Battery module

Just a random wishlist item

I like the 4AA battery power module… But I wish there was an identical module that used two of the ubiquitous 18650 Lipo batteries.


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We actually made one but we had some issues with it and never got back to it since.

Someone should do a generic battery power red module that has screw down terminals that you could plug anything into, perhaps a 2 cell 18650 holder or a 4x D-cell or whatever the user chose or had to hand… Now if only we knew someone who likes making modules…

I’ve thought about this numerous times and I could do with a little PCB power board that can take battery, a charge input and give a 5V or 3.3V output to power your device. It would have a buck/boost power supply so that it would work down to 3.2 volts if need be and still provide a stable 3.3V. Most designs are buck regulators which means you need to have 3.4 or higher for them to work reliably. Not the best solution.

It would use a power path charger IC so that you can power your device at the same time as charging it. It would have an I2C bus connected battery state IC so you could monitor the battery discharge and charge and using a GPIO line control the charging cycle. I’ve used the MCP73871 but it only has a max 1A charging current so charging a 6600mAh battery takes a while. I’ve a few other devices I am looking at.

The Lipo-Rider Pro from Seeed works like this but has a big issue of not controlling the charging too well and I have had 2 batteries expand to almost double their size if I try to use with the charger always connected. I basically wanted a standby power. With my idea, you can control the charging via a GPIO line.

It will need to have a fabrication house make it as the little suckers are QFN and not ideal for hand soldering.

I’d still KISS for the first option - combo buck and regulator for 3v3 and 5v with an open input. I can take my 18650’s out of the holder when they are flat and charge them myself.

I like the “full featured” option too, with full battery and power path management, but think that has more niche use-cases. Add-power creation is like that, but in my view too expensive for anything but one-off specific projects that need specialized power option…

The SolderMonkey power module was great. Only issue I ever had was the USB socket falling off and SolderMonkey disappearing. Still use the modules though. :wink:

I’m not even sure it’s possible, but I’d love a module that was a battery and a solar panel, I want to build a remote solar powered sensor.

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Add-Power creation (see above) does that. Small solar cell, less than 9v, and a single LiPo and you are done.

solar is indeed possible. there are plenty of open source solar lipo charging circuit designs that somebody could turn into a gadgeteer power module. I use adafruit’s solar lipo charger with a 6V 3.5W panel and step it down to 5V for the MonkeyPower module. I get 500-600ma out of it on average. It’s good for most stuff, but power consumption does need to be carefully monitored with greedy modules like WiFi.

I’ve been using some cheap buck 5V regulators and charger boards that I bought from Aliexpress together with single 18650 cell to power various of my circuits with good results. While the circuit is on USB power, it charges the battery but run from USB power. And when I remove USB I just flip a swith to make it run from battery power. So not quite battey backup, but it works for me and is so cheap I just duplicate it for everything I build.

Just picked up this little guy for a remote XBee sensor, they also have ones for 5V, seems like a nice option: Pololu 3.3V Step-Up/Step-Down Voltage Regulator S7V8F3

And yeah, I’ll be building a rig around this one: USB / DC / Solar Lithium Ion/Polymer charger [v2] : ID 390 : $17.50 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

But I would love to see it as a Gadgeteer module where I just add the LiPo and the solar panel.

ditto. i’ve had really good luck with the adafruit solar charger, but remember to change the resistor to get more juice out of bigger 6v panels. also, heat has been an issue in the summertime. i added the optional thermistor as my lipo was getting ‘quite warm’ without it, and i didn’t want to test how hot it would get before failing :hand:

Oh I dunno, I wouldn’t mind there being a flamethrower Gadgeteer module as well.

You are the second person I’ve heard ask for one of those lately.

I’ve inadvertently created some smoke generator modules in the past. Sadly they always seem to work only once and never again.


@ KiwiSaner - You gotta reload the smoke module.