I'm planning to build a robot similar to one described here. The pi and the controller are going to be powered from powerbank. However, as big fan of live coding I am (there's gonna be some LISP involved), I can't stand the fact that for developing I will probably have to turn it off, plug powerbank off, plug mains in, start (powerbank can't serve as source while charging).

What are my options here to avoid needless restarts?

  • Should I just try and plug the powerbank to the 5V pin (as described here? This would free the microUSB, but it seems to be a bit dangerous (no idea how stable powerbank current is)

  • Backfeed with powered HUB somehow (as much as dangerous as previous option)?

  • Connect powerbank to the mini driver and then mini driver 5V out to raspberry pi 5V pin - this could be safer because the mini driver would secure it? (no idea if it would)

3 Answers 3


I hook all my Pis up via the pins. The only it really bypasses is the fuse which many times is a problem child. I have a few running 24/7 like this and have not had any problems. also have unplug and plug in all the time and also have to problem. I like to remove the pins from the board and solder the power lines strait into the holes.


Turns out, when I disconnect the power supply from Pi and leave it connected to Arduino via USB, it just got backfed and stays on. This means I could then plug mains in and only suffer short period of doing something 'dangerous' (I say dangerous cause I saw the PWR diode flickering when doing this, meaning there was some quite visible voltage dropping down).


There are plenty of powerbanks with pass-through charging available. This means that they charge and discharge simultaneously.

However, most of them will stop supplying power for a moment when the charging circuit turns on/off.

You will need to add a couple of capacitors across the Pi GPIO header (pins 2 & 6) to solve this. See here: https://whiteboxcellphone.com/psd/rpi-supercap.html

If you don't want to replace your existing powerbank with a pass-through one, a couple of supercapacitors can keep the Pi alive for 5-10s.

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