Creation - Add Power

I just posted Add Power on Creations. Feel free to discuss and make suggestions here.

8 Likes

Cool module! Thanks!

I would be interested in adding a higher voltage solar panel, and a much bigger battery, and maybe even use a huge car-battery, how is that?

Furhtermore, I think we need some details on the driver to read and control the goodies?

Thanks. It took a while to get them built but they’re finally done.

That all could be done but I’m not sure there would be enough people in the market for those to spend the time.

The driver is done. I just need to add some comments and post it in the next day or two.

Let me know how much time you anticipate for those changes, maybe I can fund the effort partially?

Btw can you be more specific on the max battery and solar panel ??

I couldn’t make the changes unless you wanted to buy a specific amount that you funded completely because you are the only one in the market for modified boards.

The battery input was designed around the common LiPol battery that Sparkfun and a lot of other people sell. An example is at the link below

The solar panel input was designed around the one Adafruit sells. They have a lot of sizes. An example one is at the link.

Hey, this looks great Charlie. I have one question though.

Can we control when the battery gets charged?

The reason I ask is that I have been using a LipoRider Pro from Seeed with my Cobra 2 based monitoring system but I am not happy with the design as the battery is always getting charged and just recently after running a system for 8 months, were the battery is only for backup power, I found that the battery itself had expanded to almost double it’s thickness.

I would prefer to have control and only start charging at some voltage level I can set in software, so if your board was able to do this (and you use the same battery charger IC I have used in the past and it has a control input, so it should) that would be an ideal setup for me to use with the NETMF boards.

This is the time to slowly discharge the cell and dispose it, the cell is damaged and dangerous at this point. Charging any type of lithium battery requires a BMS chip that is adjusted to the correct chemistry of the cell.

Sweet!!!

A lot of folks have been waiting a long time for one of these, thanks.

@ David@ Emrol - Do you know how to find out if a battery matches the chip…?

I would avoid using Lithium batteries unless your really need to. They are very sensitive to how they are charged. They can and do catch fire and explode if incorrectly charged. Other chemistries are far more tolerant and easier to charge. E.g for a lead acid backup battery you can just trickle charge a lead acid via a diode and resistor.

Personally I would avoid designing lithium charger modules for the hobbyist market. I don’t know how it works in the rest of the world, but in Europe you have a duty of care to the end users. If someone gets hurt you could easily end up in court.

Additional to all that, transporting Lithium batteries can be a real PITA. See this link for more info http://www.dhl.co.uk/en/express/shipping/shipping_advice/lithium_batteries.html

Thanks David,

I’ll connect it up to the LipoRider board without any external power and use it to power a small board until it’s discharged.

The issue for me being here in Indonesia is the proper disposal of batteries. I have a box full of depleted alkaline batteries that I wrap in insulating tape and keep as I don’t want to just stick them in the bin as most people around here do. I need to find out if there is a proper disposal place for them.

I’ve had no issue using them with the proper charging IC’s like what Charlie has chosen and you can control when they are charged etc. A system I sold 2+ years ago is still going strong with it’s 4000mAh LiPo battery.

I think the fault with this is the battery charging design even though it is technically for LiPo batteries.

Yes. Seeed studio will only ship max 3 per shipment and only via UPS for this service.

@ Dave McLaughlin - I’m not saying they don’t work. It’s just seldom worth opening yourself up to the liability.

Dave the short answer to your question is no.

But… there are two things that might help:

First, the power management chip on the board minimizes the number of charge/discharge cycles by only using the battery as a last resort. If other power sources are available that can handle the load, the battery is charged with any unused capacity from the main power source then disconnected from the load.

Second, there is a resistor on the board that can be used to control the charging by varying the resistance. But I don’t have the board set up for this. If it is really important to you I can tell you which resistor and you can try it at your own risk.

Hi again, I see there is a remote switch, I am thinking about placing a seperate processor with timer, to control my board, how can this “remote switch” be controlled?

Sorry I didn’t respond earlier, I assumed my account was already set to “watch” the forum for my creation. Anyway…

The remote switch consists of two through hole pads with 0.1" spacing. One pad is a ground, the other pad is a connection to a pulled up enable pin that controls the output voltages. All you have to do is put the local switch in the on position, then anytime you pull the enable pin pad low the power will shut off.

The idea was that anyone could solder on there own mechanical switch between the two pads and turn the board off if it is in an enclosure.

But for your situation you need to know the enable pin is pulled up to 5V through a 10k resistor. So if your timer can pull that signal to ground it should work fine.

Which of the pins on a Cerberus can do that?

njbuch,

According to the Cerb Family page under “5V Tolerance”

https://www.ghielectronics.com/docs/46/cerb-family

All of the pins on the Cerb are 5V tolerant except PA4 and PA5. So you should be able to use any pin setup as an output except PA4 and PA5.

Ahh, I was not thinking. Thanks

So all 5V tolerant pins on the MCU or other chip can remotely switch on/off.