UPS-PIco for Uninterruptible Power for the Raspberry Pi

The innovative Raspberry Pi or RBPi, the tiny single board computer, has endeared itself to the young and old alike. When used for critical applications, it is often necessary to supply the RBPi with continuous power, for which, an advanced uninterruptible power supply such as the UPS PIco offers several innovative power back up and development features.

With a 300mAh LiPO battery, the standard UPS PIco offers a safe shutdown during a power cut. However, you can easily upgrade this battery to an extended version of 3000 mAh. This will allow you to use the RBPi for a prolonged 8 hours, even if no power supply is available.

An embedded measurement system within the UPS PIco works continuously to check the powering voltage of the RBPi. As soon as it detects the absence or the inadequacy of the cable power of the RBPi, or senses a power failure, the UPS PIco switches over to its battery source automatically. The module continues to check the voltage on the RBPi cable, and if the power is once again available or adequate, it switches over from the battery and allows the regular cable supply to power the RBPi.

You do not need any additional cabling or a separate power supply for charging the battery, as the UPS PIco is a powered unit, with the GPIO pins on the RBPi powering and charging the battery pack intelligently.

The UPS PIco complies with the HAT standards for the RBPi models A+/B+ and 2B. Mechanically, it is compatible with the original models A & B of the RBPi, provided you use an extension header. Additionally, the UPS PIco is compatible with most cases housing the RBPI, especially as it fits within the footprint of the RBPi and does not require any additional powering.

An additional feature on the UPS PIco allows remote operation. An optional infrared receiver does the trick. The PCB routes the infrared receiver directly to the GPIO18. With this feature, you control the RBPi and UPS PIco remotely.

Finally, if you are likely to operate the RBPi in a very high temperature environment, you will need to cool it with external methods. The UPS PIco allows you to implement a PWM fan controller with an automatic temperature control feature. With a micro-fan fitted on the RBPi, the UPS PIco keeps your CPU cool.

Apart from being HAT compliant with RBPi models A+/B+ and 2B, the smart uninterruptible power supply or UPS is fully plug and play. Although the integrated LiPO battery provides 8-10 minutes of back-up power, an additional 3000 mAh battery pack extends this run-time to nearly 8 hours, providing a power backup of 5V, 2A with a peak output of 5V, 3A.

A real time clock simulated with software, with the battery backup offers a functionality offering a file-safe shutdown. The UPS PIco has a pair of user-defined buttons and a pair of user-defined LEDs, along with integrated buzzer for UPS and user applications. With I2C Pico and RS232 RBPi Interfaces, the user can easily monitor and control the operations of the UPS. Add-on boards are easy to use, as the UPS PIco has a stackable header.