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I'm a hardware newbie, wanting to power my RPi Zero via a Lipo battery, and also have the battery charge without removing it. There are many posts about this, but my question is more about two power options.

  1. I believe you could connect the Pimoroni Lipo Shim into the GPIO of the RPi Zero, and then attach the Adafruit Micro Lipo charger to provide charging capability.
  2. An alternative approach looks to be to use the PowerBoost 1000.

Would both approaches work? If so, what would be the pros/cons?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, both approaches would work. However, using a PowerBoost would let you change the battery and run the Pi simultaneously, as well as charging the battery at a faster rate (the Micro Lipo Charger has a default 100mA charging rate and can reach 500mA charging rate by soldering a jumper closed while the PowerBoost can charge at 1000mA). It's also a less complicated solution.

However, the Pimoroni LiPo Shim has slightly higher current output (1500mA instead of 1000mA). This shouldn't be an issue unless you're using a lot of high-power devices on the same power supply as your Pi (for instance, USB devices can draw over 500mA each). In your case, your Pi Zero shouldn't draw anywhere near this limit. The shim is also less bulky, as it sits right on top of the Pi with no extra cables, which could be helpful in small, Pi-Zero-based projects.

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I recently found this UPS board on Aliexpress ( https://pt.aliexpress.com/item/1005002519021541.html ) that takes care of charging the Li-po batteries and supplying +4 to +23V to the Pi (in this case adjust it to +5V). You may have to find and adapter from the screw terminal to USB (I don't use one because I made a custom board that does other stuff besides supplying the Pi, and has a USB connector soldered to it).

My entire project consumes up to 65W (8W for the Pi 4 and a 7" HDMI screen) and the UPS is a GO for 2+ hours on 6 li-po (2 parallel 3 series).

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