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PiSugar Battery for Raspberry Pi zero

Portable Power Platform for Pi Zero

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$35.99
Pisugar has 3 orders / 0 reviews
Ships from Guangzhou, CN
Raspberry Pi zero is very small, but it's not cute with a power bank which maybe five times bigger. PiSugar is a battery project designed for Pi zero. It's super easy to use, no need for soldering, no conflict with other piHats. It perfectly matches the size of Pi zero.
Github: https://github.com/PiSugar
Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R7Z2334

The Problem

Many software engineers are able to developing products base on raspberry pi, but few of them are good at soldering. Pi zero is very small, it's a good choice when you plan to create a portable prototype. But when it comes with a power bank connected, it's not longer that cute. So we are thinking if there is a portable, solderless solution to supply power for pi zero, it will be very friendly for raspberry pi beginners!

A Pi zero project to control a nikon DSLR, the power bank is much bigger than pi zero. (P.S. This is the smallest power bank I could find) Also the usb cables takes a lot of space.


Project Video


How It Works (PiSugar 1)

PiSugar battery module use small spring pins to power pi zero from its backside. The 5V power is transited via two bottom pads of pi zero. Therefore it's no need to have a USB cable. Attach the battery board to the back of pi zero is the only thing you need to do.

The Li-on battery and the board have the same dimension, so it will mask the screw wholes. Also placing the battery directly on the board is not good for radiating. Therefore we use a magnet to attract the battery to the board, it keeps enough distance between the battery and the board. In another hand, when you need to use the screw wholes, you can easy move away the battery.

Move the battery slightly when installing

SPEC (PiSugar 1)

  • same size as pi zero
  • super easy to install
  • compatible with other piHats
  • micro USB charging
  • on-board switch
  • magnetic design

Full Introduction


Installation

PiSugar has a on-board switch, you can light up your pi zero anywhere with one click. Double click to turn off. Also you can use it when it is charging.

PiSugar Battery is now available on amazon and mercadolibre.

Purchase links:

US, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, UK, Brazil , Argentina, Chile, Mexico

PiSugar Cases

As our goal to make Raspberry Pi more friendly to beginners. We also develop 3D print case models for pi and battery. Also we are continuously creating caps for different piHats! It's now open-source. You can download STL files and print your own pi case.

Basic Case: https://github.com/PiSugar/PiSugar/tree/master/model

Use Cases

Download PiHat Caps: https://github.com/PiSugar/pisugar-case-pihat-cap


About PiSugar 2

It has been half a year since we started designing PiSugar 2. This time we have added lots of important features without increasing its size!


How PiSugar 2 Works

In the previous generation we use spring contact to connect pi zero’s bottom pads. However pi zero cannot interact with the battery without data connection.

Therefore In PiSugar 2, we use special designed pogo pin (sugar-pin) to connect gpio from the bottom. By connecting 5V, GND and 2 i2c pins, we are now able to reach to status of the battery....

Read more »

pisugar_case_pin_cap.STL

cap with gpio opening

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 512.09 kB - 04/06/2019 at 13:31

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pisugar_case_button.STL

Button for the battery switch

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 15.90 kB - 04/06/2019 at 13:27

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pisugar_nobatt_shell.STL

If you don't have a PiSugar battery, you can use this shell which leaves no space for battery.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 315.32 kB - 04/06/2019 at 13:27

Download

pisugar_case_common_cap.STL

Common cap for both top and bottom.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 501.06 kB - 04/06/2019 at 13:27

Download

pisugar_case_shell_xl.STL

A complete case contains a shell, two caps and a button.

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 496.47 kB - 04/06/2019 at 13:27

Download

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi zero w
  • 1 × PiSugar battery module
  • 1 × PiSugar 3D-printed case

  • New pin samples

    Jdaie2 days ago 0 comments

    Just get a photo of new pin parts from the vendor. These are headers, bases and springs waiting for assembling. They have produced so many units, much more than we expect 0_0'

  • Use Web Bluetooth to Connect Your Pi

    Jdaie08/18/2019 at 03:54 0 comments

    It was three days ago I found that bluetooth can be accessed by web content in Chrome! So I have written a webpage as new client for our previous bluetooth project.

    First, install the server-side program on your pi, see how: https://github.com/PiSugar/sugar-wifi-conf 

    Then you can connect your pi through BLE with your laptop or smartphone by opening this link in chrome app: https://www.pisugar.com/sugar-wifi-conf

    Get real time information and config wifi setting by web bluetooth (Android and MacBook)

    Since web bluetooth has not been widely supported yet, I have tested on several devices:

    • It works well with latest Chrome for MacOS and Android.
    • On Win10, Chrome is able to detect the bluetooth but I am not able to open it, which is pretty strange. (If you can open it, please do tell me how)
    • Chrome for iOS doesn't support web-bluetooth. There is an ios app called WebBLE which implements the web-bluetooth api. However, it doesn't works. It seems different from the standard api. I will see how to fix this later.

    For other compatibility information please see here.

    UPDATE

    It's able to run on iOS now!

    The iOS problem I mentioned above, it's because WebBLE browser only supports the early version of web-bluetooth api, which doesn't include "getCharacteristics" method. (Click here to see more detail) Therefore I had to use the old way to get characteristics when it runs on iOS.

    Make sure you have install the latest version of sugar-wifi-conf on your pi. Download the WebBLE app and open this link: https://www.pisugar.com/sugar-wifi-conf

    web bluetooth client runs on iOS
    web bluetooth client runs on iOS, with WebBLE browser

  • Software architecture

    Jdaie08/14/2019 at 02:56 0 comments

    Honestly I didn't have a clear view at the beginning of the coding work, but I believe a friendly UI is always needed. As I go deeper, I found some suitable tools to achieve this goal.

    The diagram below shows the architecture behind this.

    software architecture

    There are several ways to interact with PiSugar 2:

    • shell script: if you are familiar with linux, or you want write some program that needs information from the battery, you can access it with shell scripts. It's based on UDS and you know have to go across the network layer. 
    • web UI : you can manage PiSugar2 through a web page. Although pi zero is able to run a desktop but I use it without screens in most of time. Web UI is accessble for other machines in the same local network.
    • electron UI: electron is one of my favourites. It can build a really nice desktop app written in html5, also I can use the same code to generate the web UI. Double kill! The problem is that electron does not support armv6l (pi zero). Never mind, I can still use the web UI on pi zero. 
    • system tray: if you have a desktop raspbian, I do think a battery tray icon indicating power level is necessary. For compatibility with armv6l, I use pyQt5 to build the icon. ( I had tried Qt to build the main window, although it can run on pi zero, it's cumbersome. )
    system tray icon

    The http sever is just for hosting html and js files, most of the UI communication is based on websocket, which mean we can get realtime data such as button events, whether the RTC alarm is triggered, etc.

    To be continue...

  • Mass production of the first generation

    Jdaie08/13/2019 at 03:59 0 comments

    Just recieve two boxes of PiSugar (semi-finished) today.

    Since our recent work is focused on the development of PiSugar 2, it is perhaps the last mass production of the first generation! It's not easy since from design to PCB, SMT, soldering, testing, if something goes wrong we have to start over.

  • Coding for PiSugar 2

    Jdaie08/02/2019 at 07:06 1 comment

    This week we start coding for PiSugar 2. 

    There will be a core python program allowing you to interact with it using shell.

    Also there will be a system tray icon and a nice UI build in electron.

    However, I found that electron has no support for armv6l (pi zero), it can only run on pi 2, 3 ,4.

    So I will build a webpage ui for armv6l as replacement.

    But wait... why I need to run such program on a bigger Pi? Isn't PiSugar is just for Pi zero?

    Well... maybe it will be more than that.

  • New Prototype Testing

    Jdaie07/22/2019 at 06:30 0 comments

    Just have a busy weekend. We start testing a new prototype.

    The power will not be interrupted when you pull out of charging cable. It's a UPS now. 

    We can get battery level through i2c. RTC works fine but the timed boot function is unstable. Some hardware bugs need to be fixed. 

    A button is connected to GPIO.7 of pi zero, for soft shutdown or custom functions. However, we just find a GPIO pin provided but powerIC chip... which is a good news. Maybe we should connect the button to the powerIC, and detect it via i2c. Save one GPIO pin!

    Using special pogopins to connect the pi, the new version will be as compact as the old ones (or even thinner?). Anyway, we insist on the compatibility with all pi zeros whether it has gpio headers. Just plug and play.

  • Joy Bonnet Cap

    Jdaie07/12/2019 at 10:53 0 comments

    Joy Bonnet Cap! 

    Download printable model here: https://github.com/PiSugar/pisugar-case-pihat-cap/tree/master/jot_bonnet_cap

  • new design under testing

    Jdaie07/02/2019 at 07:15 0 comments

    Today we begin testing a new design of PiSugar.

    There will be i2c power level detection (for soft shutdown), RTC, UPS, a gpio button.

    It turns out that the power IC we use has i2C but has nothing to do with power level detection....sigh....so we are about to change another model.

    Sugarpin samples also arrived. Still need some modifications. Anyway it's probably the tiniest structure we had ever made. BTW it's gold plated !

  • SugarPin first look

    Jdaie06/23/2019 at 02:22 0 comments

    We have designed a special pogopin to connect pi zero and pisugar. We call it "SugarPin". With this tiny little thing we can get access to the pi from the bottom of GPIO pins (or just GPIO pin holes). It's now possible to make new pisugar compatible with all models of raspberry pi.

    Today we just got the first look:

  • Open source mini app code

    Jdaie06/18/2019 at 03:41 0 comments

    We just open source the code of PiSugar wechat miniapp! 

    This is a client developed according to the server-side of sugar-wifi-conf. 

    You can modify the layout and make your own pi remote controller now.

    Please see:  https://github.com/PiSugar/sugar-wifi-conf/tree/master/sugar-wifi-miniapp

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Discussions

Huân Đoàn Ngọc wrote 3 days ago point

Do you have a release date for Pi Sugar 2 yet? I'm a huge fan of it, can wait!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 2 days ago point

We had some delay on finding vendors and still refining the design. New samples will be arrive this week. We need to make sure everything is ok and decide when to release. I will update the progress asap. Thanks for your support!

  Are you sure? yes | no

MisureMeccaniche wrote 09/12/2019 at 09:33 point

Hello, is there CE marking for PiSugar? Kind regards.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 6 days ago point

Not yet

  Are you sure? yes | no

MisureMeccaniche wrote 5 days ago point

Hi Jdaie, please keep us aware about that: it is mandatory to make professional products in EU. Kind regards.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 4 days ago point

Sure. Thanks for reminding : )

  Are you sure? yes | no

imliubo wrote 08/19/2019 at 07:54 point

It looks awesome!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 08/20/2019 at 04:03 point

Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

zhuzhe1983 wrote 08/19/2019 at 03:03 point

bring wings to the pi zero and let the dream fly~

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 08/20/2019 at 04:03 point

haha

  Are you sure? yes | no

simon wrote 04/21/2019 at 21:43 point

is the pisugar on taobao (https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=590775024604) already available for international orders?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/23/2019 at 01:08 point

Hi simon, it's our own taobao store but it's ready for international shipping. I will let you know as soon as it is available.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 05/04/2019 at 01:52 point

Hi, simon. It's now available on amazon(https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R7Z2334) for international orders.

  Are you sure? yes | no

george.izard wrote 04/20/2019 at 15:17 point

This is perfect for a project I've been planning. Where can I buy one? Or even, where can I sign up for a mailing list to lmk when its available?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/23/2019 at 01:11 point

Follow this project and I will update the progress here. Thanks for waiting!

  Are you sure? yes | no

etomberg26 wrote 04/15/2019 at 18:54 point

Looking forward to buying a few. Wondering how well it will work with a Joy Bonnet.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/19/2019 at 10:19 point

Good idea!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Beauregard Slim wrote 04/13/2019 at 18:12 point

Is this an about-to-be-released commercial product?  The lack of a shutdown function is going to lead to data loss, particularly with the "beginners" you are targeting.  People will hate you. 

Love the 3D designs, though. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/19/2019 at 10:23 point

Yeah it's actually a released product and we are still working on a newer version solving existing problems.

  Are you sure? yes | no

˙˙˙ɹǝʌo ǝɯ dılɟ ʎǝɥ wrote 04/12/2019 at 22:39 point

Would be really useful to have a version that would take an 18650 battery; I have lots of those I got for free; the flat batteries are expensive.  Also soft shutdown option would be nice but maybe you can do it in software.  And it would be really clever to have a capacitor on the board to maintain power if the battery was disconnected, and if another wasn't connected within a couple minutes, soft shutdown. That way you could swap in another battery without having to shut down.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/19/2019 at 10:18 point

We will consider 18650 as an option in future version. However, a capacitor to keep the pi up when switching battery will be a really big guy...

  Are you sure? yes | no

˙˙˙ɹǝʌo ǝɯ dılɟ ʎǝɥ wrote 04/19/2019 at 14:36 point

What would be the spec for the capacitor?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/20/2019 at 01:23 point

A capacitor 11mm diameter, 4.5mm height can last only 28ms.  

  Are you sure? yes | no

prosto wrote 04/10/2019 at 14:01 point

I need pizero completly offgrid for one year

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/12/2019 at 03:39 point

Battery won't last that long. Perhaps you should consider about solar solution?

  Are you sure? yes | no

mrwho wrote 04/13/2019 at 21:16 point

That'd be about 160mAh (WiFi active) for 8760h = 1.401.600mA = Nnnope.

I tried it, even my 8 16680 Cells with 2800mAh won't hold longer that 3-4 days.

Add solar, at least 6W or bigger.

  Are you sure? yes | no

adamc wrote 04/09/2019 at 20:57 point

Looks really neat, but is there a way to stop corrupting the SD card every time power is turned off. That is the number one problem i have with portable zeros?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/10/2019 at 08:43 point

The current version is just power connection between the pisugar and the zero. Therefore the button is cutting off the power. We are looking for a better way to transport battery data as well, such as i2c. If pi zero can receive the data we can do graceful shutdown. We are working on this. In fact there are other ways to control a portable zero.  For example you can setup a BLE service on zero, and control it using mobile phones. No needs for paring and wifi. You can send different commands to zero, including shutdown. I think it's also a good way to protect SD card.

  Are you sure? yes | no

rootexpression wrote 04/09/2019 at 18:36 point

Whats with the red wire on pin 7 I see in one of the photos in the gallery?  Looks like it is connected to something there next to the processor.Also curious if it handles shutdown in a graceful way when the battery is low to prevent uSD card corruption.This is a very cool project.  I'd really like to have a few (or a few dozen) of these in my hands.  Will they be available?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Jdaie wrote 04/10/2019 at 09:02 point

Haha, the red wire is just for amplifing radio signal, I was using that pi to control a RC toy car... actually we are now working on the next version, including the shutdown problem you mentioned, let zero know the battery level and decide when to shutdown. The current version will soon be available on Amazon : D

  Are you sure? yes | no

Code wrote 04/12/2019 at 04:58 point

Let me know when it goes for sale, looking forward to it!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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