Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to Install the Lithium Backpack to your Arduino

The Arduino is an open source hardware input and output circuit and the Lithium Backpack is a Ardino accessory that will power the Arduino when it is away from a computer or a wall power. These products are sold at Liquidware for under $34 each.
Step 1: Plug in the battery connector to the board. The black wire should face the outside (away from the battery).

Step 2: Attaching the Backpack allows the Arduino to be portable Use the 2 plastic screws, spacers and nuts to attach the Backpack to the back of the Arduino.
Step 3: Plug the Ground pin in with 22-24 gauge solid core wire.
Black wire is recommended to avoid confusion.The wire will connect the Ground on the Arduino to the Ground on the Lithium Backpack.
Step 4: Plug the +5V pin in with 22-24 gauge solid core wire
Red wire is recommended to avoid confusion.The wire will connect the +5V pin on the Arduino to the +5V pin on the Lithium Backpack.
Step 5: To power your Arduino flip the switch to the right position
Batt is the position that provides +5V to the 5V pin.

Step 6: The USB port on the Backpack is used to charge the Backpack
The switch should be flipped to the left position (Charg) when charging the battery.The orange led will be on when the battery is charging.The Backpack can be charged in 3 different ways.

1.) Through the USB Type B-Mini Female port on the Lithium Backpack when it is attached to a computer.
2.) Through the Arduino when the Backpack is plugged into the Arduino and the Arduino is plugged into a computer.
3.) Through the Arduino when the Backpack is plugged into the Arduino and the Arduino is plugged into a wall power supply.
Step 7: Backpack Theory





41 comments:

boubele said...

What if I added a solar panel, how would that work ?

Severino said...

That is a great question. If you could apply 5V from the solar cell to the 5V line and flip the backpack into the charge position, than the Lithium Backpack would recharge. You would be limited to the amount of energy the solar panel could provide. This sounds like a fun project :o)

Freeseb said...

Is there any way to have the battery pack permamenty delivering power tot he arduino and being charged as soon as the arduino is powered ?

If we place the switch for powering arduino and we place a +5V on the mini usb, would it work like that ? If the battery is out and the mini usb is powered, will it rune the arduino and chrge the battery in same time ?

Thanks

Mike Gionfriddo said...

Hi Freeseb,

Sorry, this post stopped giving me e-mail updates...

"Is there any way to have the battery pack permamenty delivering power tot he arduino and being charged as soon as the arduino is powered ?"
- No, it wasn't designed to be charging and powering the circuit in the same switch position.

"If we place the switch for powering arduino and we place a +5V on the mini usb, would it work like that ?"
- Yes, but it wouldn't be charging if the switch is powering the +5V.

"If the battery is out and the mini usb is powered, will it rune the arduino and chrge the battery in same time ?"
- Yes, when the usb cable is powering the backpack, it is also powering the Arduino, regardless of the backpacks switch position.

-Mike

computer_freak_8 said...

Does the High-Capacity battery pack work with the Arduino Duemilanove?

I see that on the product page for the Duemilanove, it shows that the recommended input voltage is from 7-12 volts, (and the limits are 6-20 Volts,) but the battery pack's product page shows 3.3 or 5 volts.

Mike Gionfriddo said...

hi computer freak, i would try plugging the backpacks 5V into the duemilanove's 5V

Freeseb said...

Is the back pack able to stop charging when it is fully charged. To use the backack usb as the only way to power the arduino (and to charge the back pack when needed) is a correct way to work ? no damage to the back pack ?

that the way I imagine to have a single power entry and have the batteru working as a mobile phone do : single power entry and charging when needing.

thanks

Seb

Matt said...

hi freeseb, yep, the backpack goes until fully charged, and stops... there's an overcharge circuit in there to make sure it doesn't get carried away. and i use mine all the time just charging on the arduino through the arduino's power too - i wire it into the arduino, and then when i plug the arduino into my computer over usb, i can switch the lithium backpack to charge, and it charges.

it's not completely invincible, but mike and chris and i tried to think of lots of ways it might be used, and tried to make sure it was a little protected :)

computer_freak_8 said...

@Mike Gionfriddo:
Thanks for the information, but is the battery regulated? From the Duemilanove's specs, it sounds like I shouldn't connect it there if it is not regulated.

If it is not, however, it sounds like I could connect two of these batteries in series, and connect them to the "Vin" pin.

Mike Gionfriddo said...

yes, it is boost regulated to 5V.

the battery is typically 2-4.5V and the backpack boosts the voltage up to 5V.

-Mike

computer_freak_8 said...

Awesome. Thanks so much for your help!

Adam said...

What about shields that utilize the +5V pin on the Arduino? The ProtoShield from Adafruit uses all of the pins on the Arduino. How should I connect the battery to it (my arduino + ProtoShield

Mike Gionfriddo said...

Hi Adam, I would plug the wires into the top of the protoshield. If you look at this picture, there is a row of 5V pins in the bottom left (next to the flower). Is this the shield you have?
http://www.adafruit.com/images/large/protoshield_LRG.jpg

Adam said...

Yeah, I see what you mean. I'll either plug the 5V line into the +5V header or the +5V pin. Thanks!

Adam said...

There is an easier way to connect w/o using the +5V pin. You just connect the output from the backpack to the VIN pin on the power header

computer_freak_8 said...

@Adam:
Yes, if you wire two of them in series. Otherwise, at least according to the Duemilanove's product page, you would not have enough voltage. (That is, from just one. Hence why the +5V pin should be utilized.)

PhantomQuake said...

Can you wire two or more of these units in parallel to give a longer runtime? Do you have any plans to make a version that can hold more cells?

Matt said...

yeah, actually, you can wire two in parallel to each other, and it works just like a normal capacitor would - it'll last even longer. sometimes i wire one into one side of a doublewide extendershield, and another into the other side... hmmm... actually, chris and i usually think bigger = better, so i'm going to look around for bigger batteries now :)

PhantomQuake said...

Great bigger batteries i like the sound of that, i have no previous experience with programming and thought that the arduino would be a good place to start any tips or good sites to help learning the code?

Mike Gionfriddo said...

The arduino.cc examples page is a good place to start... or the processing.org site is also really helpful.

Pauric said...

I have both the small & large cap batteries. The small cap LED goes off after a certain time charging, the large cap LED stay illuminated (and is in fact making a faint high pitched noise)

IS this expected behavior?

cheers /pauric

Pauric said...

clarification (o; The LED on the hicap is not making the noise specifically. As far as I can tell its the battery itself. And all charging on both hi & low cap battery have been done from the same machine over usb.

Mike Gionfriddo said...

Hi Pauric, If your Hi Cap isn't working properly, I would be more than happy to replace it for you. Can you just shoot me an e-mail at http://www.liquidware.com/contact so I know where to send the replacement?

Matt said...

@pauric - ha ha, that's the sound of the small nuclear turbine device inside each of the batteries... i wish :( sounds like the pull-up resistor is bringing one of the caps into a oscillating circuit, which is totally fine and won't damage anything. if it's really really annoying, maybe if you send it back to mike, i'll take a look at it too when i swing by mike's place this weekend?

Pauric said...

thanks guys, the noise doesnt bother me, just thought I'd add that symptom. I'm more interested in understanding if the charge LED should ever go out. I dont have the lowcap to hand but I'm pretty sure it went out after a while and that's not happening with the high cap. I'll keep an eye on the performance and return it if there's a problem. Cheers! /pauric

Jack said...

Are the schematics available for this open-source hardware? I'm looking for s typical charging circuit for a bunch of cell phone batteries.

John said...

I am trying to figure out the operation of the battery and arduino when switching from battery power to external power and charging. Does it remain on during the transition. and are these the steps
1.Arduino powered by the battery
2.Plug in USB cable to the arduino
3.Flip the switch to charging position.

I just want to make sure that having the battery in power on mode and the arduino plugged in at the same time (Step 2) won't fry anything. Thanks and by the way amazing product keep up the good work.

Mike Gionfriddo said...

yeah, that is generally the gist of it...

Spike said...

I may have missed it somewhere, but does the backpack stop outputting power when the battery voltage drops below the safe level?

Spike said...

Hello? Anyone? To re-state my question above. Lithium Polymer batteries can be permanently damaged if they are discharged below about 3V per cell. Does this unit "cut off" then this voltage is reached?
Thank you!

roy said...

hi i was wondering if i could power my arduino from the 5 volt output on the side and how that exactly works

Matt said...

@Spike - sorry about that... I was getting all this spam in the comments for world of warcraft stuff so i had to put comment authorization up, but then that means i don't get notifications when new comments go up - it's horrible, i hate spammers. anyway, i've run down the batteries on mine a whole bunch of times and they always recharge back up. i don't know too much about lipoly theory, but i google it and supposedly it gets damaged. the circuit on the board is voltage divided down, so technically when the 3.3v gets low enough to not be usable for a 3.3v part, there's still enough voltage in the battery itself that the circuit dies before the battery even gets down that low to begin with, so maybe that's why i've never noticed a problem? usually the circuit just dies first...?

@roy - yeah, any line that the arduino takes or puts power on/off should work ... but that depends on which arduino you have because dave has used a few different power circuitry parts on different types of boards. you can't hurt the arduino by trying it, if it works, you have one that doesn't have the diode, so you're ok... at least i haven't been able to fry any of my boards ever doing that

Crystal said...

Great product! I've been using the backpack for some prototyping with my arduino and various sensors, and now I'm trying to move my Arduino to a standalone. I'd like to continue using the backpack as my power source, and I only need the 3.3V power source.

Is there a way to solder a connection to the 3.3V on the backpack? I need a secure connection so I can put it in an enclosure, and I don't have a 3.3V regulated source on the Arduino so I can't use the 5V. Does the backpack have a datasheet or schematic I could look at to try to solve this issue? Thanks!

tim.h said...

What is the best way to get gnd and 5v to connect to Arduino if you are using a touchshield slide?

Mike Gionfriddo said...

Tim - I like to connect to the +5V and GND under the Slide...

chboing said...

Hi !
i not only need the 5V output but also the 3.3V output.
will i be able to use both those output at the same time ?

Other question: what are the maximal current draw for both ? will this be able to power a xbee pro module that need : 500 mA typical at 3.3V (800 mA max)

thanks very much for this backpack, it would be all i've dreamed of if your answers are yes ;)

Mike Gionfriddo said...

Yeah, the Backpack can power an xbee pro module.

yes, you can use both the 3.3V and 5V output at the same time.

-Mike

Barrett Norris said...

How do i use the status pin header
- Barrett

Josh said...

Hi, I have the medium capacity battery pack, and am looking to run some cycling tests on it to link the output voltage of the battery to a more precise state of charge (percentage). What is the are the minimum and maximum voltages for this pack? Thanks!

Josh

Sarith Ong said...

Hi Josh,

Here are the battery chemistry for the MeCap Lithium BackPack.

Type: lithium ion-polymer battery
Storage temperature above 60c (140 F)
Max charging voltage is 4.2VDC

-Rich

Sarith Ong said...

Hi Barret,

The status pin is actually just tied directly to the lithium battery's positive terminal. Measuring the voltage here, you can estimate the life of the battery.