How to Power Raspberry Pi with Batteries? (3 Simple Steps)

A compact computer system is desired by everyone and people expect it to be portable. Even if the functionality is minimum and its specifications are limited, they serve some of the most basic purposes efficiently.

Raspberry Pi is one such system that can provide people with a desktop without being gigantic. But their portability can be limited due to the lack of a portable power supply.

If we know how to power raspberry pi with batteries, it is easy to carry them wherever we want without thinking about their power need.

How to power raspberry pi with batteries?

How to power raspberry pi with batteries?

The compact nature of the raspberry pi doesn’t demand a very large power unit to keep it alive. With simple AA batteries, you will be able to power the computer and work comfortably. These are the steps you need to follow to power the raspberry pi using AA batteries.

Accessories Required

  • 6 AA batteries or Rechargeable batteries
  • Battery compartment to accommodate 6 batteries
  • LM2596 switching module
  • USB jack
  • Multimeter
  • Soldering tools

Setting up the Switching module

The switching module is basically a DC-DC converter that enables you to step down the 9V from the batteries to the operating voltage of 5V DC for the raspberry pi. Follow these steps to set up the module and gain the output voltage as 5V.

  • Place the batteries in the battery compartment appropriately. After placing them, if you take the terminals and check them with a multimeter you will be getting 9V output (6 x 1.5V). If you are using rechargeable batteries, you will be getting 7.2V (6 x 1.2V).
  • Now take the LM2596 switching module and you can witness terminals IN + IN – and OUT + OUT -. Connect the terminals of the battery compartment to the IN terminals according to the polarity.
  • Then place the contacts of the multimeter on the out terminals and you will see the output as 9V.
  • Now, by turning the small golden crew with a small flat screwdriver on the module, adjust the voltage output until you get 5V in the multimeter reading.
  • You have adjusted the voltage output from the batteries as 5V which is the perfect operating voltage of the raspberry pi.
  • If you don’t have a multimeter, you can buy a switching module with a display that enables you with an output reading. With the help of this reading, you can adjust the screw to reach the desired setting.

Setting up the USB jack

  • You are going to connect the raspberry pi and the battery setup using a USB jack. Since the USB is going to be used only for power transfer, you have to connect the jack appropriately to the module.
  • The USB type-A has a 4-pin setup where the first and last pins are for power transfer and the middle two pins are for data transfer.
  • Connect the OUT terminals of the module to the first and last pin of the USB and you are ready to power up the Raspberry pi.

How much power does raspberry pi require?

The power requirement for raspberry pi depends on the model of the computer you are using. The latest Raspberry pi 4B uses more power when compared to the Raspberry pi Zero. Here is a list of Raspberry Pi models and their typical current consumption:

  • Raspberry Pi Model A – 200mA
  • Raspberry Pi Model B – 500mA
  • Raspberry Pi Model A+ – 180mA
  • Raspberry Pi Model B+ – 330mA
  • Raspberry Pi 2 Model B – 350mA
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B – 400mA
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ – 350mA
  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ – 500mA
  • Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – 600mA
  • Raspberry Pi 400 – 800mA
  • Raspberry Pi Zero W/WH – 150mA
  • Raspberry Pi Zero – 100mA

If you want to calculate how many hours your battery will withstand, use the following formula to find out the battery life:

(Battery Capacity)/(Rated Current)= Battery Life

For example,

1800mAh/180mA= 10 hours

This enables you to choose the required number of batteries for your portability and if you are using rechargeable ones, you will be able to know the life. For increasing the battery life, you can add more batteries in a parallel connection.

Also, read the post below,

Is it safe to power raspberry pi with batteries?

Yes, it is safe to power the raspberry pi with batteries because it is basically a power bank. But sometimes rechargeable batteries may fail to get recharged after powering the raspberry pi. Apart from that, there is no danger in using batteries.

Since you are using a switching module to lower the output, excess current will not flow through the computer. While the battery life might be an issue according to your usage, the pi will not get faulty or damaged with the use of AA batteries for power.

Therefore, you can follow the guidelines without any doubt to power your raspberry pi and enjoy a portable computer.

Can i power raspberry pi 4 from a laptop USB?

The Raspberry Pi 4 comes with a USB port that can be used to power the device. However, some users have been wondering if they can actually power their device from a laptop USB port.

It is possible to power the Raspberry Pi 4 from a laptop USB port, but it is not recommended. The maximum current that can be drawn from the laptop USB port is 1A and the Raspberry Pi 4 requires at least 2A of current to function correctly.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends using an external power supply for powering the device instead of relying on a laptop USB port for power.

Can i power raspberry pi with phone charger?

Yes, you can power your Raspberry Pi with a phone charger. However, the power output might not be enough to run the device.

Raspberry Pi has its own built-in 5V power supply that can be used to charge the device. You’ll need an external battery pack or solar panels in order to charge your Raspberry Pi.

It is also capable of powering itself through the use of a USB power adapter.

Conclusion

If you are able to power raspberry pi with batteries, you are increasing its chance of portability and user-friendliness. Just by replacing the AA batteries, you will be able to use the system without any worries.

This increases the feasibility of its usage. When you want to increase the battery life, you can easily do so by adding more batteries in a parallel connection and forgetting about searching for a DC power outlet.

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