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 slim only 7 cm width Adjustable Power supply in stock

PWR

ATN-PS3005D adjustable power supply is one of our very popular sale items, whole class rooms in schools and universities here in Bulgaria were equipped with them, but they had one disadvantage – they were  huge and take lot of space on your desktop, so when we finish our stock we looked around for something similar 0-30V DC 5A regulated adjustable power supply but with smaller size, and we found this one above on the picture. With compact size of only 7 x 12 x 22 CM  this makes more room for other stuff on your desk! Smaller size means less transport cost also!

So now we retire ATN-PS3005D and replace it with PWR-PS3005!

A20-OLinuXino-LIME server with 320GB HDD works on LiPo battery over 6 hours

A20-OLinuXino-LIME-1

We have server rack with several x86 servers running Linux with our work file repositories, the ERP and etc.

They are quite power hungry as lot of HDDs are connected to them in RAID mirrors to prevent data loss.

We are located in industrial area and power supply glitches are not uncommon, specially during the winter.

To keep the servers alive during power downs, we had to buy expensive 2000 EUR UPS, which actually keep them no more than 20-30 minutes up when power is down, so basically just to allow you 10-15 minutes to finish your work and then to shut them down properly before the battery is drained.

This UPS has lead-acid batteries inside which has to be changed every 3 years and cost almost as much as the UPS itself.

Initially we kept our all Olinuxino Linux images on Gdrive, but there were few issues with this, the images grew to many Gigabytes, and Gdrive start to restrict the access to the files after some limits were reach, so we decided to host these images by us on torrent. We decided to make separate server for this due to security reasons, we just wanted to keep our local network private and to allow external access only to this isolated server which we access also from outside like other users.

To keep it as low power as possible we setup one A20-LIME + HDD320GB + 6600mAh LiPo battery. This configuration works well several years already.

Yesterday our power supply provider EVN warned us that they will change mains high voltage cables in our area and Olimex will have power supply cut from 9.00 to 15.00, so we had to take day off.

We came today and sure we found all x86 servers down, but to our surprise the LIME with the HDD was working fine all these 6 hours of power blackout and didn’t shut down!

We know that with 6600mAh battery the LIME will last at least 10 hours as it uses 1.5-2W, but the HDD is rated 5W (5V/1A), so we were expecting less time stand alone operation.

It was good surprise to see that actual consumption is less, maybe the HDD enters stand-by mode when not used?

New Products in stock: Open Source Hardware Breadboard DC-DC Power supply

BB-PWR-3608-1

We have three new boards designed with KiCAD:

BB-PWR-8009 is with input from 3 to 5.5V DC and convert it to 3.3V / 1.5A

BB-PWR-8113 is with input from 4.5 to 16V DC and convert it to 3.3V / 3A

BB-PWR-3608 is with input 5V and convert it to 12V or 24V /1A

All three boards have efficiency more than 90% and work from -40+85C, they snap to Breadboard power rails and are easy to integrate.

New Products in Stock: Regulated Power supplies

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ATN-PS3005D is regulated power supply with output voltage 0-30V and current 0-5A. The ripple noise is less 3mV. The power supply have over current, over voltage and thermal protections.

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ATN-PS3005S-3D is 3 channel power supply, first two channels are 0-30V and current 0-5A the 3rd channel is fixed to 5V / 3A.

The different channels can be connected in series or in parallel. The ripple noise is less 3mV. The power supply have over current, over voltage and thermal protections.

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ATN-TR6005-S is regulated power supply with output voltage 0-60V and current 0-5A. The ripple noise is less 3mV. The power supply have over current, over voltage and thermal protections.

FOSDEM-85 as thermometer with no external components

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Stefan Goetze submitted today cool project with FOSDEM-85 in our Project section.

https://www.olimex.com/Projects/

He is using the ATTiny85 internal chip sensor to measure the temperature, which he displays with LED blinks on Pinguino eyes. For this purpose he re-connected the Power LED to another port.

The document where he explains how he build it together with all source codes is here

Now FOSDEM-85 can be used as thermometer on your desk 🙂

Experimenting with low power modes and Arduino

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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.

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