I’m working on a project that will be powered by a Li-Po battery, so I was looking for a power module that was able to charge the battery and to supply 5V to my circuit.
Seeed Studio sells a very interesting module, named Li-po Rider; its main features are:
- supports a single cell Lithium Polymer battery
- can charge the battery through solar power or USB
- has an internal boost circuit to supply 5V from battery’s 3.7V
The module is shipped in an antistatic bag:
and has a small footprint (about 5x4cm):
I brought also from Seeeds a 1000mAh Li-Po battery:
If you connect the battery and the solar panel (or if you power the module via USB), Li-po Rider starts to charge the battery, showing the charge status with a pair of leds (red/green):
Li-po Rider has a female USB socket to connect the device to be powered: you can turn the device on and off with a switch:
It’s also possible – leaving the switch turned off – to use the USB connection in pass-through mode, for example to program the connected device.
Li-po Rider is a very all-rounder module: you can use it for different applications and its low cost makes it a must-have for all those projects that need battery supply. The provided documentation (available on Seeeds’ wiki) it’s very complete.
An improvement could be the addition of a battery monitoring chip, to notify to the connected device the charge remaining in the battery.