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New Development - Intelligent Power Supply - including UPS - for Raspberry Pi

Posted by Wilfried Voss on

jCOM.IPS Intelligent Power Supply for Raspberry Pi

It is important to re-iterate that the Raspberry Pi was originally developed as a low-cost computer system for children. However, the small size plus small price combined with a great performance made the RPi a great solution for all kinds of applications, may it be for home projects or even for industrial and automotive prototyping projects and applications. 

The downside, though, for the more serious applications is the power supply per USB micro connection, i.e. the RPI does not come with a power on/off switch and it does not support a controlled shut-down when power is removed. Just think of the scenario where your application is based on recording data and storing them to a file. An un-controlled shut-down will cause data loss, for instance, when power is removed during file access. 

Intelligent Power Supply Switch For Raspberry Pi

One possible solution can be the Intelligent Power Supply Switch For Raspberry Pi we offer through this website. It allows the controlled shut-down of the RPi (soft shutdown) and a convenient "On" button, i.e. you don't have to power off/on the external power supply to start the RPi.

The intelligent power switch provides the following features:

  • Press the On button to power on the Raspberry Pi.
  • Press the Off button to cut power to the Raspberry Pi. This is the un-controlled shut-down.
  • Press briefly the Soft button for a controlled shutdown of the operating system. After 2 minutes the power is cut off.
  • Press the Soft button and keep pressed for a reboot.

However, while the switch prevents accidental data loss during manual power-down, it does not cover the scenario of power loss while you're away. What you need in this case is some sort of backup power (e.g. a battery). And yet, there are two possible modes that apply for different applications: 1. The backup is being used to power the Raspberry Pi until the safe shutdown is completed, or 2. the backup supplies the Raspberry Pi until primary power is restored (UPS = Uninterruptible Power Supply).

We at Copperhill Technologies had hoped that the solution came in form of the PiJuice - Uninterruptible Power Supply For Raspberry Pi, which we ordered from a British manufacturer (Pi Supply). However, as a fair warning, we will discontinue the PiJuice - Uninterruptible Power Supply For Raspberry Pi as a product as soon as inventory is sold out. To be honest, after paying the order and waiting for the delivery for more than three months, we still don't have any inventory at this time. As a matter of fact, we learned after the fact, that this is product is actually a Kickstarter project, and that is hardly ever a good sign.

jCOM.IPS Intelligent Power Supply With Raspberry Pi

But we didn't just wait... We see a demand for an intelligent Raspberry Pi power supply in the marketplace, and we have started our own development of a board that combines all the features of the Pi Supply boards plus extended functionality. The greatest difference is that our board (called the jCOM.IPS) provides an input power range of 7 VDC to 36 VDC, which can be applied per terminals or standard plug tip (2.1mm inside diameter, 5.5mm outside diameter).

There is an additional terminal block to apply the backup power, which can be a battery (not included in the content of delivery) or, for instance, an un-switched power supply (e.g. car battery: primary power is switched, backup power is un-switched).

Further features are:

  • ON/OFF button
  • "Soft" powerdown functionality
  • Auto-switching to backup power when primary power is removed
  • Return to primary power when it is restored
  • Auto power on when the primary power is supplied (option; controlled by DIP switch)
  • Communication with Raspberry Pi per USB port, either for parameter setup and/or real-time power information

As of today, we have successfully tested the board but will check the market for demand before starting production If you need more information, please feel free to contact us.