Hey , so here's the dilemma , I want to use My yet-unused Raspberry Pi 4 (4GB) in my car , providing it works , as it seems this one was from the first batches manufactured and people reported it having more or less serious issues.

Let me explain why this is not a duplicate , at least as far as I looked for an answer on stackexchange:

  1. I am looking for a solution regarding a new hardware which dictates it has different power requirements
  2. I am open to any solution that gets my pi working in my car , without damaging it

Now to the matter at hand. I will be using this pi in my car mostly to run one of the ported androids available on the internet so i can use Spotify and other android apps in my car , even Navigation apps , so might add a GPS component and a LCD later on. But Beware this won't be the only use of it , as it will be nice to have a small computer available in the car , so it will run raspbian at times too. what is the best solution?

I had a couple of ideas which i will put below so people with better knowledge would comment on them , but I am looking forward to other possible solutions too.

  1. Using a Power Bank with sufficient requirements to power the Pi , which can be charged via the car when the battery is dying (also if possible combining Power Banks to reach Required voltage or Current).
  2. Using the Car to Power the Pi. this would be a good idea but the thing is lately I have read and heard a lot about the fact that charging phones in cars can result in reduction of the phones battery life and even might damage the phone itself , because of the fluctuations in the power supplied by the car battery , so I was afraid the Pi would get damaged too, therefor suggestions for controlling the received power by Pi would be appreciated.
  3. Using available UPS options for RPi4 , or building a UPS solution for RPi4.

Note: I don't have the required Knowledge about electronics so don't assume I would know Much about electronics.

  • You could try one of these easiest option by far. Plug your Pi power supply in and connect to screen. argos.co.uk/product/… – Frankyh Jun 18 '20 at 13:03

I would refute the car damaging phone batteries as I used to look after over 100 mobiles and the most damage was from drops. In 6 or so years we may have had one or two dead units from battery failure. The general chargers you buy (normally cheap) are very poor and can drop voltage down by 1-2volts under low load.

As for running the Pi I would look to using one or more HAT cards that will provide:

  • Voltage conversion / cleaning for the 12v to 5v
  • A small standby battery if you have car power problem
  • A remote switch to allow you to power down the Raspberry when you want not when the engine is off

You also will need help to identify a point (possibly in the fuse box) that has power despite the ignition position. My Renault for example claims the cigarette lighter is permanent BUT I know it drops when the engine is powered.

Two suppliers that spring to mind are Mausberry for the car connection / power switch and PiJuice for the UPS though other exist for both parts.

I would also spend a little more on the UPS than the simpler backup batteries and get one that has:

  • A real time clock. The Pi gets its time from the Internet by default and if your phone is note present how does it connect?
  • One with the ability to turn off the Pi early morning when you forget after coming home with a hot supper
  • Space to fit a fan - Pi 4 boards can run hot at this will be enclosed in something
  • An easily replaceable battery - you MAY find that you need longer running in the future so do not trap yourself into a board that only takes small (even AA sized) batteries.
  • 1
    Thanks for the thorough answer, as for the internet i have a portable 4G modem , so that would be no problem, usually , when there is mobile network coverage, and as this is an important item to me , the Pi i mean , and despite Raspberry Pi being a rather cheap solution , where i live it still is too expensive to not take care of it so i would be removing it from the car once i leave the car.do you know any official or effective UPSs for RPi4 besides PiJuice? i searched but couldn't find anything else useful – Hitman2847 Jun 17 '20 at 22:15
  • There are (or was) a couple of YouTube videos on making a small UPS and Amazon had a router battery backup though it does have a USB port for a Pi. Main issue is that it does not have any way of telling the Pi it’s going flat :( – user115418 Jun 18 '20 at 2:46

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