, the only device left powered is the ATtiny43 and that reduces the current draw to 12µA. Yes, you read that right, 12 microamps! smôl makes it possible for your battery life to be measured in months not days! We used the fantastic Otii Arc Power Analyzer to help us reduce the sleep current as much as possible.
smôl is an ecosystem of miniature processor boards, peripheral boards, power boards and accessories. Designed to be both physically small and to have the smallest possible current draw, smôl is the perfect choice for applications like wildlife tracking or discrete long-term monitoring. smôl boards are designed to stack one on top of the other, using 16-way 0.5mm-pitch Flexible Printed Circuits (FPCs) to provide the interconnect from one board to the next. Looking for a really compact solution for your next project? This is it!
We will be adding new smôl boards over the coming months. Don't see the board you need for your application? Reach out to us via the SparkX Forum and tell us which board(s) we should add next!
Sleep Current Draw:
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: Competent - You might need to break out the power tools. Nothing beyond a power drill or rotary tool should be required, but you might have a hard time with just a screwdriver and hammer. Cutting holes into plastic or metal might be required.
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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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