Title says all. does these cheap power adapters can harm my Pi anyway?

and also, lets say these things stop providing less than what required (less than 5v and less than 0.7A), what will happen to my Pi? will get burn or get damaged irreparably Or it will just quietly shutdown protecting itself?


4 Answers 4


Impossible to say. If it puts out less than 5.5V it is unlikely to harm the Pi or attached peripherals (one of my Pi's has been powered from 5.8V for months without any obvious harm).

If the voltage is too low the Pi may not boot or may reset itself. That won't harm the Pi but may corrupt the SD card you are booting from.

  • 5.5Volts on certified devices, means its fakely certified. Industry standards prohibit such a large tolerance. If it says 5volts, it must be within 5-10% of 5 Volts. Sometimes, power supplies not loaded show a higher voltage due to the design, but once loaded must say within specification, as per standards regulations. You heard about these e-cigarettes chargers blowing up batteries, because they are cheap chargers that went out the back door and cause serious issues to consumers.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 19:10

I have been using noname power adapters for a while for some of my pies, and it seems to work fine.

If you want stability, you should make sure they can output at least 700mA, and some more if you are planning to use any USB peripherals. If the power drops below what the pi needs it will reboot. Now, depending on what you use it for, it might be that the only thing you notice is a drop in your uptime statistics - but reboots can corrupt your SD-card. This won't destroy your pi, or probably even the SD-card, but you will loose any data and you will have to reflash your SD-card.


"90% of all problems are power supply." As the hardware guru used to tell us when I started hardware design out of school. Current capacity matters.

Make sure you have at least one good heavy duty power supply (like Nexus 7 2A job) so you can debug/eliminate the psu from odd problems... my odd problem was failure to boot headless solved when monitor plugged in!!!?...tracked down to the original psu being responsible ... under spec or something.


If it fits a Blackberry phone, it fits a Raspberry Pi.

Just to be clear, Blackberry phones use MicroUSB plugs and output 5V. If you want to be sure, use a multimeter to check the output of the charger.

Another test would be to connect the power without the SD card in and paying attention to the LEDs: http://elinux.org/R-Pi_Troubleshooting

  • I think you got down voted for saying Blackberry. Please expand your answer though, with some more details.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 19:02
  • @ppumkin Ah, cheers
    – Beta Decay
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 19:03
  • 1
    Yea that is great. You don't really need to add Edit as long as you want to keep the original answer incorporated. You may as well realise you meant something else, and wipe it and start over. It happens sometimes. Your edit is much better, but its worth noting the Amps the Blackberry charger has. It should have at least 1A and the fact its an original product means its better quality. Not all USB chargers perform to what they say on the label.
    – Piotr Kula
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 19:06

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