The Raspberry Pi is a great board for many projects. But, do you want to use yours disconnected, while on the move? This has always presented a challenge, not a big challenge because portable USB batteries are easy to come by. But, creating a small package that is easy to manage is a little harder. How did I solve this?
The Makerfocus Raspi UPS HAT Board has helped. It is a Pi HAT that powers the RPI through the GPIO connector, it also has a pass-through connector so you can still plug-in an additional HAT, like the ZUMspot.
This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I like having my ZUMspot, but using it portable is kind of challenging. The external battery, wires, etc. It’s just messy. Now, I have a simple module I can use on the run.
The board comes with a 2,500 mAh Li-ion battery, but you can put on a larger 3.7v battery pack on if you’d like. They make a big deal about the polarity of the connector, I guess this hasn’t been standardized. If you are connecting a larger battery, make sure the polarity is correct.
How do you use it? It’s easy, plug a micro-usb into the UPS board, it will charge the connected battery and power the Pi. If you unplug the USB cable, the battery will power the Pi. This makes it really easy to yank the power and take the hotspot with you in the field. There is also a power switch on the UPS board so you can turn the Pi on and off at any time, even with the USB cable connected.
The board has 4 LEDs that show power level, either charge progress or battery status, based on power to the USB port.
My next project will be to attach a Nextion display and create a 3D printed case.
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