OLIMEXINO-328 special version of Arduino made for low power battery applications

Screenshot from 2018-01-09 12-21-46

Our friends from IrDroid made evaluation of OLIMEXINO-328 board low power modes and blogged about it.

OLIMEXINO-328 is special version of Arduino made for Industrial applications – It can be powered from 9 to 30VDC. The board has build in LiPo charger and step up convertor so when external power is applied or connected to USB the LiPo battery is charged, if both External power and USB connection is missing the power supply is automatically back up by the LiPo battery and OLIMEXINO-328 keep running from battery.

All components of OLIMEXINO-328 work in temperature range -25+85C.

Low power voltage regulators are used to board can be bring down to few micro Ampers when not active.

New Open Source Hardware Product in stock: ESP8266-EVB-BAT with build-in LiPo charger and step up converter


ESP8266-EVB-BAT is further enhancement of ESP8266-EVB. It’s with dimensions 51.3 x 56.6 mm and with shape to fit in Hammond Box 1593KBK.

The version of this board in box is named ESP8266-EVB-BAT-BOX is perfect if you want to make handheld WiFi gadgets :

The relay connector is Wago two part connector, which allow easy to connect and disconnect.

As name saysESP8266-EVB-BAT is exclusively designed to may work on battery. It have input voltage sense, build-in intelligent charger for LiPo battery and battery connector, so you can use any of our existing LiPo batteries for your next handheld WIFI device.

The battery charges can charge with 200 or 400mA and selectable by SMT jumper on the board. On board there is also step-up converter which provide 5V power supply to the relay and module. So if battery is attached and external power is applied the charger will charge the Lipo battery to maximum, then if external power is cut the battery will automatically supply power to the board. GPIO16 input is connected and sense external power supply.

ESP8266-EVB-BAT have two connectors: UEXT connector which allow Olimex UEXT modules to be connected and driven by IoT-Firmware using simple HTML/JavaScript and CON1 where all ESP8266 resources are available together with charger circuit signals and power supply.


Experimenting with low power modes and Arduino


Tero Koskinen recently did interesting experiments exploring how low power he can go with Arduino. http://arduino.ada-language.com/saving-power-with-avr-ada.html

He made setup with 5 boards to test:

  • original Arduino Duemilanove
  • original Arduino UNO
  • Olimexino-328 clone
  • Arduino DIY PTH kit from Sparkfun
  • Diavolino from Evil Mad Scientist

He correctly shut down all not used peripherials, Brown-Out-Detection, slowed down the CPU speed and used Power Saving modes.

the results were:

Device Current
Duemilanove 7.50mA
UNOr3 18.10mA
Olimexino-328 4.00mA
Sparkfun PTH Kit 7.60mA
Diavolino 0.50mA


Diavolino have nothing but the AVR so obviously is winner with this setup with only 0.5mA consumption.

Wait if there is no power regulator where these 0.5mA go when AVR is put in low power mode?

Looking at the schematic  you can see R1 RESET pullup 10K resistor which is connected to 5V -> 5V/10K = 0.5mA the whole consumption is taken by R1!!!


Then let’s see OLIMEXINO-328 the second place with 4mA (outch!) this board is promoted by OLIMEX as SUPER DUPER LOW POWER BOARD then why these bad results? Where these  4mA go?

The answer is obvious: Tero is powering OLIMEXINO-328 by the POWER JACK.

In our design we assume if the power come from the power jack it’s unlimited and we can waste it as much as we need – charging Lipo (if attached) etc.

So these 4mA are taken from the DCDC in the input.

If Tero wanted to see how OLIMEXINO-328 shines in low power he should have powered the board by the battery connector. When the power is applied to battery OLIMEXINO-328 is very humble and will need less 20 micro ampers 0.02 mA to operate!

How this is done? If we look at the schematic we will see that there is no RESET pull-up, but the RESET is done by tricky circuit with R12/R13/SD5/C7/C8 this schematic have zero consumption but still perform RESET functionality.

Also unltra-low-power LDO which needs just 3 micro amps to operate MCP1700T-3302E/MB is used for power regulator.

This makes possible complete Arduino to may keep working while consuming less 20 micro amps.

What 20 micro amps consumption means? If you use our standard LiPo 1400 mAh battery your board can work 70 000 hours or 3 years!

The other boards: Sparkfun kit 7.6 mA, Duemilanove 7.5mA and UNO 18.1 mA just use cheap voltage regulators which take this current, but it’s OK they have not been designed to be low power.

What is the conclusion: with right setup (powering from battery) OLIMEXINO-328 is the lowest power Arduino solution on the market! When we add to the low power the industrial temperature operation range -25+85C and the possibility to work with any input voltages from 9 to 30VDC, OLIMEXINO-328 is the most sophisticated board with many features while keeping the price reasonable.

Meet the iMX233-OLinuXino new member: Nano


Fresh out of the reflow oven: iMX233-OLinuXino-NANO is the smallest iMX233 board we have.

We try to shrink it to the max and the size now is just 76 x 20 mm (3 x 0.8″).

The board features are:

  • imx233 at 454Mhz
  • 64MB RAM
  • micro SD-card
  • USB host
  • LiPo charger
  • UEXT connector

When we designed this board we had two goals:

  • to make it breadboard friendly and we did this with 0.7″ between the header pins on the two edges, so you can easily plug it to BREADBOARD-1
  • to enable creation of handheld devices with it, the board have LiPo charger and step-up converter which allow USB devices to work even when the board is LiPo battery powered, so you can make Handheld WIFI deveices with this board running Linux and with all GPIOs available in two row headers

It’s pity as we try hard but couldn’t shrink NANO to DIP 0.6″ width but we got close to it 🙂


Now we have to do some serious testings and if everything goes well will run production by end of July. The price will be similar to iMX233-OLinuXino-MICRO.

iMX233-OLinuXino-NANO was designed in 6 layer with proper care taken for noise immunity.

OLIMEXINO-5510 is complete



This is new member of OLIMEXINO family with Arduino like layout.

It’s based on MSP430F5510 microcontroller from TI with 32KB Flash, 4KB RAM, 25MHz clock, USB stack etc.

Texas Instruments USB stack is very optimized:

CDC Flash 5.1K RAM 268
HID Flash 5.2K RAM 260
MSC Flash 8.3K RAM 698
CDC+CDC Flash 5.4K RAM 294
HID+HID Flash 5.4K RAM 284
CDC+HID Flash 6.9K RAM 293

This board was specially designed to support EasyMSP project: http://code.google.com/p/easymsp/

The prototypes are in production and if there are no too much changes after the first protos we will have this board in stock ready for sale in March.

MSP430 are well known for the low power so this project is to unleash dataloggers, handheld applications and wireless nodes.

EasyMSP uses same Arduino language so people who develop with Arduino will use same syntax just having the convenience to work with more powerful and low power processor.

The presnce of lipo battery charger and UEXT connector makes handheld and RF applications easy.