rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:48 pm

Hi,
I purchased some 5000 mA power bank but it makes no sense, since it can serve power ORcharge itself at a time.
I'm looking for something more like an ups but smaller, portable AND, what's most important, be able to charge itself and offer power to my RPi at the same time.
Anyone see something like this ? Maybe with more than 1 amp (3G modem in plans)

My current bank provides few hours, but then, I have to shutdown RPi, unplug it and connect to USB AC socket - I need to shut it down and that's not acceptable for my services running on pi - they must be running 99,99999 if you understand these "nines" after comma sign :)
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

Plugs7
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:53 am

This http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007 ... 02_s00_i00 does the job for me: 5400mAh battery Outputs 5.3v 600mA & 5.3V 2A form dual USB A's whilst simultaneously charging on micro-USB. Pi footprint, blue charge level LEDs, comes with a few adapter plugs & tiny, US-plug , 5V 1A USB charger. Feels very solid & chunky but obviously a taiwan special at £25 so not sure how reliable it may be long-term.

Slightly more upmarket, Energizer versions like http://www.amazon.co.uk/Energizer-XP400 ... _sim_ce_10 come with more adapters, UK plug & a "2 free extra adapters a year" option, are hopefully better built but proportionally more expensive (£24 / 4000mAH). Pays yer money & takes yer choice.

(I also bought a solar boost version for "off grid" camping trips: only 2600mAH, single outlet & a bit bigger but very svelte (about 2Pi, about the same as HTC Desire HD)

rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:41 am

H,, this first one (PowerGen) looks suspicious because there's only a note that it can charge two items at a time, but nowhere stated, that it can "Charge two AND be charged in the same time"
I own one 5600 mA but I realized it can work that or that after I opened the product and read manual.
That's why I would like to be sure I won't buy another unneeded (=poor) charger.
You're saying you own that first one (PowerGen).....? :)
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

pipi
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:13 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:19 am

I have the same problem as you.

I bought a CoolerMaster Choiix C-2021-K1S0 thinking that it can charge and power devices at the same time. Unfortunately it can do only either one so I'm looking at buying another one.
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rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:26 pm

Thanks.
Seems I'm not alone with this issue.
I'm now testing my 5000 ma battery (polymer). It's great because of its size, however i need to reconnect RPI to either charge itself or battery. It make me nervous in 21st century...:)
If anyone found some model as in topic description, let us know. Capacity 5000,10k,12k as my 5000 gives too less power - as I remember correctly, it could hold RPI for up to 5 hours only.
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

Plugs7
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:01 pm

rpifreeze wrote:H,, this first one (PowerGen) looks suspicious because there's only a note that it can charge two items at a time, but nowhere stated, that it can "Charge two AND be charged in the same time"
I own one 5600 mA but I realized it can work that or that after I opened the product and read manual.
That's why I would like to be sure I won't buy another unneeded (=poor) charger.
You're saying you own that first one (PowerGen).....? :)
(Sorry for the slow reply, too busy playing with 2Pi's & an Atrix Lapdock, & only slowly getting round to draining & recharging the battery pack...)

... Yes, I have the Powergen one, & YES! it does charge itself whilst outputting thru either or both of the USB outlets. I've been using it as a "UPS for Pennies" on the Pi, but have found it so useful as a carryout (particularly with the 360-hr+ LED "torch") that I keep disconnecting it, & the Pi, to take with me on my travels, rather negating the benefits of having battery backup for always-on Pi as the whole lot needs unplugging to put the Pi back onto direct power!

One small caveat (this caught me out for a while as I was using a standard eBay/Samsung mobile charger to run the Pi originally) : This scenario *WILL NOT WORK* *UNLESS* you use the 5'3v supply which comes with the battery pack: makes sense really; if you're expecting the pack to supply a (two) healthy 5v outs @ 2a, .6A, there's no point trying to simultaneously charge it from a standard 5V usb supply or port: you *need* to feed it with a slightly higher voltage to offset the internal losses & actually dump some energy into the batteries. Please also note that whilst the pack is perfectly happy to supply at least 2.6A combined output, the micro-USB input and charger supplied are only rated at 1A maximum, so if you are drawing any more than about .9A in total, the battery *WILL* discharge slowly, even though it is notionally charging.

All that said, I've been so pleased with the performance using the original pack, & so miffed that I keep diverting it for my own perverse purposes, that I've now gone & bought a an Anker "Astro" 10,000mAH pack (Amazon again, abt £40) which surpasses even the PowerGen one (Although it's considerably bigger & heavier, won't charge from standard/micro USB (comes with its own 12v jack plug charger), & lacks the LED torch, it has an additional switchable 9/12V jack plug outlet which means that for me, it covers just about every emergency power rquirement I can think of - I've even been using it to power 19v laptop car adapters & a 240V inverter, just for the hell of it !!). Haven't been able to run a conclusive "will it fully recharge from nearly empty whilst supplying power out" test yet, but the charge LED's flash in this scenario, & it seems to have happily gone from 1/2 to 3/4 power in a few hours whilst feeding my Pi.

(Incidentally, the 2600mAH solar pack I alluded to in my first post also charges-whilst-supplying, either from it's mini-USB power in port, or from all this glorious Sunshine we've been been getting ... NOT!)

Hope that helps !

rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:03 pm

Thanks Plugs7 for this excellent description.
I didnt' take into conderation AC adapter. I need to drain ca 1,5A 5V, so even 5V 1A AC adapter would not be sufficent, and in the end, battery would discharge itself due to more power drained than supplied by AC adapter. Damn, I was almost ready to buy some packs, but guess I'll better wait for better units to show up on the market and especially for producers who will start writing simple sentence whether unit can supply and be charged at the same time or not. This is most important for me (us?) as it guarantees continued power supply to RPi during few hour blackdown.
No, I don't want to buy typical UPS - I like small toys :)
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

Plugs7
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:46 pm

Hmm.. 1.5A ? No way you're gonna supply that all through the Pi's USB ports/polyfuses, or indeed any micro-USB supply/cabling I know of so presumably the other devices have their own power feed inputs. Could you bear the prospect of running 2 of the Battery Pack/mains chargers in parallel, maybe one dedicated to the Pi & the other feeding the remaining 1A or so of the other peripherals? That should give you something like 12-14 Hrs backup time on the Pi at moderate load & maybe 5 Hrs on the peripherals. If the peripherals (what exactly *are* you using ??) need the power & data to come via the same USB cable, only thing I can suggest is using a powered hub supplied by the 2nd Battery Pack's 2A output ? (USB is nominally limited to 500mA per port anyway, so I'd guess you're either coming in on GPIO or will be needing more than 2 USB ports anyway)

mattura
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:51 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:28 pm

Like Plugs7, I bought the Anker Astro-3 10,000mAh for £33 (Anker, EasyAcc, PowerGen and a few other companies seem to sell branded versions of the same hardware, so shop around). There are also various other versions of various sizes and mAh with/without LED torches etc (use the dropdown box on Amazon). The Astro-3 is almost exactly the same dimensions as the box the Pi came in (the Element 14 one), ie slightly larger than the Pi uncased.

It comes with two 2A USB outputs (though the documentation is poor, and I'm still not sure if they are 2A or 2.1A), labelled 'I' and 'S' (supposedly to charge Apple and Samsung products respectively). Both these appear to work fine for the Pi. There is also a 9V/12V output. You also get a multitude of mobile phone and other connectors/cables including micro usb and iphone.

It is a Li-Po battery, so has no 'memory' and is comparatively light for its size.
I haven't tested how long it will last running the Pi, but hopefully it should be able to cope overnight. Overall it seems like a good piece of kit, and it can also charge your phone and other devices! It does run the Pi whilst plugged in/charging. It is not the cheapest option, but the cheaper/smaller packs will not last as long.

rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:37 pm

Plugs7 wrote: 2nd Battery Pack's 2A output ? (USB is nominally limited to 500mA per port anyway, so I'd guess you're either coming in on GPIO or will be needing more than 2 USB ports anyway)
No, no, no. I know RPi USB ports cannot deliver 500mA (150 mA max?)
My items are:
- RPi - 700 mA
- usb hub to power RPi from it
- one strange sensor - don't know what it is exactly ~200-300 mA
- 3G modem - 400-500 mA
- eventually some cheap wifi stick for local access in AdHoc mode - 150 mA
They all will be connected to usb hub. RPi will also be powered from usb hub using Y-eti cable (2 x 500 mA)
All in all, I need that 1,5 A, but what I see, all batteries INPUT power is only 5V 1A, so won't work for me.
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

Plugs7
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:21 pm

(If..) Those are all "rated" values, generally pessimistic "worst-case" ratings taking into acount startup surges, peak load spikes, etc. In reality, the average, steady state or even idle drains will be significantly lower & I'm certain you will cope admirably with the 1A steady charge rate. The Pi, for example, generally draws something like 250-400mA max over a steady running period, unless absolutely thrashing the GPU hardware & I/O ports (& don't forget that 700mA rating *Includes* the 150mA USB output feeds, which you won't be be using as you're connecting to the powered hub). The real beauty of the Battery-Pack-as-UPS setup is that the battery can easily cope with any of the surge demands, & the 1A psu only has to support the longterm average load.

I am convinced that the steady load of your setup will be easily supported by the 1A PSU feed (whether I'd be happy that the tiny PSU block will really supply a continuous 1A safely & reliably for a long time is another matter - I'd recommend an uprated adapter with a little more headroom personally) but the only way you're gonna be sure is to buy one & try it out. If it helps any, I love the little thing myself so much that I'll happily buy it off you at cost if you find it's not the right answer (or if you're anywhere near Sussex, come borrow mine)

One last thing; I'd forget about powering the Pi from the hub: Use the .6A output for Pi (it works fine on either), & the 2A to power the Hub.

Plugs7
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:05 am

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:56 pm

rpifreeze wrote: My items are:
- RPi - 700 mA
- usb hub to power RPi from it
- one strange sensor - don't know what it is exactly ~200-300 mA
- 3G modem - 400-500 mA
- eventually some cheap wifi stick for local access in AdHoc mode - 150 mA
They all will be connected to usb hub. RPi will also be powered from usb hub using Y-eti cable (2 x 500 mA)
All in all, I need that 1,5 A, but what I see, all batteries INPUT power is only 5V 1A, so won't work for me.
Freeze: Was just browsing Amazon for some new micro-usb cables, & an updated listing for the PowerGen popped up :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/PowerGen-Extern ... pd_cp_ph_0

(8400 mA, dual output @£23.99)

It now states on the listing "For a faster charging speed, you may use the apple iPad 10W USB adapter or other 10W adapter." - that's a 5ishV, 2A input rating, so grab yourself one of these and a 10W psu & you're definitely good to go !

poing
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:52 pm

Very interested in this topic.

What I found on the instruction page of the Astro 8400mAh model (http://ianker.com/manual/article-51-32-18.html) is:
"Do not charge and discharge the Astro at the same time so as to protect the long-term capacity of Astro".

It does not say this at the instruction page of the Astro 10000mAh model; maybe it's different; I send them an inquiry and will report back.

poing
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:40 am

Their answer:
Thanks for your contacting us.

As we double confirmed with our supplier,we do not recommend you charge and discharge the Astro 3 at the same time although there is not much affected. As you know the charging speed will obviously slow down and require longer charging time. May your understand.
Well, sounds not too bad :)

rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:24 pm

Good work guys!
It seems there's a lot of stuff on the market, but cheap stuff.
I wanted to use these banks as mini, portable usb supply - on the field and at work.
I tried to so do with my Omega 5000 bank (1A output), but you cant' imagine how stupid it is, to go on field, where bank gets empty then com back, charge many hours and then go out again........oh, damn, battery is not full yet. Let's retest it again tomorrow.
Yes, I may buy many items, but once my project finishes, I'd like to use it for different purpose where I will also need this magical "...at the same time".
Guess I'll have to talk to one guy who made solar panels for RPi with battery (4xAA?) backup.
Maybe he could shed some light on "how to do my own" or...well....maybe I would buy solar panel pack for myself..... ;)
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

rpifreeze
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:03 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:03 am

After few months....did anything change on the market ?
I'm still facing problems with PSU that drop voltage and cause my Pi to crash.
I need really stable ~5V, despite amount being taken from PSU (ranging from 0,6-1,5A).
Does somthing like this exists at all ?
usb and broadcom issues will never be solved...Too much time passed, too much to be done...

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dasimpson
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:47 am

this is my diy battery pack for anything that needs usb power


charging circuit http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/281057379475? ... 1423.l2649
battery's old laptop battery can be found cheap on ebay as little as £3.99
protection circuit http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Replacement-C ... 5aebdfedac
inverter http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-DC-3V-to-5 ... 43aa2867f9
total cost if you get a battery for £3.99 is £11 possible capacity 17600mah

the protection circuit is needed befor the inverter as the inverter will pull the voltage down below what is classed a safe discharge voltage of 2.8 volt
but the battery charge circuit does not need to be connected to the protection circuit but can be if wonted

this might be of interest to you
i worked this one out as i had the same issue as soon as you pluged charger in the pi restarted because of a brown out in the circuit

DarkFoxDK
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:04 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:07 pm

I've been using the TurboCharger 5000 from Proporta as extra battery for my smartphone for a while, and that one I know can charge and be charged at the same time.

It seems however the 5000 mAh model has been replaced by a 7000 mAh model.
I would assume that you could do the same with that, but I can't say.
http://www.proporta.co.uk/product/propo ... ttery-pack

theimmc
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:31 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:00 pm

Unfortunately I can only report on what does NOT work. I have a Motorola P4000 which can recharge itself while charging another device. This does work. However, when power to the P4000 is interrupted, power to the device is interrupted for a second or so, enough to cause the Pi to reboot. The same thing happens when power to the device is resumed.

Perhaps it can be used in conjunction with a supercapacitor, but it just seem like an unnecessary complication.

theimmc
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:31 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:53 am

OK, have another one that doesn't work. Anker Astro 5600 mAh - inexpensive. It can power the Pi on battery, but it cannot recharge itself while providing power. The moment I plug power into the Anker, it cuts power to the Pi.

poing
Posts: 1131
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Sat Feb 23, 2013 9:36 am

I use an Anker 10,000mAh with this circuit: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 37&t=26993. Works great.

theimmc
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:31 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:17 am

Third time's a charm.

I tested a MyCharge Peak 6000. It plugs into the wall to recharge, so you don't need a separate USB power adapter. It can supply 1A on the built in microUSB connector (or you can use a cable if it is too short). No interruption in power when I plug it into the wall socket / disconnect it from the wall.

It appears to be continuously charging the battery as long as the Pi is connected. It's been running for 2 hours and its indicators still show "charging" (and it was fully charged when I started the test). Within 1 minute of me powering down the Pi (but left it connected) it announced "charging complete". So it appears to be running Pi off battery, while simultaneously charging the battery. Is this possible with lithium ion batteries? Might not be too healthy for the battery in the long run.

Pretty expensive solution (3 times the cost of the Pi!) so probably not a realistic solution, but at least it works flawlessly and comes in a convenient package. The voice announcements is a little over the top though.

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dasimpson
Posts: 311
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:09 pm

MyCharge Peak 6000 had li-ion batterys in it also the problem was when the pi is running off battery the moment they pluged the charger in the battery pack droped in voltage and interrupted the pi

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dasimpson
Posts: 311
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Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:12 pm

my posted battery pack is home made and is a very cheap for what it is and wont run the batterys down because once the battery are charged still pluged into mains the power comes straight from the mains adapter and not the battery the batterys basicly get bypassed mains drops the pi keeps running basicly like a ups

theimmc
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:31 pm

Re: Battery bank - charge and serve at a time

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:46 pm

dasimpson wrote:MyCharge Peak 6000 had li-ion batterys in it also the problem was when the pi is running off battery the moment they pluged the charger in the battery pack droped in voltage and interrupted the pi
I connected the MyCharge to a power switch, and switched it on and off a few times with the Pi connected. If there's any power fluctuation, it wasn't enough to bother my Pi. I have a ssh session into the Pi, but it was just displaying top and not doing anything strenuous. I was connected over wifi. Model B 2nd Generation, if it matters. I don't have a scope to look at the voltage. Is there something I should try?

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