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I am currently thinking about buying a Power Bank to use as a power supply for my Raspberry Pi 2. At the moment I am looking at the XIAOMI Power Bank 5V 2.1A 16000mAh.

My questions are:

  • Will it work well with the Raspberry Pi 2?
  • How many hours of battery I can expect?
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    What criteria will you use to determine if it works well? It will last 16 hours divided by the amps you use on average. What criteria will you use to determine if there are better alternatives? – joan Apr 20 '15 at 13:56
  • According to this review, it's a very good battery. hardwarezone.com.sg/… – recantha Apr 20 '15 at 15:09
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    Looking at that review, actually, the two ports give plenty of juice to power the Pi, so in that respect, the bank will work well with the Pi, yes. – recantha Apr 20 '15 at 15:13
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Short answer, yes it will work great. For some more info:

"The device is powered by 5v micro USB. Exactly how much current (mA) the Raspberry Pi requires is dependent on what you hook up to it. We have found that purchasing a 1.2A (1200mA) power supply from a reputable retailer will provide you with ample power to run your Raspberry Pi for most applications, though you may want to get a 2.5A (2500mA) if you want to use all 4 USB ports on the Model B without using an external powered USB hub.

Typically, the model B uses between 700-1000mA depending on what peripherals are connected, the Model B+ has slightly more efficient power circuits as well as more available USB ports and can use between 600-2000mA, and the model A can use as little as 500mA with no peripherals attached. The maximum power the Raspberry Pi Model A and B can use is 1 Amp, so if you need to connect a USB device that will take the power requirements of the Raspberry Pi above 1 Amp then you must connect it to an externally powered USB hub. Alternatively, the maximum power the Model B+ can use is 2 Amps before needing to connect devices to an externally powered USB hub. " -www.raspberrypi.org

Time on the battery is dependent on how much current you draw. You can use battery time = amp-hours / drawn-current draw to find the total time the battery will last, which in the case of no extra peripherals (such as usb devices) you would have about 16 hours.

  • +1 But: If you read the review linked by recantha (the "A word on capacity" part) you'll notice the mAh at 5V is more like 10K. I have a battery rated ambiguously "8400 mAh" which I mostly use with a model B, and it lasts about 4-5 hours, so I would guess this one would last about twice that (i.e., 8-10 hours). – goldilocks Apr 20 '15 at 15:54
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    Also, the power consumption in these tests (1, 2) seems somewhat less than the numbers used by the Foundation which I think you are quoting; e.g. according to those tests a model 2 will use < 500 mA under load. – goldilocks Apr 20 '15 at 15:55
  • For some reason, raspberrypi.org only had info on a,b, and b+ on their FAQ page. Interesting data, each core uses far less power than I would have assumed. – wahoozie Apr 20 '15 at 16:25
  • Out of experience I know that my rPi2's do not work well with a 1.5A power supply (having a monitor, a wifi dongle (Edimax) and a usb keyboard/mouse combo connected) - I had to upgrade to a 2.2A supply to make them run stable. – Phil B. Apr 23 '15 at 13:31
  • Received my power bank. It works really well with keyboard+edimax+3g dongle (that need a lot of power). With my original usb cable, sometimes the red light blink, so I tried to use that one that comes with the power bank and it is now running stable for hours. – Diogo Correia May 1 '15 at 2:34
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Xiaomi Power Bank will power Raspberry Pi correctly if you provide it with enough amperage. Wall chargers and powered hubs work, most computer USB ports and passive hubs will cause your RPi to reset or not start when in pass-through mode.

There's unfortunetely a small problem with it. When you disconnect the power to the bank, it'll take a second to switch to battery power ... resetting your RPi in the process, so beware.

Edit: I've found recomendation to use LogiLink PA0064 but it does not work! The battery doesn't charge when connected, more so, it'll discharge (RPI uses battery power even if battery is pluged in).

  • do you know any workarounds to offset the passthrough or, any power bank which works appropriately in pass-through mode – Vaibhav Mishra Sep 8 '15 at 20:18
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    I have the same problem, and looking for the solution right now :) I was surprised to see that it's reseting the PI since it seemed to be able to power cell phone correctly in pass-through mode. I'm looking for causes and solutions and I'll make sure to post it if I find any, – Marcin Raczkowski Sep 9 '15 at 5:35

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