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I'm trying to power my Pi 3 with 8x AA batteries wired to a 5V voltage regulator. I measured a voltage of 5.4V. I'm using the IO pins instead of the microUSB port.

The Pi powers on but doesn't work. The red led starts blinking. When I connect a monitor I see that it's stuck in a boot loop.

Shouldn't it be possible to power a Pi like this? Am I doomed to buy a proper battery?

  • Sanity check: Does the same Pi power up normally using a standard 2-3 A 5 V power supply? – goobering Jul 29 '16 at 13:52
  • Yup it does work with a 2A/5V supply. – saldukoo Jul 29 '16 at 13:53
  • It's definitely possible to run the Pi from AA batteries. What regulator are you using? The Pi 3 is more of a current hog than previous models, so it'll need to be fairly beefy. – goobering Jul 29 '16 at 13:57
  • Here are the specifications tme.eu/en/Document/57f67002a9a9de08fda68ad242b570b4/… – saldukoo Jul 29 '16 at 14:01
  • Which model of that are you using? – goobering Jul 29 '16 at 14:04
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Unfortunately the voltage regulator you're using (the QLT POWER QDC1S-1205S) is only capable of supplying a maximum of 400mA. Just about all models of the Pi will require more current than that - the Pi 3 needs something like 5 times as much (between 2 and 3 amps is normal).

You may still be able to achieve your goal, but you'll need a regulator that can supply much more current. Something like the TI LM1085-5.0 (which can provide up to 3A of output current) should work.

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