Mini UPS 5V and ~2A actually working for 3$

Just like to share a bit of recent experience looking for a working solution to small powercuts we have here, usually either milliseconds up to 2 hours sometimes.

People tried to resolve this with power banks that usually do not work as the supply will be shortly cut when powering them on again. Also they are comparatively expensive.

Which brings me to the latest experiment that actually works and it cost only ~3$ plus the 2 LiIon batteries which can be recycled from an old powerbank or a laptop.

This small UPS can supply 5V at up to 3A advertised. More realistically and actually measured load is 1.5Amps with an Orange Pi 5. So the higher powered SBCs should all work, and no issue with the smaller ones. It actually lasted for 4 hours (!) with 2 old 18650 cells 1200 mAh measured each.

And here it is. You can order from Ali or any other online store. Just look for the pic. Also have versions for 9 and 12V. Search for something like “DC-DC Step Up 5V 3A 15W Type-C 18650”. It is a step up based on XR2981 and charge controller TP4096.


There are several of these types of UPS’s/LiIon → 5vdc boards

The biggest thing is to ensure it is capable of putting out at a minimum 2-3A at a stable output with minimal ripple…some of the newer processors on these SBC’s can easily draw too much power and cause a brownout or reboot all together.

I kinda like this one
But there are hundreds of them out there

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Yes, sure. But they are price factor x10 more.

You get a stable output up to 3A with the 3$ one. I measured 1.5A when charging and powering the OPi5, so that should be the same as an RPi4 with Rockchip.

There is one thing, when it is really down it wont reboot instantly after charging again. Batteries need to be back at ~3.8V first before it boots properly. Otherwise it crashes in between, there is some power spike. Tried several things with capacitors and supercapacitors at different connection points to no avail. Meaning there will be some reboot loops until it reaches that voltage. Seems to be an issue with the 4096. But that is after 4 hours, so it’s almost unlikely to happen anyways.

I’m going to add an ADC (ADS1115), waiting for it to arrive, then perhaps get some better measurments.

OOH!! I just got my Protectli Uninterruptible Power Supply for a whopping $39 [$43 shipped to my door!]
This thing is an actual UPS…it takes 12vdc in (from a AC-DC converter), and outputs 12vdc at up to 5A…

Their newer version should be hackable!

They even offer some pretty beefy multiport router type rigs
I wonder if DietPI would run on these little beasts

I did just order the UPS from the OP’s link
I got 2 1S, and 2 2S to test them out

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Sorry OT, but WarHawk as in this?
Warhawk PS3

Neg…as in

Where Pappy Boyington started :wink:

My bad. :smiley:

No worries…looks like a cool game, it’s all good