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PiUPS - Uninterruptible power supply for Raspberry Pi's video poster
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PiUPS is Uninterruptible Power Supply & Portable Power for Raspberry Pi or Arduino. PiUPS runs on 3 AA rechargeable batteries. Read more

Richmond, VA Hardware
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This project was successfully funded on March 26, 2014.

PiUPS is Uninterruptible Power Supply & Portable Power for Raspberry Pi or Arduino. PiUPS runs on 3 AA rechargeable batteries.

Richmond, VA Hardware
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About this project

While shooting outdoors with our previous Kickstarter project PiPan, a Pan-Tilt for Raspberry Pi Camera, we realized that a power interruption can cause a major disruption with your Pi, especially when running headless.

So we set out to create an Uninterruptible Power Supply for Pi!

How does PiUPS work?

PiUPS connects in-line with your Raspberry Pi power cable. It uses  rechargeable NiMH batteries, and has built in battery charger circuit.

While connected to main power, it keeps the batteries charged up, and when the main power disconnects, it switches the Pi over to battery power, with no interruption!

You can very well take the Pi outdoors and it will continue to run until batteries deplete. (With standard 2000 mAh batteries it will run for about 2 hours).

The integrated battery monitoring system in PiUPS will determine battery health. It also conditions and stabilizes the power supplied to your Pi.

PiUPS will alert you with blinking Red Light when the battery is almost depleted and it's about to shutdown your Pi. (Actually it will start warning you two minutes before it shuts down Pi).

PiUPS can send events and data to your Pi, such as battery low, battery voltages/current levels, button clicked/double-clicked, etc. And you can configure your Pi to act on those events. You can start your own program when a button is clicked (or a different one when Double Clicked or Triple Clicked). For data exchange, it connects to your Pi using a I2C Access Point board on GPIO pins (this board is included with PiUPS).

Our Early Prototypes

Our alpha prototype was created on a breadboard. The main challenge was to get the battery charging circuit just right. PiUPS will be using 3 AA NiMH batteries, which are readily available everywhere.

Early Prototype of PiUPS
Early Prototype of PiUPS

 The Beta Version

Below are pictures of the beta PiUPS. Software development and extensive testing is currently under way with these models.

PiUPS with connectors and button.
PiUPS with connectors and button.

PiUPS will have connectors/button/LED as follows:

1. A Micro-USB Connector - for input power (the USB cable you otherwise connect to your Pi, will go here).
2. A USB-A host connector - for Output power to your Pi.
3. A 4-pin connector - connects to your Pi for information exchange. This interface provides information about battery conditions, status, etc. and to perform shutdown/wakeup operation.
4. A Press button - to power On-OFF the PiUPS. Also, you can use this button to send Single-click/Double-click/Triple-Click events to your Pi. (You can then run your own commands on Pi for these clicks)
5. A Red-Green-Blue LED - to let you know what's going on visually - things such as battery is charging, battery is discharging, two minute shutdown warning, etc.

Durability in Design

Do you want to take it outdoors? PiUPS is designed for rough use. To ensure that wires don't break over time, it uses strong, proven and durable connectors.

PiUPS Mounted with Pi

Mount your Pi on PiUPS with a mounting kit. The mounts are strong and designed for rough use.

Pi mounted on PiUPS using mounting kit (mount kit works with or without a case)
Pi mounted on PiUPS using mounting kit (mount kit works with or without a case)

Technical Specs:

Functionality:

  • Portable power when not connected to mains
  • UPS (uninterruptible power) when connected to mains
  • Clean Shutdown of pi under critical battery alarm

Operating time: Minimum 2hr with 2000mAh batteries
Hotswap operation
: Batteries can be hotswap while connected to mains ( of daisy chain with another PiUPS)
Input Voltage
: 4.5V -5.3V (charger voltage)
Input Current
: 0-1.2A (charger current)
Output Voltage
: 5.00V
Output Current
: 0-1.5A
Communication interface
: I2C (Inter Integrated Circuit Bus)
Device Driver
: Device driver for Raspberry Pi with Complete integrated LXPanel support for GUI.
Programming Interface
: Python class for user programs, with JSON interface to driver.
Software integration: User defined programs on Raspberry pi can be bound to button click (multi-button click like mouse) on PiUPS and executed.
Power On
: Remote power on via button press, (Timed or user wired external event)
Power Off
: Button press or interface command from Raspberry Pi
Battery Type
: 3 AA - NiMH
Charging Method
: Negative deltaV, Temperature and Timed
Battery Capacity
: Absolute battery charge state management (mAh)
Integrated Battery Health Monitor
: Diagnostic intelligence to assess useful life cycle and health of NiMH Battery.
Critical battery warning
: Calculated using orthogonal measurements of dV/dt and tracked capacity in battery (self learning)
Indicator
: Multicolor led indicates battery state and UPS state
Device Firmware
: Upgradeable vi I2C bus. (Will support different battery chemistry in Future)
Weight
: 2 Oz (without Batteries)

Configure PiUPS for your Pi

PiUPS will have a battery level indicator on the bottom right corner of your Pi GUI (in the status bar of LXPanel) and a configuration panel for your Pi. Using this Panel, you will be able to see vital-statistics of your battery and configure it for your Pi to run different programs by Single-Click/Double-Click of the button.

LXPanel (with Battery Status and Configuration Panel)
LXPanel (with Battery Status and Configuration Panel)

Wake Up your Pi

PiUPS can be configured to wake up the connected Pi at a later time. Pi will then re-start and you can run your programs as usual.

Need more Power?

One PiUPS with standard 2000 mAh batteries can power your Pi for about 2 hours. If you need to run longer, you can daisy chain two PiUPS with USB cable and attach the data interface cable to the one closest to Pi.

Need more power? Daisy-chain them!
Need more power? Daisy-chain them!

Rewards

Below are pictures for the rewards. The pictures shown here are beta parts, the production models may look different in color and appearance.

$6 -WELL WISHER. A big thank you for your support. As a Thank you gift, we will send you two card-sheet cases for your Pi.

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$39 - HACKER'S KIT - PiUPS PCB and I2C Access Point PCB populated with all surface mounted components. Includes all through hole components and thermistor. REQUIRES SOLDERING FOR THROUGH HOLE COMPONENTS. (No Battery Box or plastic enclosure or batteries included.)

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$58 - EARLY BIRD - Early release of one pre-production fully assembled PiUPS kit. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

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$65 - One fully assembled PiUPS kit. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

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$70 - One fully assembled PiUPS kit and a mounting kit for your Pi. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

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$85 - One fully assembled PiUPS kit, a mounting kit for your Pi, small Micro-SD card adapter and a 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian OS and required software for PiUPS. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

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$100 - One fully assembled PiUPS kit, a mounting kit for your Pi, Clear Acrylic Case for your Pi, Small Micro-SD card adapter and a 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian OS and PiUPS software. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

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$130 - DAISY CHAIN KIT -  will include One I2C Access Point Board, Two PiUPS's, two short USB cables, one 4-pin cable for data communication. (batteries not included).

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Your Support

The PiUPS design is almost done, beta prototypes are made and they are being tested with the Pi. Now we are planning for the manufacturing of PiUPS.

Your support will help us plan and manufacture these in large quantity at a reasonable cost.

Timeline

as of now - Beta tests for PiUPS are in progress
03/10/14 - Finalize the assembly plan
03/28/14 - Test batch verification and approval
04/15/14 - Send Surveys to collect addresses
04/25/14 - Receive Survey results
05/05/14 - Product manufacturing and production run testing
05/30/14 - Shipments to Kickstarter supporters begins

Stretch goals

$20,000 - Arduino configuration s/w and API - With this feature, you will be able to configure PiUPS from Arduino sketches.

$40,000 - Power consumption measurements and display plugins for LXPanel for Raspberry Pi - With this feature, you will be able to monitor power consumption of your running Pi. it will also include a graph of power consumption on the PiUPS Config panel and status bar.

$65,000 - Beaglebone Configuration GUI - This will let Beaglebone users configure the PiUPS settings, and monitor vital-stats.

Shipping

We have been shipping all over the world from our websites: openelectrons.com and mindsensors.com, and we will go through the same shipping system to send your rewards to you.

About the Creators at OpenElectrons.com

Dr. Nitin Patil holds a PhD in condensed matter physics and has been playing with electronics for past 20 years. He has 13 years of experience in research and development in instrumentation and holds patents in that field.

Deepak Patil has Masters degree in Industrial Design, and he has been designing Products and User Interfaces in Technology field for past 18 years.

Our Staff includes top notch engineers from field of electronics and information technology.  For more information about us, visit http://OpenElectrons.com/about

Risks and challenges

OpenElectrons.com has designed several Arduino, LEGO Mindstorms and Raspberry Pi products in the past and based on that experience, we are confident to deliver a quality product.

Component Sourcing -
To make the PiUPS efficient and compact, we are planning to use state-of-the-art components in its circuit design. To ensure continued availability of these components, we have made arrangements with major suppliers in the electronics industry.

Manufacturing -
We will be manufacturing PiUPS within USA with components and sub-assemblies sourced from local vendors. To ensure timely and quality product, we are reviewing assembly houses and vendors to ensure they can meet our quality criteria and tight schedules.

There is also a chance of manufacturing delays beyond our control, to mitigate that, we have added few days for contingency.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Yes, you can use it with Arduino.
    Also, the USB connection is pass through, so you can communicate with Arduino while PiUPS is connected to your computer. You then just disconnect it from your computer and Arduino will continue running.

    Also, the mounting kit we have designed will work with Arduino.

    Last updated:
  • Yes! PiUPS will work with Beaglebone also.
    The USB connections on PiUPS are pass through, so that when Beaglebone is connected through PiUPS, it will enumerate on your computer and you can connect to it as usual.
    You can then just unplug it from your computer and take it anywhere. Also, the mounting kit we have designed will work with Beaglebone.

    Last updated:
  • It was not created with that intention in mind, but yes, if you have one, use it to charge your phone too!
    It works: http://youtu.be/Bj4AMwxGHw0

    Last updated:
  • No, PiUPS does not require any soldering.

    Last updated:
  • At the moment PiUPS only supports NiMH rechargeable batteries, but we are developing support for other chemistries for future (through a software update to PiUPS).
    Please read Update #1 for more information.

    Last updated:
  • Python programs can easily read data from PiUPS. For more info, please read Update #3.
    A short video showing python program working: http://youtu.be/risa2pa0A5s

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $6 or more

    5 backers

    WELL WISHER. A big thank you for your support. As a Thank you gift, we will send you two card-sheet cases for your Pi.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $39 or more

    40 backers All gone!

    HACKER'S KIT - PiUPS PCB and I2C Access Point PCB populated with all surface mounted components.
    Includes all through hole components and thermistor.
    REQUIRES SOLDERING FOR THROUGH HOLE COMPONENTS.
    (No Battery Box or plastic enclosure or batteries included.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $58 or more

    7 backers All gone!

    EARLY BIRD - Early release of one pre-production fully assembled PiUPS kit. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    37 backers

    One fully assembled PiUPS kit. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $70 or more

    42 backers

    One fully assembled PiUPS kit and a mounting kit for your Pi. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $85 or more

    20 backers Limited (10 left of 30)

    One fully assembled PiUPS kit, a mounting kit for your Pi, small Micro-SD card adapter and a 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with
    Raspbian OS and required software for PiUPS. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    26 backers Limited (14 left of 40)

    One fully assembled PiUPS kit, a mounting kit for your Pi, Clear Acrylic Case for your Pi, Small Micro-SD card adapter and a 8GB MicroSD card pre-loaded with Raspbian OS and PiUPS software. Includes a USB cable to attach to your Pi, a 4-pin cable for data and i2c Access Point board for Pi. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $130 or more

    2 backers

    DAISY CHAIN KIT - Includes all required parts to make a daisy chain as explained on the project page. (batteries not included)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (26 days)