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Member Since: December 12, 2009

Country: United Kingdom

  • As for stacking I generally recommend avoiding using more than one power source at a time.

    Don't feel like trying it, you know, for science? :)

  • Added more information to original post

  • Two questions I foresee people asking;

    • Is there an estimated runtime whilst using this battery block?
    • Can these blocks be stacked to increase runtime?

    Edit: Regarding that first question, based on additional information made available, current draw is 200mA with an medium load, peaking at 500mA at full load. Based on that this battery block (without an external power source or battery) would provide a runtime of roughly 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on usage.

    Handy as a UPS then :)

  • Me again!

    After owning this wonderful product for a year (its been many places, powered many things) I've finally broken it. Not that the product is poorly made, I'm just a clutz! I've managed to break the micro-USB charging port (common thing for these connectors) off and its fallen inside the casing.

    Unfortunately once this connector has broken off, you're left with a significant challenge of reattaching / replacing it as there's practically no room to get a soldering iron in. Your only hope is either replace it with a fly-lead (and then it'll be tricky) or use a reflow oven.

    Here are some high-res photographs of the issue (circa 2-3 MB each);

    Photos may be reused under the Creative Commons "CC BY" license.

    Hope this information benefits someone!

  • It's worth noting that although not part of the products spec, you can power a device and charge the battery pack at the same time, so it'll make a great UPS :)

    I tested this overnight with an mbed LPC1768 + XprotoLab (drawing an estimated 200mA~), charge stayed at 99% the whole time, never showing as completely charged but never dropping.

    There is also no apparent interruption to device power when switching to / from the charging state and you can also potentially daisy chain battery packs for even longer runtime. Perfect!

    There is some caveats to using the product like this though;

    1. If your device pulls more than the input current, power to your device will be supplied up to the input current with the battery pack discharging to provide the remainder. So with a fully topped up battery, you can power a 2A device for 50% longer with a 1A input compared to just powering your device from the battery, at which point you may have a brown-out.

    2. Power output to your device can only be switched on when the battery pack isn't being charged. You can keep the power on button depressed permanently, but to switch it on you'll need to temporarily cut power to the charging supply.

    Once the battery pack is switched on, your device will remain powered under the following conditions (match only one);

    a. Indefinitely if charging power is constantly applied and current draw doesn't exceed the charging current

    b. Until the battery pack runs out if drawing more power than the charging current

    c. Until the battery pack runs out whilst running on battery power

    d. Until the device stops drawing current on battery power (unless the power button is held down, in which case the battery pack will stay powered on until the battery is flat)

    Some further notes on condition "C", by permanently holding the power button down, you are disabling the internal IC that protects deep discharge of the battery inside the battery pack. Once you reapply charging power to the battery pack, your device will power up briefly whilst enough charge is accumulated in the battery to reactivate the internal IC, at which point it will sever power to your device and continue charging the battery.

    At this point, if you attempt to temporarily sever and reapply charging power to re-power your device, it will re-power your device briefly (2~ seconds) before cutting power again. You must leave the battery park charging for about 10 minutes before attempting to interrupt charging power to reactivate your device permanently.

    I've uploaded a video demonstrating this behaviour on Youtube here, hopefully some clever soul may be able to use a hi-cap, ultra low power IC such as an ATMega85 and a normally-closed solid state relay to achieve this after a 10 minute timeout.

    Hopefully this info helps someone build a fantastic battery-backed project :)

  • Is this product suitable for building a UPS for a Raspberry Pi? I'm thinking of using the Power Cell and a PRT-00339 1000mAH battery to provide my Pi with roughly 1 hour battery backup (hopefully much longer in sleep) in case of failure.

    What I'm actually trying to achieve is an in-car solution that sleeps (but doesn't completely power off) the Pi whilst the vehicles ignition is off, providing a quick start-up as soon as the ignition is turned back on. I'd use a 5V 2A regulator connected to the Power Cell, connecting the Pi to the output, as soon as power is applied there should in theory be enough juice to power the Pi unabated whilst charging the battery.

    I'm hoping that I can somehow implement a power management system whereby the Pi is put into deep sleep with no ignition power and then woken up when ignition power returns, and hopefully the 1000mAH battery is strong enough to run a Pi in deep sleep + the Power Cell in power saving mode for a few days, although I can envisage jumping up to the 2000mAH equivalent.

  • I concur with this. 3 years I've been trying to win something with SF to kickstart my jumping into the hobbyist electronics world. 3 years I've been let down.

    This year was a slap to the face. Hours of entering CAPTCHA's only to have nothing, it's soul destroying and quite frankly makes me not want to consider purchasing from Sparkfun at all given there's plenty of other retailers here in the UK who sell similar (if not the same) products.

    Do yourself a favour SF, don't do this (CAPTCHAs) next year. It's not promoting your business, it's harming it.

  • Is this compatible with my Arduino Uno?

  • About time SF got these in, been drooling over them for months :D
    "Here's my wallet!"
    You can find a demo on Youtube here

  • Hello Sparkfun, please can you confirm, will we be penalised / disqualified by having items in our checkout in advance, and then clicking "Checkout" at 09:00:01 on the day?
    Ps. Major Kudos for doing what you're doing btw, if you guys want a short term (for the event) UK mirror / CDN for SF's flat files you have my email on file ;)

No public wish lists :(