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I am interested in using the Raspberry Pi in portable projects for data collection outdoors. How would I go about running the RPi on batteries? Have any software tools been developed to monitor battery power similar to a laptop?

marked as duplicate by nc4pk, Jivings Jul 28 '13 at 14:16

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  • You can use one of those External Battery Packs. Those provide a constant 5v power source. (See elinux.org/… ) – Gerben Jul 20 '13 at 13:56

Dave Akerman recently created a post on how to run a Raspberry Pi off of battery power. His methods will give you the longest battery life running off of regular batteries, but his methods also void the warranty...

Laptop batteries usually have a small chip installed to measure different battery statistics (battery life being one of them). Laptops then access the information from this chip and print out the information to the user when requested. If you run your Raspberry Pi off of standard consumer batteries (which don't have a chip to my knowledge), you can't calculate the information as easily.

I don't believe any software has been developed yet to calculate battery power for the Raspberry Pi. Because there is no "standard" way of providing portable power, OS developers cannot implement it; there may be software that some people have developed for their specific way of supplying power to the Raspberry Pi, but it is doubtful that it would be released.

This is certainly possible, as confirmed by the fact that at least one group of teenagers was able to successfully launch a weather balloon for a substantial amount of time using a Raspberry Pi as it's flight computer:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/4390

(Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate any specific specs on the project)

I would look into testing with some cheap off the shelf USB battery packs (typically used for charging mobile devices on the go). I would take a look at items like this one:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10831&cs_id=1083110&p_id=9531&seq=1&format=2

  • You can find significantly cheaper devices on eBay. I found a small battery pack for powering USB devices for like $4.50 (for a ~2300mAh battery) – Alexander Jul 21 '13 at 3:49

Raspberry Pi lacks ADC, hence the unability to measure voltage. Besides that, I don't see any problem, except you need quite a battery to continuously provide 700mA @ 5V, and maybe some extra if you use any USB-powered accessories.

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