I want to be able to power my pi like a smartphone (ie from battery or from mains (while charging the battery), hot swappable)

I know there are boards like the MoPi that achieve this, but the transport to South Africa will be more than the board itself. I am hoping someone has a better and cheaper solution.

  • Have you bothered to type quoted "ups" word into search? This has already been discussed number of times: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/search?q=%22ups%22
    – avra
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 8:40
  • I didn't find exactly what I am looking for. All of the diy ones have a problem with overcharging the batteries. I thought of using a battery with a professional charger and a type of switch - but I don't know if there will be a drop of power during the 'switch'
    – JacquesL
    Commented Sep 8, 2014 at 9:48
  • Well, you didn't mention this request and effort to find it in your original question, and we do not have crystal ball to know that. Search for words "portable" "power" "bank" "usb" into your favorite search engine. And add the word "solar" if you wish. You will find plenty of ready to use products with automatic overcharging solution. You will just need a cable adapter to connect your Pi to it.
    – avra
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 10:12
  • Do they allow to be charged and discharged at the same time? All of the ones I've seen charge and discharge from the same port
    – JacquesL
    Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 11:01
  • There are many having separate charging/discharging ports, like this one: dx.com/p/…
    – avra
    Commented Sep 16, 2014 at 11:37

5 Answers 5


You can use a standard, off-the-shelf UPS, and the Network UPS Tools (NUT) package to allow a Pi to shut itself down when the power goes out. A unit like that should be available pretty much anywhere, I would think. I have just posted an article I wrote with step-by-step instructions for setting it up:



I use an On-the-go battery-powered phone charger for my Pi (Pi 1 Model B). It works great for me, just make sure there is no gap in the power output when pugged in/unplugged.


Yes, it's actually possible to use some (not all!) power banks as UPS for the Raspberry Pi.

The power bank must be capable of charging and discharging at the same time. Many power banks can't do this, so you have to take care of that. However, the project website


is all about powerbank-driven UPS for the Raspberry Pi and lists supported hardware brands, so have a look there.

By using a small program from this website you can even get advanced UPS features like shutdown on power outage and more for free.


I don't know what the shipping would be, but it may be available from a local seller. It's also small enough that the shipping might be inexpensive.

The Powerboost 1000 charger from AdaFruit. It isn't specifically made for the Raspberry Pi,but it will work. You have to supply your own 3.7 volt LiPo battery and a normal 5v charger.

it works just like a phone. One thing: the battery is not optional.


I don't know if this solution is considered cheaper in your case but I would recommend looking into a few solutions from Olmatic

The solution is around 62 Dollars and already has a built in system that turns off the Pi Safely They have 2

  1. Olmatic S.USV Pi Basic
  2. Olmatic S.USV Pi Advanced


Now the battery is a bit small (300mAh) but you can replace it with a bigger one and see if it works

Here is a video on how they work https://youtu.be/gr8nxEfSeEA

  • 1
    Mind you, the olmatic ups is very sensitive to magnetic fields. Even an unpowered hard disk underneath will completely mess up the hall sensors on their board. The result is a dysfunctional UPS. There was no warning about this anywhere when I bought that board. Took me a long time to figure out. I was at the point of returning it and dismantling the installation, when I found out the reason for the total unreliability.
    – ArjenR
    Commented May 17, 2023 at 13:33

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