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This question already has an answer here:

I plan to use a USB power bank to power my Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, but I need to know the battery level/percentage. There is the battery icon and percentage in the top right corner. Does this correctly give the battery percentage of my external power bank? (I highly doubt it)

If not, is there a way to do so without additional hardware? Or are there special power banks that can give the battery level?

marked as duplicate by Ghanima May 8 '18 at 21:35

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  • "battery icon": Do you mean the undervoltage warning icon? – Fabian May 3 '18 at 10:21
  • Powerbanks are not designed for powering live electronics: They are designed for recharging the primary batteries in mobile devices. As such, they don't have the circuitry necessary to maintain a steady 5V and may even intentionally not supply such under load: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/83556/5538 – goldilocks May 3 '18 at 13:29
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Only batteries supporting the Smart Battery Standard over SMBus/I2C can be used with Raspbians Battery Monitor applet. The only battery supporting this (AFAIK) is built into the pi-top Laptop.

No Raspberry Pi can correctly measure its own input voltage without additional components.

  • What is the battery percentage icon for then? can the pi-top laptop be bought separately? are there any simple circuits I could use with a USB power bank that could allow me to monitor the battery level? – TanMath May 3 '18 at 7:02
  • Please ask new questions. Comments are for discussion of answers. – flakeshake May 3 '18 at 8:55
  • Ok will do, but I guess there are no such batteries available for RPi... – TanMath May 4 '18 at 4:37
  • @TanMath just post the picture of your USB power bank – yogece May 4 '18 at 9:33

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