Let's see some FAQs first -
Q: Do I need this product?
A: You'll need it if you -
- Want a serious battery power solution for your Raspberry Pi
- Want your Raspberry Pi to be portable (eg: projects like robots, media players, GPS devices, etc.)
- Want a reliable UPS for your Pi
- Need to power your Pi with battery for any others reasons
Q: I found some similar projects on Kickstarter ...
A: Yes we knew. We think our Pipeye Battery HAT has some unique features which you do not want to miss.
Q: Tell me about the features!
A: No worries! Let's have a look:
- It's Safe. We think safety is the most important thing. You don't want your Pi or other devices to get damaged, or something even worse. The Pipeye Battery HAT gives you multiple protections:
- It's Smart. The Pipeye Battery HAT has a built-in microprocessor, which manages the entire power system. The microprocessor:
- sends shutdown command to the Raspberry Pi if the battery level is too low,
- calculates the battery level and sends the accurate information of the battery to the OLED,
- monitors the system and battery status,
- monitors the charging current and voltage
- communicates with the Raspberry Pi,
- controls the sleep/awake/reset mode, helps to save power when the battery is being used, makes the "10 hours working time" possible.
Q: 10 hours working time? That's a long time!
A: Yes but please note: "10 hours" is possible when only a 5000mAh lithium battery is used and the Raspberry Pi is running alone. If you connect any devices to the Raspberry Pi USB ports, or stack any other expansion boards/HAT to the Pi, it won't last that long.
Q: OK, keep going.
A: OK, next one:
- It's Fast. It takes only 3~4 hours to charge a 5000mAh lithium battery from empty to full.
Q: Only 3 hours? But what kind of power supply do I need to charge the battery?
A: Just a normal 2A Raspberry Pi PSU can do the job. I use a 5V 2A PSU bought from element14:
Q: So when I plug the power supply into the Pipeye...?
A: Yes when you plug it in, it starts charging the battery, and when you unplug it, it switches to the battery power automatically. Your Pi always gets power to run, won't be interrupted.
Q: Could a solar panel be used to charge the battery?
A: Yes, you can use a solar panel. The solar panel can be connected to the Micro USB connector on the Pipeye HAT, if the output of the panel is 5~5.5V DC. And also, there is a Jack Socket(5.5 * 2.1) on the HAT which accepts 5~12V DC input.
Q: Cool! Is that all?
A: Don't forget why we call it Pipeye. There is an ’eye‘ on the HAT. You can see what's going on on your Pi. For example, the Raspberry Pi CPU status, RAM usage, IP address and battery level are displayed by default. You can easily follow our guide and modify the Python code to customise your own information to display.
Update (Please see the Update #2 for more details):
1. The Pipeye now has a built-in RTC.
2. An extra small PCB board will be provided, which breaks out all the GPIO pins for your other HATs.
Q: I noticed there are two buttons on the Pipeye HAT, what do they do?
A: One of them is Reset Button, you can press it to reset the power system in exceptional situation. The Raspberry Pi will be kept powered during the reset period.
The other one is Control Button. You can wake up the sleeping system, open the control menu, send the safe shutdown/reboot command or the customised command to the Raspberry Pi by press/double press/press and hold that button.
Q: Is there a case for it?
A: (Update: 11 May 2015) Yes. We've designed a metal case that can hold the Raspberry Pi, the HAT and the battery. We received the first prototype today and it looks like this (More details, please see Update #3):
Q: Why Kickstarter? Is it all about money?
A: It's about something more important: we want to make a good product and let most people love it. Just tell us what you think about the product, we'll listen and update it.
Our funding duration is 30 days, and -
- 15 days after the funding starts, we'll try to update the product according to the backers' feedbacks.
- 25 days after the funding starts, we'll try to update the product for the second time, if this project looks like to be successfully funded by then.
- We'll try to finalise the product before the funding finishes, if this project looks like to be successfully funded by then.
If this project is successfully funded -
- We'll send the final design to the manufacturer as soon as possible.
- By the end of June, we should be able to receive the first couple of hundreds of boards. We'll send them out to backers as soon as possible.
- Around mid July, the rest of the boards should be ready to be posted. We'll send all of them out before August.
- Herman Liu - System and Hardware Designing
- Micheal Fisher - Software Development
- Wei Zhang - Manufacturing Management and Customer Supporting (working in P.R. China)
- Penny Xie - Graphic Designing and Marketing
- Jacqui Liu - Marketing, Bookkeeping and Customer Supporting
Yours Sincerely - Karl Wang
Thanks for your support!
Risks and challenges
1. Lithium batteries are not normal goods. We found it's hard to post them to some countries. Some courier companies refuse to deliver batteries either. If you are not sure or worried, please choose the rewards that don't include lithium batteries.
2. Last week we received our first negative feedback to our eBay store. A customer claimed that he/she didn't receive his/her parcel and didn't want to give us a chance to find out what happened. We've sent thousands of parcels out, only 6 of them were lost. All I want to say is, those kind of things are rare, but sometimes do happen. Please be patient and give us some time to fix it.
3. All of our team members work on spare time, weekends and holidays only. We all have 'real' jobs to do, to pay the bills. We'll try our best to answer your questions as soon as possible. But, there could be some delays. Thank you for your understanding!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)