I want to put an untethered RPi in the middle of a field and let it check and log the temperature for a week or more at a time.

If I wanted to run off of a rechargeable battery to wake up every hour, check and log the temp, then go back to sleep, would I be able to keep it running for a few days?

Is it possible to use a combination of a small button cell battery (or similar) to keep it running/ alive while asleep and a larger battery to operate when awake?

General specifics:

  • Pi Zero or Pi 2B
  • temperature sensor
  • some kind of lipoly battery or AA battery pack

If I wanted to add another sensor, like a simple light sensor, would it have a major impact on battery life?

  • Wouldn't an arduino or other microcontroller that supports low power/sleep modes be a better option than a Pi? – Steve Robillard May 18 '16 at 20:36
  • Probably - like a Trinket? What would you recommend? – kevingduck May 18 '16 at 20:38
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    TI makes a very low power launchpad (ti.com/launchpad) would be my first choice. – Steve Robillard May 18 '16 at 20:39
  • Since a non-Pi solutions seems to be more appropriate to check electronics.stackexchange.com instead. Be sure to not push the Pi-reference though, otherwise they might just migrate it back here. – Ghanima May 18 '16 at 20:40
  • 1
    There is nothing to be sorry for. – Steve Robillard May 18 '16 at 21:05

A low-power microcontroller seems to be more suited for this task, given the desired runtime in the field of a week or more. A Pi will not last that long, see Powering the Pi with 2 AA batteries

One example of suitable microcontrollers would be the MSP430 based TI-launchpad. It has a fantastic tutorial series on the wiki for the launchpads that cover the low-power modes. They even have a version that can run off a super cap.

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