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Can the UP Squared board be powered with a battery?

Hello all,

This may be a basic question for many of you, but I’m relatively new to UP Squared.

I have an UP Squared Board that’s currently being powered with the standard 5V@6A power adapter. Given the portability of this device, I’m trying to find a way to power this device with a battery.

I found these two products:

https://up-shop.org/up-peripherals/112-ups-and-wide-range-dc-in-hat.html

https://up-shop.org/up-peripherals/113-3000mah-lipo-battery-use-for-ups-hat.html

My two questions:

  1. Can the UP Squared be powered by a battery, easily?
  2. If not easily, at all?
  3. Can the batteries listed power it?
  4. If not, can anyone recommend a battery to power the UP2?

I’m not too concerned about how long the device can run on battery power, as long as it’s anything more than seconds or a few minutes.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • KemoKaKemoKa Posts: 1New Member

    I was wondering this too, but for the Up Core. I have a special project on which I might be able to get serious headway if I can power it with a battery. Of course, if push came to shove, I could power it using a battery and a charge controller, but just being able to plug a battery in would make it a lot easier.

  • UPSquaredQuestionsUPSquaredQuestions Posts: 5New Member

    Both the UP Core and the UP Squared both appear to have what I call a “battery port”. The port on the end of the battery I listed plugs directly into the device. Hopefully someone can confirm whether or not this can work like this.

  • nukularnukular Posts: 31New Member

    @UPSquaredQuestions said:
    Both the UP Core and the UP Squared both appear to have what I call a “battery port”. The port on the end of the battery I listed plugs directly into the device. Hopefully someone can confirm whether or not this can work like this.

    You probably mean connector CN10 next to the Ethernet connector. That is actually the SATA power connector, meant to power other devices.

    Just connecting a battery there will most likely not work, since the board is designed to be powered with 5V and not ~3.2-4.2V, which is what a LiPo battery will give you. So you will need some kind of power management circuit to generate the 5V (step up if you are using 1 battery or step down of you are using a 2S battery). That's what the "UPS and wide range DC-in HAT" does (among other things) that you posted.

  • UPSquaredQuestionsUPSquaredQuestions Posts: 5New Member

    Got it. That’s a power out port and not a power in.

    But what I infer from the second part of your answer is that the battery, combined with the UPS-HAT module, can power the device, correct?

  • KurtKurt Posts: 137New Member ✭✭

    I have been able to power an UP board using battery power. Warning, I have also fried an up board when I did it wrong!

    And I will soon do it again with using an UP board on my Turtlebot3 Waffle robot. Note: these run with a 3S Lipo, so you need some form of power management.

    I did it in the past by using my own HAT board which has a Teensy processor on it (I have version with a T3.6 or a T3.2). On these boards, I used a power regulator by Pololu like: https://www.pololu.com/product/2851

    With these shields I feed the power through the RPI expansion connector... Note: there is no protection at this point, so if you screw up...
    The way I screwed my first UP board, was my shield has the same barrel connector I use to power it.. So I plugged in a 12v wall wart into the wrong one (Magic Smoke)...

    Another way I have done this, is to use a BEC (Battery eliminator Circuit). Example: https://smile.amazon.com/Castle-Creations-Bec-Switching-Regulator/dp/B000MXAR12 I then take the output of the BEC and wire it up to a USB connector, either hack up a usb cable or something like: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/10031

    Maybe someone has created a BEC that already has a USB output... Note: With the one from Amazon. This has worked for several different boards (RPI, ODroid...) I don't remember if I tried it with UP, but it does not work with Teensy 3.6 boards (works on 3.2, 3.5, LC), but the 3.6 did not like its power ramping up... So you may need to try different ones.

  • UPSquaredQuestionsUPSquaredQuestions Posts: 5New Member
  • UPSquaredQuestionsUPSquaredQuestions Posts: 5New Member

    @Kurt Do you have any experience with the UPS-HAT? Seems like the easiest way to do this

  • KurtKurt Posts: 137New Member ✭✭

    @UPSquaredQuestions - Sorry no, I have not tried the UPS hat... Probably a lot of this may depend on what your usage case is.

    In my cases, I want to use the UP board with some other hardware to make it, such that it can move (Robot). In the current case it is Turtlebot 3 Waffle Pi, that I am adapting to UP board with R200 camera. So in my current case, I am trying to decide the best route.
    That is I might simply be able to replace the RPI3 with the UP board, where, power comes from a secondary board (OpenCR), and you plug it into pins 4 and 6 of the RPI expansion connector... However the question to myself is does the OpenCR 4amp, 5v voltage regulator supply enough power for it, plus the UP, plus the Lidar, plus the R200 camera? Or should I instead connect up to 12v pin on OpenCR after switch and run to a new Voltage regulator... Again is setup to fun with larger 3s lipo battery, for as long as I can run before draining the battery... Turtle with RPI3 maybe runs 2 hours before needing to be recharged. And note: in my case when the battery gets low, this does not recharge the battery, I instead remove the battery, charge it with a LIPO charger and start over again.

    UPS Hat - Maybe I am wrong, but it felt like it was setup for specific usage, of being able to run for a probably small time during a power outage and then cleanly shutdown the processor. . It comes with a relatively small 500mah battery (not sure of voltage?) Maybe it would work great with larger battery. Not sure in my case again it's 2.5amp output would be sufficient for UP board, Wifi, LiDar, R200 camera. But again it really may depend on your usage pattern... Again if what you are wanting is the ability to run short periods of time when the power is off and the the hat provides enough current for your usage and you want the system to automatically recharge the battery when you plug back in, than the UPS Hat may be the perfect answer.

    As for ease of hookup? Take the BEC circuit I mentioned above from Amazon. Connect one side up to your battery, Now take the output from it and adapt the two wires to simple two wire jumper wires, and connect these up to the expansion connector again make sure to get the right pins...

  • nukularnukular Posts: 31New Member
    edited April 14

    @Kurt said:
    UPS Hat - Maybe I am wrong, but it felt like it was setup for specific usage, of being able to run for a probably small time during a power outage and then cleanly shutdown the processor. . It comes with a relatively small 500mah battery (not sure of voltage?) Maybe it would work great with larger battery. Not sure in my case again it's 2.5amp output would be sufficient for UP board, Wifi, LiDar, R200 camera.

    Yes, that is usually what an UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is used for and you're right, that's why the battery is so small.
    Doing some napkin math, I would guess that with the included 300mAh battery, the Up2 could run roughly 10 minutes:
    3,7V * 0,3Ah = 1,11 Wh / 5W = 0,22h = 13,32min
    I haven't actually measured the power consumption of the UP2, so I just assumed ~5W based on the SDP of 4W
    Then to account for losses and the battery probably not actually having 300 mAh (in my experience, the advertised number is always pretty optimistic), I rounded it down to 10min so be safe.

    You can of course just use a bigger battery, the UPS does not care. So the 3000mAh battery you posted, UPSquaredQuestions , should give you roughly 10 times that. If you need more than that, get a bigger battery. For example, if you get a giant 6S, 6000mAh battery used for RC cars and planes, you can probably run the UP2 for about a day.
    But again, this is all based on my assumptions of the power consumption, you should measure that if you want to be on the safe side, especially if you are using other peripherals that also need power.

    Kurt, you should also simply measure how much power your entire system uses. The 12,5W (5V/2,5A) of the UPS HAT could be cutting it prettly close. Let's say UP2 5-6W, R200 up to 1,6W (according to the manual), that leaves just under 5W for WiFi + Lidar + OpenCr (no idea how much they use).

  • KurtKurt Posts: 137New Member ✭✭

    @nukular Thanks,

    As you suggested it might work for many cases and if I had one, I could probably try it ;) But at about $145 (for shield, battery and shipping), I most likely will not be trying it out.

    What is unclear from my read through the specs, is the battery used as part of the UPS, my guess is it is a 1S Lipo, from the simple plug. I did not notice any mention anything here, either on the shield nor on the battery). It does talk about a wide range of input voltage, but again I am assuming this is the main input voltage, that if present is used through a Voltage regulator. So I don't know if the circuit could handle charging a higher voltage battery or not.

    Again I did not see all of the specs here for battery or the like, but guessing it is pretty similar to some of the other UPS hats that you can purchase for an RPI3, like:
    https://www.amazon.com/Makerfocus-Raspberry-2500mAh-Lithium-Battery/dp/B01MQYX4UX
    https://www.banggood.com/Geekworm-UPS-HAT-Board-2500mAh-Lithium-Battery-For-Raspberry-Pi-3-Model-B-Pi-2B-B-A-p-1105260.html?cur_warehouse=USA

    But again this may be sufficient for @UPSquaredQuestions needs.

    For mine, I believe I am better off simply trying output from the 4amp Voltage regulator on the OpenCR board. which is currently powering the RPI3 board.

  • nukularnukular Posts: 31New Member

    On the picture of the UPS HAT it says 3,7V on the battery, so it's a 1S and I would be really surprised if the HAT could charge anything beyond that.

    For mine, I believe I am better off simply trying output from the 4amp Voltage regulator on the OpenCR board. which is currently powering the RPI3 board.

    agreed.

  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member

    Unless the situation has changed, Windows drivers are NOT available for the UPS offered in Up Shop. I bought the board about a year ago, have asked both AAEON and the board maker multiple times, but have never found a driver or control apps for using the UPS plus Windows 10 on the Up2. If I am wrong, PLEASE inform me ASAP!

  • Jay TalbottJay Talbott Posts: 6New Member

    I can confirm along with Robert that there's no functional Windows 10 support for the UPS board. The vendor of the UPS board, Olmatic GmbH, is apparently waiting on AAEON to develop Windows drivers for their board. In my opinion, that should be Olmatic's job, not AAEON's, but whatever. And AAEON clearly is not prioritizing getting the drivers developed. So it's a stalemate, as it's been for the past year or more...

    I have a client that is ready to go to production with a product they've built around the UP board, but it's supposed to be portable/mobile, so it needs to run off battery power, and we need a means for monitoring the state of the battery's charge, and if the system is plugged in and charging or if it's running off of battery power. We also need to be able to power on from a powered off state strictly using battery power, and to be able to power everything down while on battery to where no further battery power is consumed until it is turned on again. And, if it's off, be able to plug it in to charge the battery without having it automatically power on. In other words, it should essentially behave exactly the same as a laptop computer with regards to how the battery works.

    The product is using Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, and thus needs Windows 10 drivers for the battery solution, whatever it may end up being.

    It seemed like the S.USV mobile UPS was going to be the ticket, but since it's completely stuck in a stalemate regarding drivers for Windows 10 (and there are other posts on here that I've read that mention bugs in the UPS board's firmware), we need an alternate solution that will provide a battery solution for my client's product.

    Any alternatives that work with the UP board that might be a better choice than the Olmatic board? Otherwise, my client is going to have to develop something custom of their own.

  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member

    Other UPS boards that I'm aware of are designed for RasPi - unlikely to find Windows drivers for those boards either, and pin-out compatibility with Up2 would be TBD. If your client is considering building their own board, would it make more sense to write a driver for this one? Might be able to cut a deal w Olmatic based on that.

  • Robert SheltonRobert Shelton Posts: 109New Member

    By the way - general note that hopefully will be seen by the AAEON / EMUTEX / Up team - these boards need to be USB-C powered. Barrel connectors are not secure - too easy to bump lose or cause a power drop that crashes the board. Brick power supplies are clumsy, non portable, too big. Use USB-C PD or better, support multiple USB-C power standards.

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