Monday, January 28, 2013

Power with a Li-Ion (or LiPo) 3.7 volt cell

I'm running my project with 6 AA re-chargeable batteries. This turns out to be a bit of a pain because the batteries are not easily accessible, so I started looking for an alternative solution.

I found a lot of batteries like the Li-Ion or LiPo re-chargeablebatteries but I was not finding any way to convert that up to 5V. I look over several sites looking for an inverter, or regulator or something that would increase the voltage. Then I discovered the magic word was "boost". There are several types of voltage boosters, and boosters with chargers built in.

Sparkfun sells a Boost Converter that goes from 3.x to 5 volts and a combo board LiPo Charger/Booster. However, during my brief search, I only found one place that sells a LiPo charger/booster that also allows the UBS connection to be used to program your Arduino board, that was SeeeStudio. It called a LiPo Rider (400ma) and LiPo Rider Pro at 1000 ma output.

Although I plan to do most of my programming in wireless mode, it would be nice to occasionally program while charging the battery.

I'll admit I only looked at a few Robotics/Arduino/Microcontroller sites, so there may be other systems out there. Anyhow, this means I can attach my board to this charger/booster with a very short home made USB connector and power it and program it at the same time.

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