The PowerCell board is a single cell LiPo boost converter (to 3.3V and 5V) and micro-USB charger in one. The board comes with a JST connector for a single cell LiPo battery, a micro-USB connector for the 5V charge input, and selectable 3.3V and 5V output pins (labeled ‘out’). There are also two charge pins broken out (labeled ‘charge’), so you can use another 5V power source to charge the batteries, if you don’t have a micro-USB cable.
We’ve also broken out the power-save and enable pins, so that you can have full control of the switching regulator. Keep in mind, if you keep your battery connected to the Powercell, it is recommended that you disable the switching regulator (pull EN low) in order to prevent the battery from discharging and reaching the under voltage cutoff on the battery itself. There is also an under-voltage lockout on the Powercell board which is tied to a solder jumper so that you can disable it if you like.
The boost converter is based on the TPS61200 from TI and has solder jumper selectable 5V and 3.3V output, and an under voltage protection of 2.6V (which can be disabled via solder jumper on the back of the PCB).
Note: This board does not have reverse polarity protection, so please be sure to recognize the polarity of your connections!
Note: When you are finished charging your battery, it is recommended that you remove the battery from the Powercell, since the charge will slowly drain without proper management. Check out the Hookup Guide in the Documents section below to learn how to control the charging and regulator output.
When the battery is attached and there is no load, the power boosting circuit will still draw around 7.32 mA.
If you ground the (EN) enable pin, the circuit will turn off and pull around .42mA with no load.
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Skill Level: Rookie - The number of pins increases, and you will have to determine polarity of components and some of the components might be a bit trickier or close together. You might need solder wick or flux.
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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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Based on 14 ratings:
1 of 1 found this helpful:
Works well. Easy to get working. I combined with an LTC2955 power button controller to enable the TPS61200. Seems to charge fully and consistently. Provides good power at 5V.
9 of 9 found this helpful:
I really can’t figure out why Sparkfun is still selling this little guy for $20 bucks. Adafruit has a PowerBoost 500C for $5 less that has a entire load of features this one does not have. I can’t recommend this since good quality manufacturers are making similar products that actually has built-in protection that this one does not. You’ll spend more on this one and very easily burn it out.
Sparkfun should really redesign this with the TPS61090 boost converter from TI that Adafruit uses.
If this little guy was more competitive in it’s market it should be closer to $10. There’s no protection on this thing and I’ve blown the one I had already. If it used a better chip it would have reverse polarity protection, a higher current rating, and even thermal protection.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
I had to get a replacement due to the USB connection coming loose on the previous one. I have since then reinforced the mounting with hot glue. Hopefully this will last longer. The Size and function is still its best features!
On first use, plugged in USB cable and the jack broke off the board. Looked at the SMD pins and they were intact, like they were barely soldered in place. Instead of the micro, should use the mini connector, which can be mounted more solidly.
it works very well, charge with 500mA and disable the step-up at 2,6V to protect the battery, to enable you have to charge the battery and the normal recreation does not enable, this protect your battery very well
I’ve been using this with the 2000mAh lipo battery, and it works flawlessly. It could be improved by adding a pinout for the battery voltage, and I’d give bonus points it it offered a 3.3V rail, but alas; it works as advertised.
But a few suggestions: 1) Add pin out to access the charge led. 2) If the battery is disconnected and charge power is applied, the charge led is lit. This makes you think the battery is connected, which it is not. 3) Add a Fet that saturates when charge power is applies to pull the EN signal low. This will force the Vcc off when charging. Also have a way of disabling this feature for those who want to have Vcc on when charging. Other than this for $20 you can’t go wrong.
Very good product and very small, fast delivery. Working perfectly as the description is. The only thing missing is the un-interruptable power supply (UPS) system.
I used it along with your 2000mAh LiPo to turn a decorative dragon box into a small rechargeable portable power supply. Only addition I would have wanted was to have the 3.3-5v selection pads be jumpers.
A few issues with mine: - Pulling EN low is still outputting ~ 1V on the output. - Setting voltage jumper to 3.3V is only outputting 3.18V, not the expected 3.3V - Charge current is ~ 50mA, not the stated 100mA Is the device broken or is this to be expected?
I would suggest getting in touch with our tech support team, they should be able to help you out!
Using it currently for a wireless remote, worked perfectly for battery management. This with a Pololu power switch I can charge and cut off at a safe voltage as well as charge when necessary.
I used it to power the flight computer in a high power rocket. Supplies enough current to power my arduino board, GPS, 900MHz XBee, and still fire ejection charges without causing a reset. I also like that the enable pin is broken out so I can use a jumper to arm/disarm my flight computer.
I love this thing. Best power management device ever. Also a very good reference design if you want to design your own custom device with different specs.