I’ve been in need of a good way to mount my growing collection of Raspberry Pis (rpi) and to power them from a convenient power supply. Wall warts are notorious for not supplying the correct voltage or meeting the right amperage requirements. To that end, this article was begun.
A bit about my needs, I have a rpi that includes additional hardware in the form of what is called a “hat” and also a SATA hard drive. This hat fits on top of the expansion header on the rpi, and provides additional functionality. For this article, I will be using the club repeater antenna monitor system as an example.
The initial setup consisted of a rpi, a Pi-plates DAQCplate (for Analog to Digital Conversion), and a SATA to USB board for the hard drive. The system runs from a 5Vdc/4A AC/DC power supply (wall wart). During testing under load, the power supply regularly dropped to 4.8Vdc. The rpi requires a voltage between 4.8 and 5.2Vdc. Below 4.8Vdc, the whole system becomes unstable, with possible loss of data, poor A/D acquisition, and a whole host of other issues.
After a fair amount of searching, I came upon a hopefully better approach to the power supply issue, in the form of the Bitscope Blade Uno Pi (BB01). This has a few useful features beginning with a wide range (9 to 48Vdc) power supply which outputs 5Vdc at 3A (4A peak). This allows me to use any of my ham radio power supplies and/or battery systems to power everything. Additional features of the BB01 include an extra 5Vdc power header, and dual USB jacks to power other devices.
More to come soon!