Although I did some research I will still ask, maybe somebody come up with something new.

I have 9 node Rpi4B+ cluster Under load I have noticed that some nodes start getting Under-voltage errors. At the moment I'm powering them all from single USB hub I-TEC USB 3.0 Charging HUB 16port + Power Adapter 90 W which I hoped would be up to the task.

From what I understand the botched USB-C on rpi4 does not limit charging, just prevent it altogether if the charging cable have chip. ( mine does not )

There are also two flash drives in each node ( USB 3.0 )

What can I do ? Using PoE ... but all PoE hats I have seen supply just max 2.5A and rpi4 needs around 3A ( right ? ) Also since I have 9 nodes... well I can't find decent PoE switch that would not cost 250Eur+

Other option, get some random 12V power supply + 12V to 5V power convertor/bucks and wire it that way ( kind of messy solution )

What else is there ?

  • 1
    I have the very same question. I can't believe that it's such a complicate task to find good ways to power a cluster. Mine has 4 units.
    – SuperJMN
    Dec 5, 2021 at 11:09
  • I resulted in buying 12V PSU like for 3D Printer, and buck convertors from 12V to 5V and powering it directly of pins. I really did not want to do it, but no other choice.. Especially you have many rPis Dec 30, 2021 at 9:57

5 Answers 5


90W / 9 devices is 10W per device. That's about enough for a Pi 4 alone, but those 18 USB sticks will also need some power, perhaps another 20W-30W. And you'll want to have some extra power reserved for peak consumption, losses in the cables and the hub, etc.

Additionally, looking at similar hubs on my local Amazon, I see the following line in the description:

Each USB port is capable of delivering up to 1.1A of current.

Get an industrial 5V power supply: it will be cheaper than a hub and 40A supplies are available. Make sure your wiring can support large currents.


The industrial solution to this is to use a blade, such as a Bitscope Blade

  • I have seen these but its just for 4xPi and its flat, while I would prefer horizontal to fit more nodes... I might end up doing my own back plane, to be honest its not that difficult, I was thinking the same as Bitscope where I would attach "shield" to pi, power it through pins and it would extend with connector like PCIe that would plug into back plane... I just did not wanted invest that much time to it and hoped for easier solution, than waiting months for components, pcb etc... :) Nov 12, 2020 at 14:20
  • Bitscope do do a box which will hold ten of these blades, but that’s not quite enough for the initial customer, Los Alamos Lab in USA. They wanted around a thousand plus Pi to simulate high performance cluster architectures.
    – Nick
    Nov 12, 2020 at 19:57

I use a repurposed PSU from a defunct desktop PC, easy to do and with plenty of 'grunt' for your cluster. Loads of guides online on how to do it and best of all very cheap if you dismantle a scrap PC.

  • Plenty of old PC psu around my home, I might do that. Thanks Nov 10, 2020 at 10:30
  • Be mindful of the hiccup mode some PC supplies implement. You may need to attach dummy loads to the outputs you don't use. Nov 11, 2020 at 15:13

I would "abuse" an off-the-shelf ATX PSU to power your Rapis. You will need one µUSB jack per Raspi and probably two 12V-to-5V DC/DC converters (as PC power supplies typically have two or more powerful 12 volt output rails), some cable (two wires per Raspi), and a soldering iron, of course.

ATX power supplies will power up when you pull the green wire to ground. You can use an (illuminated?) rocker switch for this.


you could use the PoE HAT (Power Over Ethernet Hardware Attached on Top)

like this - https://in.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrwJQ2VXNxg9HUAsxC9HAx.;_ylu=c2VjA3NlYXJjaARzbGsDYnV0dG9u;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcyMzAwNQRfcgMyBGFjdG4DY2xrBGNzcmNwdmlkA0lKYTdoakV3TGpMdFAwdDNYSUwxZUFCd01UZ3pMZ0FBQUFCenNLcF8EZnIDbWNhZmVlBGZyMgNzYS1ncARncHJpZAM4dmhBRWRJaVFXNm9VeUN1aGZzdzBBBG5fc3VnZwMwBG9yaWdpbgNpbi5pbWFnZXMuc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMzMQRxdWVyeQNyYXNwYmVycnklMjBwaSUyMGNsdXN0ZXIlMjBqZWZmBHRfc3RtcAMxNjI1MDU0MzY1?p=raspberry+pi+cluster+jeff&fr=mcafee&fr2=sb-top-in.images.search&ei=UTF-8&x=wrt&type=E211US1289G0#id=5&iurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.jeffgeerling.com%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2Fimages%2Fpidramble-cluster-ep2.jpeg&action=click

or directly power through the power supply

like this - https://in.images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrwJQ2uXNxg9U4Axb29HAx.;_ylu=c2VjA3NlYXJjaARzbGsDYnV0dG9u;_ylc=X1MDMjExNDcyMzAwNQRfcgMyBGFjdG4DY2xrBGNzcmNwdmlkA1NrZldpekV3TGpMdFAwdDNYSUwxZUFSQU1UZ3pMZ0FBQUFCMU40S3oEZnIDbWNhZmVlBGZyMgNzYS1ncARncHJpZANvV1AyRDRPeFN3T2drSEFQZVo5VURBBG5fc3VnZwMwBG9yaWdpbgNpbi5pbWFnZXMuc2VhcmNoLnlhaG9vLmNvbQRwb3MDMARwcXN0cgMEcHFzdHJsAwRxc3RybAMyNARxdWVyeQNyYXNwYmVycnklMjBwaSUyMGNsdXN0ZXIEdF9zdG1wAzE2MjUwNTQ0NzQ-?p=raspberry+pi+cluster&fr=mcafee&fr2=sb-top-in.images.search&ei=UTF-8&x=wrt&type=E211US1289G0#id=71&iurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FrRJQiHydVG4%2Fmaxresdefault.jpg&action=click

  • can simply connect up everything, but incase of the 2nd option, be aware of the power ratings
    – user135142
    Jun 30, 2021 at 13:57
  • Please do not post answers consisting only of links.
    – Chenmunka
    Jul 2, 2021 at 9:16

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